July 25, 2014

Elyria
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Sheffield considering raising elected officials’ salaries

SHEFFIELD — The village is growing, and so could salaries of Council members, the clerk-treasurer and the mayor.

Council members are expected to vote at their July 11 meeting on proposals to hike their salaries from $4,000 to $4,700, according to Mayor John Hunter. The clerk-treasurer’s salary would go from $19,000 to about $30,000 and the mayor’s salary would increase from $40,000 to $60,000.

If approved, the raises would not take effect until after the election. Ohio law prohibits elected officials from changing their salaries during their terms.

The proposed raises would be the first for Council members since 1991 and the first for the clerk-treasurer since 1995. The mayoral salary increased from $35,000 to $40,000 in 2008 when the position became full-time, Hunter said.

Hunter noted that salaries have not kept pace with business and population growth. Since 1998, Hunter said, the village population has increased from about 1,600 residents to nearly 4,000. In the same time, businesses have increased from about 60 to approximately 250. The village annual general fund budget is about $4.2 million.

Hunter said village leaders have prioritized business development to keep taxes low, noting that village residents are tied for the second lowest millage rate in Lorain County. Hunter, who said he is the fourth-lowest paid mayor in Lorain County, attributed the growth to the village’s location and good rapport with business owners.

“They make a profit, they grow, and it keeps our residents from having to pay taxes,” Hunter said. “We do not have any inside millages for anything in Sheffield Village.”

Contact Evan Goodenow at 329-7129 or egoodenow@chroniclet.com.