PARKERSBURG - Earlier this week Mayor Bob Newell announced city police officers would receive a $2 an hour raise.
Other city employees will likely see pending pay raises as city officials review jobs and classifications and compare them to counterparts in other, similar-size cities.
At Tuesday's Parkersburg City Council meeting, Newell briefly discussed raises for city employees. He announced plans to provide a $2 an hour raise for police officers who he said are paid below the rate of others in comparable cities such as Wheeling.
"(The raise) doesn't match all the departments, but it gets us closer to cities like Wheeling, which is similar," he said.
The mayor didn't mention any other employees for raises, but city Councilwoman Sharon Lynch said more raises will be forthcoming.
Lynch, who chairs the Personnel Committee, has been working to reclassify employee positions and compare them against their counterparts in other cities. Personnel Director Pam Salvage has been compiling information for the committee to review. Lynch said the information is nearly complete.
"We are comparing the jobs to make sure we are looking at apples to apples and oranges to oranges. Then we will look to see how our city employees and their salaries compare to the market."
Lynch said police officers were the only ones mentioned by the mayor Tuesday, but there will likely be others who receive raises as a result of the review.
Newell said the money for pay raises will come internally.
"It won't come from the user fee," he said.
"The money we have saved so far is on rebidding our insurance, paying off debt service and refinancing loans," Newell said. "This is stuff we have worked hard to find within our own organization, and structure and savings."
Newell said money for the raises will come from the gradual elimination of six supervisors positions.
In Public Works the city has a building and grounds supervisor, a street supervisor, a street cleaning supervisor, a central garage supervisor and a sanitation department supervisor.
The mid-level supervisors are the same grade and base pay as the foremen who run the daily operations, he said.
"It is a redundant line of supervisors we feel we can do without."
Newell wants to eliminate those positions and create an assistant public works director.
The mayor thinks the director and the assistant director combined with the foremen can eliminate the need to the mid-level supervisors. The reduction will be gradual, through attrition, he said.
Newell said employees in the supervisor positions are close to retirement-age. As those employees retire the jobs won't be refilled. The sanitation supervisor recently retired. With the phase out there will be a gradual savings of $300,000, Newell said.
Newell said by the time this cycle of reductions goes through the city will have eliminated 42 positions.
"We have worked hard on reducing the size of government to make it more efficient," Newell said.