It doesn’t make sense.
It simply doesn’t make sense.
How can someone take over a job they’ve never done, and get paid more than the person who previously held the position for 32 years?
That’s what will happen when Lima elects a new mayor in November. The newly elected candidate not only will receive outgoing Mayor David Berger’s $125,811 yearly salary, but on top of that, she or he will get a cost-of-living increase.
The Lima News brought up the possibility of this happening five years ago, but those on City Council at that time took things in a different direction. Instead of passing an ordinance that would set a lower starting wage for a new mayor, council instead decided to cut Berger’s pay from $132,000 to $123,500.
So here we are. An unknown, inexperienced, unproven rookie will be guaranteed a higher wage the first day on the job than the person who put together quite a resume during three decades of service to this city. It makes you wonder how many people today are wishing they would have run for mayor.
When The Lima News did its first salary study 28 years ago, Berger’s annual wage didn’t even make the top 10 in the city. He was No. 15 at $47,277. Fire chief John Brookman was Lima’s highest paid employee at $56,864. There were no 22 people in the city making more than $100,000, as there are today.
We were told last week by Lima Law Director Tony Geiger and Greg Lawson of the Buckeye Institute that it is a common practice to pay a newly elected public official the same wage as the person being replaced.
Common, yes. But right? Hardly.
It also doesn’t have to be that way. Up the road on Interstate 75, the city of Findlay has an ad-hoc committee that sets pay scales for elected officials in the off years of an election.
It’s too late for Lima Council to do anything this year. We’re in the middle of an election and it wouldn’t be right. But let’s hope it is addressed once the election’s over.
What we now have is a perfect example of the old saying: There’s a right way of doing things, a wrong way, and the government way.
ROSES AND THORNS: The rose garden welcomes a couple who became man and wife in 1957, a year in which the top song was “All Shook Up” by Elvis Presley, when people left the movie theater in tears after watching “Old Yeller,” and the price of a 45 RPM single record was 79 cents.
Rose: To Shirley and William McLaughlin of Lima, who will be celebrating 67 years of marriage on Saturday, March 20.
Rose: Make that No. 16. Last Sunday, Mrs. Plugger — otherwise known as Sondra Dreitzler, of Cridersville — had her idea published for the 16th time in the nationally syndicated comic strip “Pluggers.”
Rose: To Abe Ambroza, CEO of the Lima Civic Center. He has booked three shows, bringing live entertainment back to the Civic Center following a COVID shutdown.
Thorn: In a span of two days, three vehicles were stolen in Lima.
PARTING SHOT: “We know that plant inside and out, up and down, every pipe, nut and bolt; every electric pipe panel throughout the facility.” — Rick Perdue, president of the Lima Building & Construction Trades Council, addressing Cenovus Energy’s plans to replace Ohio contractors with out-of-state contractors for the Lima Refinery turnaround. Canadian based Cenovus Energy acquired Husky Energy in January.
Jim Krumel is the editor of The Lima News. Contact him at 567-242-0391 or at The Lima News, 3515 Elida Road, Lima, Ohio 45807.