Cuyahoga Falls' financial boon to benefit employees

by Ellin Walsh | Reporter Published:

Cuyahoga Falls -- An unexpectedly large windfall for the city will benefit its employees as well, according to Mayor Don L. Robart. Robart says the estate of a woman who died this past year has contributed more than $1 million to the city through an estate tax settlement.

While the city receives estate tax settlements on a yearly basis, City Council Representative Diana Colavecchio (D-5) says the settlement in question "was about $1.3 million." According to Colavecchio, that is "about two times larger than estate tax revenue received annually in any other year." The mayor says the city has chosen to allocate "about two-thirds" of that amount back to its full-time employees.

Noting the city has engaged in belt-tightening measures like wage freezes and concessions for several years, Robart says his administration has decided to share its good fortune by giving a one-time salary supplement to its full-time employees. Legislation to accomplish this is slated to be considered by City Council Dec. 3. Unlike a bonus, Law Director Paul A. Janis says a salary supplement is not linked to performance.

The legislation proposes each eligible full-time city employee receive a $3,500 payment by Jan. 31, 2012 and that each City Council representative receive a payment of $1,250. Companion legislation which would make employees whose salaries are determined by collective bargaining eligible for the payment is also slated for consideration Dec. 3.

"Our employees have been very cooperative over the past five years in forgoing raises and with other considerations," Robart says. "We felt this was an appropriate way to compensate them for their cooperation."

The mayor says the other one-third would be allocated to the city's future budgets.

Finance Director Joseph Brodzinski and City Council President Mark Ihasz (D-4) declined to discuss details of the proposal before they are presented to City Council.

Council will meet starting at 6:30 p.m. Dec. 3 in the Natatorium, 2345 Fourth St. Budget discussions are also slated to begin at this session.

Email: ewalsh@recordpub.com

Phone: 330-541-9419

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