NILES, Ohio (WYTV) – Niles Mayor Tom Scarnecchia confirmed Friday that he would take a 50 percent cut in his salary to help balance the city’s budget.
Four of the seven Niles City Council members were at Friday’s meeting to hear how the mayor and his staff planned to alleviate a projected $130,000 year-end deficit.
Niles is currently in a fiscal emergency and the state requires that the budget be balanced.
Ten minutes into the meeting, Scarnecchia made his announcement:
“From now until probably January 1st, I am going to take a 50 percent pay cut in my wage.”
With that cut, he will be losing $34,000 a year.
“I think that him making that personal sacrifice should show the citizens that he’s doing the very best he can. He loves Niles,” Councilman Barry Steffey said.
City officials proposed combining the positions of service and safety director. Service Director Jim DePasquale said he’s been asked to take on the Safety Director’s duties for the same salary after Paul Hogan resigned earlier this week.
“There’s no money involved with this as far as additional funding, which I’m not happy about either,” DePasquale said.
Creating a safety-service director would save $17,000.
“The workload will increase but like I said, there’s other places that do it and they seem to be operating just fine,” Councilman Steve Mientkiewicz said.
Also brought up was a proposal for Niles City Council members, each of whom make about $6,000 a year.
“Council would take a 50 percent cut in pay,” DePasquale said. “This is from July 1st to January 1st, so it’s a six-month, it’s strictly temporary.”
“If it’s going to help the city, I have no problem with it. None at all,” said Councilwoman Linda Marchese.
“It was brought to our attention today for the first time. I think that’s something that the council members would have to discuss,” Mientkiewicz said.
“I am okay with a pay cut if that’s what it requires,” Steffey said.
Considering a few other cuts they had in mind, officials thought they could bring the deficit down to $121,000, still about $9,000 short.
The Niles Law Director asked if he should prepare legislation for what was proposed, but he was told to hold off for now.