Tuesday’s meeting of the New Boston Village Council ended with an outraged Village Administrator in Steve Hamilton as well as several angry employees.
Last month, New Boston Village Council voted to give pay raises for police and fire employees, a decision that was recommended to council by the finance committee. At that time, the finance committee was recommending raises for all billage employees; however, Dan Fetty suggested that the fire and police departments be given raises first with other employees to be considered at a later date.
Fetty explained that raises for all would put a major hit on the budget. The councilman stated that starting with the two departments with the most need would allow council to evaluate how the raises impact Village operations at a smaller scale.
During Tuesday’s meeting, council brought forth an ordinance that would change the master pay ordinance in order to provide raises for the remainder of New Boston’s full-time employees.
A change that would normally require three readings before passage, council was asked to suspend the three readings rule and pass the pay change Tuesday night on a first reading. Fetty stood in opposition, voting no to suspend the rule and pass the ordinance. Suspending the rules required a vote of approval from all present members of Council (requiring a vote of five).
Fetty then presented a list of complaints and safety issues he had heard from the community, nearly all of which fell under the responsibility of the service department. Fetty listed concerns regarding bees nests throughout the Village, sink holes, sideways traffic signs, traffic through New Boston parks and equipment purchases.
Hamilton and village employees present for the meeting were able to confirm that many of the concerns had already been addressed. Mayor William Williams added that citizens should call the Mayor’s office with such complaints, especially those that are issues of public safety. Doing so would allow New Boston workers to address the concerns in a more timely manner rather than waiting until a councilman can bring the issue to light at the next council meeting. Williams further added that he is also in the process of working with Village employees to create a work order form that citizens can stop in a fill out.
Before adjourning, council went into executive session in order to discuss hiring of personnel. During this time, village workers exited to the parking lot where they proceeded to shout “Fetty must go,” and referred to his concerns as “petty.”
Hamilton, who was seated in his truck at the time, slammed his fist on his steering wheel and shouted profanities as he expressed his frustration with Fetty to the group of New Boston employees that had gathered. Hamilton left the meeting before Council had returned from executive session.
The master pay ordinance was given a first reading and will go for a second reading at the next meeting at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, August 14 at the New Boston Community Center.
Reach Nikki Blankenship at 740-353-3101 ext. 1931.