Pay raise reasons

Shifting a city employee from hourly to salary does not bother a city elected official, but the raise without an explanation does.

Wapakoneta City Council members heard the second reading of an ordinance Monday to amend job titles and salary ranges for city employees — primarily to shift the Wapakoneta WaterPark general manager from hourly to salary.

Wapakoneta 1st Ward Councilor Jim Neumeier, who chairs the Parks and Recreation Committee, did not object to the shift, but he voiced concerns regarding moving Hayzlett up two steps in the salary scale where he would make $12,000 per year.

Hayzlett, who also serves as the Wapakoneta recreation director and is paid $20,000, averaged $9,950 working hourly each of the past three years.

“We just gave an employee a 20 percent raise in one year and I am curious what the reason was for the increase,” Neumeier said after Monday’s council meeting. “He wants it paid during the three months the water park is open so we are talking $1,000 per week while the water park is in operation.

“I don’t begrudge somebody the money if they are worth it, but it says in the past he was making approximately $9,000 and if my memory is correct he just received a pay raise last year or a couple of years ago,” the ward councilor said.

Neumeier said favored the switch from hourly to salary and he understood the reasoning behind the required change. The state auditor ruled he could not sign his own time card and by shifting him to salary, therefore it eliminates that accounting concern.

Safety-Service Director Bill Rains informed councilors that Hayzlett worked 710 hours in 2012, 731 hours in 2011 and 816 hours in 2010, as an hourly employee. He averaged $14 per hour in 2012.

While the majority of his hours are spent when the water park is open between Memorial Day and Labor Day, Hayzlett works throughout April and May to get the water park ready for opening as well as September, October and November to close the park and prepare it for the winter months.

Neumeier said he is just requesting reasons for the increase be made public and for the reasons to be explained to councilors.

“I just want an explanation from the Wapakoneta City Recreation Board of where they came up with the salary number,” Neumeier said. “If they have documentation he is worth that amount — and in essence that means he would have been underpaid the past three years — I don’t have a problem with that amount.”

Rains told councilors the ordinance can be tabled until they receive a reasonable explanation from Wapakoneta City Recreation Board members for the salary change “since they have plenty of time to pass this legislation before the Wapakoneta Water Park opens.”

Mayor Rodney Metz said he would like Wapakoneta City Recreation Board members to review the hours Hayzlett works, the hourly rate he was paid in the past and to re-examine the amount they intend to pay him.

“I think they at least need to come up with a definition for the position and the responsibilities that position must achieve on a daily basis as well as on a seasonal basis,” Metz said. “There needs to be some accountability, a way to determine if the general manager has met the responsibilities of the position — for both recreation director and general manager of the water park.”

He also explained councilors have final say on the salary increase since they are responsible for passing a balanced budget.