In addition, an approval would need to be granted to place a new hire above the first 25 percent in the pay grade that they were hired for, or if an employee were placed above the 50 percent point in a pay grade for a job change.
Among other changes offered was a review of the longevity pay plan for city employees and to convert salaried nonexempt employees to hourly nonexempt classification. The nonexempt class means that the employee is not exempt from being paid overtime if they work more than 40 hours a week.
Another change that was being considered Wednesday was staffing related to the city’s legal department. Corporation Attorney Tom Lowe recently resigned and City Attorney Les Merkley said the idea is that his position would not be replaced if the proposal were approved.
If the changes were approved, Merkley would become the city’s corporation attorney — it is required by state statute that a second-class city has a corporation attorney — and the city attorney position would remain vacant. To help maintain the workload, a paralegal would be hired to assist Merkley.
However, currently a job listing has been posted for a new attorney.
The move, if approved, is expected to save the city about $25,000, said City Controller Amy Dearing.
But the bulk of the discussions around the potential move were related to how Merkley is being paid. Funding for Merkley is partially being paid through the city’s redevelopment department.
The rationale behind the redevelopment commission paying Merkley out of their fund is that he is acting as the redevelopment commission’s attorney on a part-time basis instead of billing them an hourly rate.
The redevelopment commission does have the ability to hire its own legal counsel, which would likely bill on an hourly basis.
Merkley said that redevelopment commissions in similar-size cities pay about $50,000 to attorneys when they are billed hourly.
No decision on the proposed changes was made Wednesday and will likely be addressed at the council’s Monday meeting.