With the goal of employee retention in mind,the Oak Hill Village Council passed the first reading of a pay ordinance increase during its most recent meeting on Tuesday evening, May 25. The motion passed 4-0-1 with Council President Jennifer Hughes abstaining due to her husband being a member of the police department. 
      The proposal has been worked on by council members Mayor Paul McNealFiscal Officer Susan King, and Village Solicitor Joe KirbyThe matter was discussed in depth at a special-session meeting on Tuesday, May 18.The new ordinance would not be in effect until a final vote is taken. 

The language in the ordinance notes all village employees' salaries will be raised by $1.20 an hour. Thus, a new full-time police officer would be starting at $14 an hour;part-time police officers would be starting at $12.10 an hour. 
      New city employees, except for police officers, would be starting at approximately $10 an hour. The normal step raise process would remain intact and the employees’health insurance is supplied at no cost to the employee. Village employees are also under the Ohio Public Employees Retirement System. Mayor McNeal explained that the village has had trouble keeping employees due to pay and that the time has come to do a little more for them.

King admitted the pay increase will not be cure-all but is a step in the right direction. Village officials recognize the reality of the process in which police officers get a job in Oak Hill, get some experience with the department, and then move on to communities that pay more. 

While this may be a common situation in a small-town setting,King and the mayor hope some officers would stay with an increase in payespecially if they want to live and work locally. Council believes it is important to protect the businesses and residents and provide the public with as many vital services as the village can afford.

Council was scheduled to meet again on Tuesday, June 8 at 6 p.m.