Bellaire council considers pay raise for village employees

T-L Photo MIRANDA SEBROSKI Bellaire Council members Mike Doyle and Gay Lucci discuss a pay raise for the village’s departments such as water, street, and police on Thursday at a regularly scheduled meeting. Council members in attendance all came up with ideas on how to give the pay raise, but nothing has been put into effect yet.

BELLAIRE– A raise in pay for the village of Bellaire’s employees sparked ideas from council members about how to go about the situation.

Bellaire Council members met Thursday evening where the topic of raising the pay of village’s departments such as water, sanitation, street, and police were discussed. While all of the council members were on board with giving a dollar pay raise to the departments, there were disagreements on how they were going to do so.

One suggestion from Mayor Vince DiFabrizio was to transfer funds from the water fund to the sewer fund to help out where the money is needed

“We could change our rate structure. We couldn’t move the water over to the sewer fund,” Village treasurer Tom Sable said. “What is collected there has to stay there. You could change your rate structure now and start new with that. Let’s say you move sewer to four dollars a month and then increase the water, your residents wouldn’t see any change.”

Council member Dan Brown agreed with Sable’s suggestion while Mike Doyle and Gay Lucci were against this plan.

There were also ideas from council members to just give one raise to a department at a time and see how that pans out for the village. Doyle said that all of the departments should get a raise at the same time or there will be issues amongst employees. Police Chief Richard “Dick” Flanagan was asked by DiFabrizio his opinion on the matter where he ended up agreeing with Doyle.

“You know, I would greatly appreciate a raise in pay for the department. I am all about being fair though,” Flanagan said. “If you give one department a pay raise, you need to give it to all of them. That is just being fair.Once again, I do really appreciate being considered for a pay raise. You would have to give all of the departments the same dollar pay raise too. This would cause a lot of problems and disfunction with the employees because it has in the past. All of these people in the village do hard work that not many people can tolerate. I could see a war coming from this, I really could.”

Doyle said that he would be willing to take away from some of his salary as a council member if other members were on board with it. Lucci sided with Doyle and said he would as well.

“Doing the rough math, 15 people for a dollar an hour without overtime, it would cost us about $2,400 a person per year. That is just a rough figure,” Doyle said. “I am willing to put my money where my mouth is to get this done. I am willing to contribute some of my annual salary to give them a raise if we are all on board. We have eight people here. It is time to act. If we are going to do something, we need to do it. Let’s not ignore it and not talk about it for another three months.”

No action was taken on the pay raise for the village’s department during Thursday’s meeting, but will continue on into the next scheduled Bellaire Council meeting on Feb. 21.

In other council matters, a resolution was voted on to enter a contract with Attorney Michael Shaheen, from Shaheen Law Group, to serve as village solicitor for Bellaire that will be effective for two years starting in February. The vote was unanimous to pass the reolution.