Summit County Executive Russ Pry handed out 10 percent pay raises last month to three of his top administrators.
Meanwhile, many other county employees are getting 1.5 percent increases — or less — this year.
Pry’s Chief of Staff Jason Dodson, Department of Environmental Services Director Michael Weant and Law Director Deb Matz saw their annual salaries climb from $100,796 to $111,280.
Job and Family Services Director Patricia Divoky received a 3 percent raise to boost her pay to the same amount as the others.
Pry defended the increases Tuesday, saying that other county directors were making more.
“They were adjusted up to the rate that other directors were making,” he said. “Everybody should be at the same level at this point.”
Pry’s top administrators now make more than three elected county officials: Sheriff Steve Barry ($100,338), Engineer Alan Brubaker ($109,442) and Clerk of Courts Daniel Horrigan ($93,597).
The county executive is paid $119,512.
The Beacon Journal received a tip about the raises, which do not have to be cleared through the County Council and were not made public previously.
Last month, the council approved a 1 percent raise each year for the next three years for union members within the Fiscal Office.
The collective-bargaining unit had asked for a 3 percent raise; county officials offered no wage increases. Other unions are starting negotiations with the county.
Sheriff’s Deputy Doug Quiner, immediate past president of the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 139, expressed a mix of disappointment and outrage over the raises. The union is bargaining with the county on a new contract.
“We have politicians who have decided that $111,000 a year [for administrators] is a reasonable salary, but the people who do the dirty work for the county aren’t entitled to a raise,” he said. “Clearly this shows the rich get richer and those who do the day-to-day work have to fight for what’s right.”
Tom Morneweck, executive secretary-treasurer of the Tri-County Regional Labor Council AFL-CIO and a former county worker, said of the 10 percent raises: “It never ceases to amaze you, right? ... Then they wonder why county employees have bad morale.”
Rick Armon can be reached at 330-996-3569 or firstname.lastname@example.org.