By Jill Hanning
LEBANON - City Council members are considering changing the policy on compensation for city employees who are called into active military duty.
Council might vote at tonight's meeting on amendments to an ordinance that could increase the provisional pay received by families of city employees who are military reservists who get activated.
"If our city is gong to be a leader in something, this is a neat thing to be a leader in," said Councilman Jim Norris. "There are plenty of us who wouldn't be willing to go serve, but thank God there are people who are."
Some other Tristate communities have also considered the issue. Last November, the Butler County commissioners removed a $500-per-month salary compensation limit for county employees serving active military duty. Hamilton City Council also plans to eliminate its compensation limit for city employees on active duty. Warren County and Dayton, Ohio, have policies of granting differential pay with no minimums.
Lebanon's policy now mirrors the minimum state requirement - city employee reservists who are called to active duty receive $500 a month or differential pay, whatever is less, beginning a month after they leave their city position. In addition, the city must retain their position for two years, City Attorney Mark Yurick said.
The proposed amendment would eliminate a minimum amount and result in reservists receiving 100 percent of differential pay, whatever that may be, for a year after they are called. They would receive 70 percent of differential pay during the second year.
A staff summary sheet prepared by City Manager Pat Clements explains:
"Our current policies outlining the pay and benefits provided to these employees is not adequate. In some cases, the $500 maximum payment will cause the reservists to experience a substantial loss of total pay while serving on active duty."
The ordinance applies only to full-time employees, and in Lebanon's case, there's only one person who fits that description. Shawn Coffey, the director of electric services, was recently called into duty.
"I don't believe in creating legislation to cover one person, especially when they knew coming in there was a chance they could be called," said Vice Mayor Jim Reinhard.
Under the proposed amendments, Coffey's family would be entitled to the difference between his city salary and his military salary, a difference Clements estimated to be around $30,000.
Steve Kemme contributed to this report.
TRISTATE REACTS TO WAR ( Latest war news )
Ky. pilot hurt in attack on camp
Truck scatters antiwar protest
Local Marine at front makes front page
Keeping in touch with Tristate military
Donations sought for troops
Kits prepare Muslims for backlash
Clermont County to hold rally
Messages of support invited
Stalled Ky. tank crew eager to join battle
TOP LOCAL HEADLINES
Pete look-alikes wanted for Opening Day parade
Soldier's suicide worsens children's plight
Flashover simulator may save firefighters
Public welcome at firefighter's services
Foster father indicted for murder
Springer avoids Iraq debate
CPS school designs unveiled
Finneytown school board favors revamp
Norwood may OK blight study of development area
AROUND THE TRISTATE
A.M. Report: Kings Island adds metal detectors
Good News: Foundation gives more than $1M
Obituary: Dr. Pierce started companies, ministries
Ask us questions about Hamilton
Butler Co. may raise sales tax
Fairfield sets deadline on justice center plan
Butler Co. observes 200th birthday
Lebanon rethinks pay for reservists
Former Franklin clerk indicted
Ohio Moments: 6 Ohioans received first Medals of Honor
Lawmakers negotiate on gas tax
Dozens trying to copy Wrights
Garbage to become electricity
Sentencing today in Epling case
Hearing on rights ordinance tonight
Youths want to improve Covington
Around the Commonwealth
Lawrenceburg city hall moving