Wednesday, December 11, 2002

Mason council gets a raise, but neighbor Lebanon holds line

Suburban Insider

Compiled by Cindi Andrews
The Cincinnati Enquirer

Mason City Council gave its future members a $100-a-month raise this week and bumped up the mayor's paycheck by $150.

Starting Dec. 1, 2003, council members will make $600 a month and the mayor will make $900 a month. They had been making $500 and $750 respectively - a pay scale that was adopted in July 1997. "I don't think it will jeopardize our rate of working below minimum wage," Mayor John McCurley joked at the meeting.

But the amount of council members' raise is Lebanon's City Council members' total monthly pay. Council members get $1,200 a year, and the mayor earns $1,500, Lebanon City Auditor Sharee Dick said.

Lebanon council members' last raise? Longtime city employees estimate that it was well over a decade ago.Erica Solvig

Whip Lite: The freshman congressman representing parts of Mason and northern Warren County - as well as Dayton, Highland County and Clinton County - is getting a bigger profile even before he takes office.

Incoming Majority Whip Roy Blunt, R-Mo., appointed Republican Mike Turner of Dayton to be one of his assistant whips.

Whips, as you might guess from the name, are responsible for making sure party members toe the line and pass legislation that's considered important. Assistant whips, of course, assist the whips.

"I look forward to working with (Mr. Turner) every day to move the Republican agenda forward in the House," Mr. Blunt said.

No, thanks: Norwood's Republican Mayor Joe Hochbein announced Monday that he will step down from his position by mid-March. That leaves the Norwood Republican Party scrambling to find someone who will finish his term, which will expire at the end of next year.

Jane Grote, who has served as Norwood City Council president for 10 years, said she'd very gladly serve as interim mayor. But there's no way that she'd ever campaign to become the top elected official in this Hamilton County city well known for its political squabbles.

"I have never seen a mayor's race that wasn't nasty," she said.

Susan Vela

Tips and comments on Butler and Warren politics may be relayed to Cindi Andrews via e-mail,; fax, 755-4150; or phone, 755-4157.

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