Ad-Express and Daily Iowegian, Centerville, IA

Letters to the Editor

April 4, 2013

Cincinnati residents concerned with City Hall

CENTERVILLE — Dear Editor,

 

The Cincinnati city clerk has received a 45 percent raise in six months. The clerk was hired in September of 2012 at $12 an hour. The clerk was hired for up to a 25 hour work week. Within three months, the clerk has received a $2.50 raise (20 percent) to $14.50 per hour.

There was a specially called meeting on March 26, 2013, to discuss and approve the clerks raise. There was a motion by Councilman Waterman to pay the clerk $435 for a 30 hour week. this motion was second by Councilman Conger. There were comments by myself (Jeff Lenik), Jessica Lenik, Noreen Jarvis, John Jarvis, Margie Stewart and Pat Nelson to discuss Resolution 13-10. Mayor Rummans stated he would not allow discussions on this resolution at this meeting. He stated we would have time to discuss it at the April 8, 2013 meeting. With that said, the mayor and council voted to pass the Resolution unanimously! The clerks pay increase went into effect 3-31-2013, a full week before we would be able to discuss.

I have reviewed the agenda for the budget meeting scheduled for April 8. Resolution 13-10 is not on the agenda. The mayor and City Council have no intention of discussing this resolution. They hoped this pay raise would slip right under the radar of concerned citizens, just as the previous increases in the clerk's pay.  

How is this possible? How can the clerk start to receive a raise when residents of Cincinnati haven't even been able to discuss it? How is it possible that the city clerk can go from $12 paid hourly (part-time employee) to $435 a week paid salary (full-time employee). This a 45 percent raise in pay in six months.

The published proposed budget shows a $12,000 deficit. How is the city giving raises to new hired employees when the city doesn't have enough money to pay the city's bills?

Mayor Rummans stated the clerk has been working 60 hours a week to fix "the mess." To date, he has not defined "the mess." He stated that by increasing the clerk to a salary of 30 hours a week, the clerk would have to "eat" any hours the clerk worked after 30 hours.

That is a bunch of nonsense! I am sure federal labor laws does not support Mayor Rumman's comments. The clerk will be paid overtime for every hour worked past the 30 hours at the regular hourly rate, up to 40 hours, and then time and 1/2 after 40 hours. The mayor and clerk stated in the March 26 special meeting, that the clerk has been working 60-70 hours per week. The only one who benefits from this, is the clerk. If the clerk works less than 30 hours, the clerk will still receive her 30 hours. This liability will be put upon the city of Cincinnati, which means the concerned residents of Cincinnati.

It is irresponsible to increase city expenditures and not allow city residents to be part of the process. It shouldn't be much of a surprise, since these are the same city representatives who went against the advice of the city attorney and the City Ordinance and voted in favor of "exotic dancers" aka stripper night at the Cowboy bar, totally exposing the city of Cincinnati and its residents to any potential liability.

 

Sincerely

Jeff and Jessica Lenik

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The Iowegian wants readers to think about rental permit fees. The Centerville City Council has conducted two working sessions and a third one is planned in order to get a feel for the public's appetite about raising rental permit fees from charging a landlord $25 every two years to charging a certain amount per rental unit per year. So, the question of the week is, "Are you in favor of Centerville increasing rental permit fees?"

A. I'm in favor.
B. I'm not in favor.
C. I'm not sure.
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