City council continues discussion on council salaries after Wilmington researches other cities


By John Hamilton - [email protected]



Mayor John Stanforth, left, and Dan Evers of the Clinton County Port Authority.

Mayor John Stanforth, left, and Dan Evers of the Clinton County Port Authority.


John Hamilton | News Journal

Councilmember Matt Purkey


John Hamilton | News Journal

WILMINGTON — Wilmington City Council held a discussion Thursday night over a proposed future wage increase for sitting city council members in light of recent research by the city on how similar cities pay council members.

Councilmember and Judiciary Committee Chair Matt Purkey wanted the discussion to happen with the hopes of amending, or deciding where they wanted to go, with the wages.

The original legislation presented in March contained full-time service credit earnable salary per month from 2022 to 2027 — $696.84 per month for 2022, to $759.99 by 2027.

Discussions on the issues were postponed with Councilmember Bill Liermann suggesting to Mayor John Stanforth that the city’s human resource department should research the information, have them make a recommendation, and see if it works for Wilmington.

“I think one of the most important that I’ve learned in this process is — this has come up several times in our discussions — you never want these things to sit for a decade,” said Purkey.

A first reading on the ordinance increasing the ranges was held in March. Purkey was hoping for any further discussions or amendments on “where we wanted to land” without pushing it back down to a committee hearing.

“It’s a conversation for everyone to be a part of,” he said.

Liermann advised he thought the HR findings were fair, and he appreciated the work put into it. Councilmember Michael Snarr offered a similar opinion.

According to a letter reporting their findings from then-HR Director Greg Muenchen, 31 cities with a population similar to Wilmington’s were contacted by the city, with 10 of those more than 40 miles from a major Ohio city and considered rural cities.

“Based on the current city council salary of $3,780 (per year) and the compensation date above, I recommend the Wilmington City Council salary be set at $5,354 (per year),” said Muenchen in the letter.

He further stated the amount represents half of the difference from the average and approximately a 42% increase from the current salary, “which is significantly above the salary increase benchmark,” the letter states. “In the future, to stay current with salary trends, I believe a salary study should be completed every 2-3 years.”

Council will continue the discussion at their next meeting. No further actions were taken at the meeting.

Also during council:

• During the public works/enterprise committee, the council accepted a funding award from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in support of the city’s wastewater treatment plant project. The resolution accepting the donation said the amount for $1,000,000.

• Mayor John Stanforth announced Brad Reynolds as the city’s new Human Resources Director. Councilmember Jonathan McKay told the News Journal he’s pleased with the choice of Reynolds. “He brings a wealth of experience, and as a councilman I know I can count on him.”

Reynolds recently retired as administrator of Ohio Living Cape May in Wilmington after six years, and 26 years overall with Ohio Living. He is a Wilmington native.

• Stanforth made a proclamation commemorating Economic Development Week and presented the proclamation to Dan Evers, Executive Director of the Clinton County Port Authority.

Mayor John Stanforth, left, and Dan Evers of the Clinton County Port Authority.
https://www.wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2022/05/web1_DSC_0887-2.jpgMayor John Stanforth, left, and Dan Evers of the Clinton County Port Authority. John Hamilton | News Journal

Councilmember Matt Purkey
https://www.wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2022/05/web1_DSC_0878-2.jpgCouncilmember Matt Purkey John Hamilton | News Journal

By John Hamilton

[email protected]

Reach John Hamilton at 937-382-2574

Reach John Hamilton at 937-382-2574