Council to do further research before revisiting members’ salary; Rombach work set to resume


By John Hamilton - [email protected]



Councilmember Jonathan McKay gives his thoughts on the ordinance that would raise the council’s wages at Thursday’s meeting.

Councilmember Jonathan McKay gives his thoughts on the ordinance that would raise the council’s wages at Thursday’s meeting.


John Hamilton | News Journal

Councilmembers Nick Eveland, left, and Matt Purkey discuss the ordinance that would raise the council’s rages at Thursday’s meeting.


John Hamilton | News Journal

Rombach work to resume

Work on the huge Rombach Avenue project is slated to resume on Monday, March 21, Safety/Service Director Brian Shidaker announced Thursday night.

It would start with the removal of the concrete walk in front of Kroger, replacing it with an asphalt bike path. It would also see the start of the bike path embankments.

One eastbound lane from Kroger to Progress Way will be closed at that time.

WILMINGTON — Further readings on an ordinance raising the salary of city council members have been postponed.

At Thursday’s Wilmington City Council meeting, after discussing the topic — talk of which began at council’s previous meeting — members decided to do further research.

According to Judiciary Committee Chair and Councilmember Matt Purkey, the ordinance was to raise salaries up to the minimum amount required by the Ohio Public Employees Retirement System (OPERS).

The ordinance contained full-time service credit earnable salary per month from 2022 to 2027 — $696.84 per month for 2022, to $759.99 by 2027.

Mike Mandelstein, a city resident, questioned the need for raising the salary to meet that minimum and feels that it needs to be explained to locals.

Councilmember Bill Liermann suggested to Mayor John Stanforth that the city’s human resources director, Greg Muenchen, should be given the information and have him make a recommendation.

“The reason I’m saying this is, let’s face it, if we’re doing it because of OPERS, OK that’s one thing. What is justifiable? What is fair? What is equitable … What is considered a fair amount of compensation,” asked Liermann. “I think we need to look at a professional standpoint … let’s try and work together on this to create an equitable method of what should be the council’s salary.”

He added that he feel that none of the sitting councilmembers are in the position for the money, and that all are serving “to give back to the city”.

Councilmember Nick Eveland, who previously voted no on the first reading, said since that meeting he’s done more research, and he feels that council members should be recognized for their efforts. Eveland echoed similar feelings expressed by Liermann that if anyone wants to be on city council for the money, they shouldn’t be a part of it.

“It’s not an unreasonable amount, and I think it’s justifiable … and there’s a good chance that we’re not going to see it,” said Eveland.

Councilmember Jonathan McKay said he isn’t serving on council for the money, adding how he would come to council meetings when he was young to see what was happening in the community.

“This is the only thing I truly, truly, truly have ever wanted to do — be an elected official so that I can serve my community in a capacity and really make a difference,” said McKay.

When discussing the pay increase, McKay advised that he had been in contact with officials from other cities about their wages.

“Every single city I spoke to said, ‘That’s it? That’s all you get paid?’,” said McKay, adding other locals expressed similar disbelief. “I voted yes because I think this is the right thing to do even though I may not be a beneficiary. I may not sit in this chair. But I believe in it because the numbers I got … support this.”

Council agreed to further research the topic and revisit the discussion at a later date.

Councilmember Jonathan McKay gives his thoughts on the ordinance that would raise the council’s wages at Thursday’s meeting.
https://www.wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2022/03/web1_councilpay2-1.jpgCouncilmember Jonathan McKay gives his thoughts on the ordinance that would raise the council’s wages at Thursday’s meeting. John Hamilton | News Journal

Councilmembers Nick Eveland, left, and Matt Purkey discuss the ordinance that would raise the council’s rages at Thursday’s meeting.
https://www.wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2022/03/web1_councilpay1-1.jpgCouncilmembers Nick Eveland, left, and Matt Purkey discuss the ordinance that would raise the council’s rages at Thursday’s meeting. John Hamilton | News Journal

https://www.wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2022/03/web1_Wilmington-city-logo-2.jpgJohn Hamilton | News Journal

By John Hamilton

[email protected]

Rombach work to resume

Work on the huge Rombach Avenue project is slated to resume on Monday, March 21, Safety/Service Director Brian Shidaker announced Thursday night.

It would start with the removal of the concrete walk in front of Kroger, replacing it with an asphalt bike path. It would also see the start of the bike path embankments.

One eastbound lane from Kroger to Progress Way will be closed at that time.

Reach John Hamilton at 937-382-2574

Reach John Hamilton at 937-382-2574