STRUTHERS Council votes raises for itself, treasurer

One councilman said the raises would not affect the city's $6.5 million budget.
STRUTHERS -- City council members have voted to give themselves and the treasurer a salary increase after all, but not until 2003. Other city employees, such as the auditor and director of law, will see raises come Jan. 1.
Despite dissension voiced by several council members during previous meetings, council passed an ordinance dictating the salaries of city officials in a 5-2 vote during its regular meeting Wednesday night. Councilman Anthony R. Protopapa Jr., D-1st, and Councilman Mark A. Sandine, D-2nd, voted against the measure.
The amounts: The ordinance gives the city's seven part-time council members a salary increase from $8,000 per year to $8,500 in 2003, adding $3,500 to the city's budget at that time. The annual salary of part-time Treasurer Thomas Sweder increases from $8,200 to $9,000 in 2003. Sweder is scheduled for another raise to $10,000 in 2004.
The auditor will see a raise from $43,805 to $45,557, as of Tuesday. The law director's pay will go from $27,905 to $29,021 then.
Mayor Dan Mamula's annual salary is set to remain at $34,500. The $8,400 salary of Council President Danny Thomas Jr. will also stay the same.
Thomas asked not to receive a $500 pay raise, saying the economic future of the city is uncertain.
Said insigificant: Councilman Robert D. Carcelli, D-at large, has said the increases will make an insignificant mark on the city's $6.5 million budget.
Protopapa has previously mentioned that he is the newest member of council and doesn't feel right requesting a raise. Sandine said the economy isn't steady enough to support an increase in pay.
Council also unanimously passed a second ordinance establishing the city municipal court clerk's salary. The measure set the pay at $43,805 per year -- the same wage paid to the position in 2001, effective Jan. 2. The ordinance repeals the previous one, which set the salary at $45,557 for 2002.
The city is responsible for 60 percent of the clerk of court's salary, with the remaining 40 percent paid by Mahoning County.
Wednesday's meeting was the last for both Sandine and Carcelli, who were defeated in their re-election bids in November and will be replaced next week.

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