Are Kettering’s Mayor And City Council Members Paid Too Much? Kettering Voters Will Decide On November 6

The bar chart, shown today on the DDN web-site, shows the annual salary of area council members and mayors as amount paid per resident. I added the green shadow in the background to show the relative population size of each community, with Dayton having the largest population and Moraine having the smallest.

I’m glad to live in Kettering, Ohio — a great community with a democracy that seems to be coming to life.  An article in today’s DDN, “Council Members’ Pay At Issue,” written by Terry Morris, tells about, “a grassroots effort by some residents in Montgomery County’s second biggest city (Kettering) to cut council and mayoral salaries and limit their consecutive terms.”   The article says, “Leaders of Citizens for a Better Kettering, the political action committee that succeeded in placing charter amendments to cut pay and limit terms on the city’s Nov 6 ballot, say the mayor and council there are overpaid and shouldn’t be permitted to vote themselves raises during the current terms.”

The printed newspaper shows an interesting chart, but a more extensive chart and graph are show on the DDN’s web-site.  One way to analyze whether Kettering’s mayor and council are overpaid , or not, is to compare the pay of Kettering officials to the pay of officials in other local cities.  Kettering’s mayor earns $22,980 each year, considerably more than what paid to other mayors. The amendment to the city charter, if approved, will reduce the mayor’s salary to $12,000. But Kettering has more population than other cities, so it would seem fair to evaluate the pay of city officials according to the amount they earn per resident.

When cost per resident is compared, the salary of Kettering’s mayor (in green) is shown to be slightly more than the middle of the chart.

This is the chart shows in ascending order the salary per resident earned by the city council members of each city.

The Citizens for a Better Kettering also claim that Kettering Council members earn too much. The charter amendment, if approved, will reduce the pay of each council members from its current amount of $15,5770 to $8000. Again, one way to evaluate the pay of Kettering’s council members is to calculate the amount they earn per resident.  Kettering members earn 28 cents per resident, but the council members of Oakwood, Springboro, Vandalia, Centerville, Troy, Miamisburg, Clayton, Franklin and Bellbrook earn more per resident.  Of course, the argument might be that they all earn too much.

Kettering voters will have on the ballot this November 6,  Issue 29 — to reduce the pay of the Kettering mayor and the Kettering Council members — and Issue 28, to impose term limits on the mayor and council members.

When compared to other communities on a per resident basis, Kettering’s pay for council members falls a little more than average.




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2 Responses to Are Kettering’s Mayor And City Council Members Paid Too Much? Kettering Voters Will Decide On November 6

  1. ohiodale says:

    I guess I am not sure how to vote in these issues. I do not believe that Patterson spends 30-40 hours per week on city business. This is an exageration at best. If you look at Middletown, Beavercreek, and to a lesser extent Huber Height they pay their politicians much less. Although, look at the cities of Huber Height and Middletown. I would not want Kettering to turn into either of these two cities. Beavercreek has major infrastructure problems and they cannot seem to get any levies passed. I think Beavercreek will implode if they do not pass a school levy. You cannot move into an up and coming city and not expect to build new schools, roads and sewage. People of Beavercreek are so anti taxes that they will destroy their proporty values over the long term. Kettering has issues also. Why did Kettering let all these section 8 apartments move into the city over the last couple of decades? I have nothintg against the poor but I do have issues with the crime that comes out of these apartments. It seems Kettering will do anything for revenue. Bottom line on this issue is, compare to all the surrounding cities (besides Dayton), Kettering pays their politicians 2 to 3 times the amount. The real question is, do we get our money’s worth. I think the answer is no.

    As far as term limits, they already ahve term limits its call the election.

  2. Mike Bock says:

    Ohiodale, thanks for responding.

    I don’t think it is fair to compare salaries of city officials without taking into consideration the size of the city. It seems to me that it stands to reason that a city with more citizens and a bigger budget should pay its officials more than a city that has less citizens and a smaller budget. The charts in this post show what each city pays its officials on a per citizen basis. Kettering pays its mayor 41 cents each year per citizen and is about in the middle of the chart. Oakwood pays its mayor 43 cents per citizen and Centerville pays its mayor 64 cents per citizen. Of all the cities on the list, Kettering most frequently want to identify with upscale communities such as Oakwood and Centerville — in terms of its quality of schools and quality of public service, etc. — and, I think most Kettering citizens agree with you that they do not want Kettering to become like Huber Heights or Middletown. So, I think approving Issue 29 would be a mistake and would send the wrong message. I agree with you that imposing term limits, as proposed in Issue 28, is a bad idea.

    I think it is a great question, “How do we make a better Kettering?” I believe, ultimately, what can make a better community is a vitalization of our democracy, so I respect and appreciate the effort of this group, “Citizens for a Better Kettering” in producing these issues and stimulating public discussion. I hope this energy eventually can be directed towards something that I can support — such as reforming and transforming our system of public education in Kettering. Reforming public education would be a huge task and would require an active and alert citizenry to make it happen. A group like “Citizens for a Better Kettering” would need to be interested in doing the hard work needed to make it happen. In my POV, even though Kettering, by government standards, is considered “excellent,” the standards themselves are inadequate and a local community like Kettering should be showing leadership and showing a model for school transformation, based on a new view that would redefine the aim of public education and would structure a system model quite different from the standard model of public education that has been an impediment now for many generations.

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