Johnson outraged over JobsOhio raise

Portsmouth City Councilman Kevin W. Johnson described last year’s 38 percent pay increase given JobsOhio’s president and chief executive officer, John F. Minor Jr., as “outrageous.”

Johnson indicates that this description is one of the few which came to his mind which is printable in a public newspaper.

“I read of this increase this morning and my blood pressure immediately shot up,” stated Johnson. “Mr. Minor’s annual salary is now $445,036 with this 38 percent pay increase provided him in 2015. And this is on top of a 36 percent pay increase he received in 2014. All the while, Ohioans have seen their personal incomes increase at an annual average of 1.3 to 1.4 percent. And this year, seniors and veterans received no increase at all in their monthly, hard-earned stipends. I should note here that as both a senior and a veteran I am quite aware of how a 0 percent increase in Social Security and veterans benefits did not benefit me or others like me.

“It is one thing for private companies to award such huge salary increases and bonuses; after all, it is simply paid for, sometimes whether they want to or not, by those who choose to purchase the products/services or own stock in these companies. However, for a governmental creation – and that is what JobsOhio is, a governmental creation – it is average Betty and Joe Ohioan who pay for these salaries… in this case via the purchase of alcohol… whether we want to or not.

“What bugs me even more is that the City of Portsmouth has not been able to provide a raise to our employees in many years. We are just now getting out of a significant deficit; a deficit caused in part by the legislature agreeing to cut by nearly half the shared state revenue pot and eliminate the estate tax in order to balance the State of Ohio’s budget. And I can only imagine how everyone in Ohio who earns Ohio’s minimum wage of $8.10 an hour, or for tipped employees $4.05, feels as they read of such pay increase extravagance and outrageousness.

“According to the articles I read, the jobs attracted last year by JobsOhio paid an annual average of $46,600, about $800 below the statewide average and $8,300 behind the national average.

“Bottom line; I am disheartened and sickened by what I perceive as institutional obliviousness. It is as if JobsOhio is saying of Ohioans… ‘Let them eat cake.’ I believe that every elected official in Ohio should join me in calling this – and the other extravagant JobsOhio pay raises – ‘outrageous’!”