Mayor position could turn full time

Katie Phillips

STREETSBORO-Streetsboro residents have the option on Tuesday to vote for a charter amendment that would provide the city with a full-time mayor. If passed, the amendment would not go into effect until 2007 when the next successful mayoral candidate is elected and would include a salary increase for the full-time position.

Streetsboro Clerk of Council Caroline Kremer said the increase, should residents vote and pass Issue 27, will be “at an annual salary of 1 percent more than the highest paid department head, excluding the law director, set at the beginning of each term with benefits and three weeks paid vacation.”

Streetsboro’s highest paid department head is the city engineer, who earns $67,000, Kremer said.

Passing the amendment assures the newly elected mayor a salary of about $68,000, said Chad Murdock, law director of Streetsboro.

“It (the mayor’s position) historically has been part time,” Murdock said, “and the pay is commensurate to a part-time obligation.”

The Streetsboro charter addresses the mayor’s public position as comparable to a CEO of a private corporation, he said.

The problem with the existing charter is that it fails to provide a CEO, said Thomas Wagner, vice president of council for Streetsboro.

“Our budget last year was over $14 million,” Wagner said. “We have a fair estimate of about 13,000 residents. Payroll is $6.5 million.

“My contention is that you would never find any business that would have a budget like we have that did not have a person in charge,” he said.

The part-time person in charge is current Streetsboro Mayor Mark J. Pavlick, who works mornings, evenings, weekends and vacations as mayor, in between shifts at Defer Tire in Streetsboro, where he is hired as a full-time service manager.

The part-time predicament is no reflection on the current mayor or past mayors, Wagner said. The charter is something that is long overdue.

“During the day, there’s no one in the mayor’s office,” he said. “If a department wants guidance or an opinion on something they want to do, they can’t go to the mayor. If a councilman has a problem, he can’t go to the mayor.”

Regardless of the amendment passing or not, the entire Streetsboro population, both residential and industrial, will be affected because they may or may not receive the full benefit of a full-time mayor, said Pete Buczkowski, president of council for Streetsboro. He said the amendment issue leaves some residents voicing concerns of whether or not the increased salary is appropriate for a full-time mayor’s position.

Voting yes or no to the amendment is the residents’ decision as taxpayers, Buczkowski said, and the amendment outcome should be based on what the residents feel is in their best interest. The full-time mayor issue was on the Nov. 2002 ballot but failed to pass.

Pavlick said there may be opposition, but he believes residents will soon realize the demands of the mayor’s position have dramatically changed because of Streetsboro’s rapid growth.

“Don’t forget to vote,” Pavlick said. “Only by public vote can the charter be changed.”

Contact public affairs reporter Katie Phillips at [email protected].