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Ft. Wright Weighs Pay Raise Policy For Employees, May Add More Committees

Ft. Wright City Council on Wednesday explored the possibility of creating more committees - and Mayor Dave Hatter is particularly interested in a human resources committee.

"We have three committees, and we need more," Hatter said. "To me it's a no brainer. I think right now a lot of HR-related issues end up in the finance committee. I would like to make sure we are doing this the right way."

Hatter also suggested that council think about putting people on the committees that have experience in the field, and are citizens who might like to volunteer their time. He acknowledged that it is difficult to get people to volunteer but said it would reduce the workload on the city. The end result is to suggest the creation of an HR committee, to start with, at the next meeting, and Hatter asked council to think about people they might know that the city could personally invite to be on certain committees.

In a related matter, the subject of pay raises came up, and Mayor Hatter suggested that all employees that have have been at the city for at least a year receive a 2 percent raise. This does not include the seasonal employees. Discussion was held among the council members about when the year would be calculated, since the city has approximately five new employees, and it was decided that for this year only, anyone who has been at the city for a year as of July 1, 2016, will get the raise. Then as an employee's one year anniversary occurs that employee will receive their raise. Council will revisit the issue next year and will likely mandate that any raises after this year be distributed only on a certain date. This year's raise for those who have been at the city for a year will be announced at the July 6 meeting but will be on the pay period starting July 3.

Council discussed the amount of money it will ask for from Kenton County for the Amsterdam Road project which would be done with a state road grant. They decided to find out what other cities were doing in similar matters.

Council also discussed a sidewalk replacement plan, and it was thought that some law had to be on the books that specified that residents are responsible for replacing their sidewalks and driveway aprons. The result was that council will find out what other cities are doing on the same issue, and then will discuss the matter again.

An issue that came up in the last council meeting dealt with a business in the city which that went before the board of adjustments to see about being allowed to install more signs. Council discussed what would happen if issues that went to the board of adjustments ended up being litigious. Council decided that City Attorney Todd McMurtry would go to the meetings on an as-needed basis.

Council discussed a wall slippage problem at Don Martin Road, and the result was that the city had a meeting with residents and advised them to have a geotechnical engineer look at the slippage problem.

Mayor Hatter brought up the matter of delivery of information to council and staff members for meetings, and said he had been down the road before with no good results. Some council members apparently like having the papers to read and delivering the paperwork by email is not something everyone wants to do.

"I know how to make this work that everyone gets the information by computer," said Hatter. "But we don't have the technology. We don't have a way to stitch it together."

He suggested reviving the old technology committee, and giving the matter to them to try and decide what to do, what the cost would be to bring the computers up to speed, and whether there would be a good return on investment.

Finally, council decided to take Emi Randall up on her suggestion to have a person from the city be on a committee to help streamline issues at Planning & Development Services (PDS). It was suggested that Councilman Bernie Wessels be the designated person, and attorney McMurtry be the alternate, or that both of them would be on the committee.

Council then went into a closed executive session to discuss litigation.

Written by Patricia A. Scheyer, RCN contributor