Shall the Charter of the City of Cincinnati be amended to require that Council individually ratify any increase in the salaries payable to members of Council, by a vote of two-thirds (2/3) of the members of Council, which would otherwise be automatically payable upon any salary increase adopted by the Ohio General Assembly for the Hamilton County Commissioners, and that any increase in the level of Council salaries as it existed on March I, 2005, shall require individual ratification of any salary increase adopted by the Ohio General Assembly for the Hamilton County Commissioners by a vote of two-thirds (2/3) of the members of Council, by adopting new Section 4 of Article II, Legislative Power and repealing existing Section 4 of Article II?
- What the Amendment Would Do:
This issue proposes to amend the Legislative Power article (Article II,
Section 4) of the Charter of the City of Cincinnati to eliminate
automatic salary increases for Councilmembers. If passed, the amendment
would require that Council individually ratify any increase in the
Councilmembers' salaries by a vote of two-thirds (2/3) of the members of
Council. Otherwise the increase would be automatically payable to
Councilmembers when a salary increase is adopted by the Ohio General
Assembly for the Hamilton County Commissioners.
- Currently Councilmembers receive annual compensation in an amount equal
to three-fourths (3/4ths) of the annual compensation payable to the
Hamilton County Commissioners. The Hamilton County Commissioners' salary
is established and increased from time to time by the Ohio General
Assembly. When the County Commissioners' salaries increase, so do the
- This amendment would give Council the authority to consider any salary
increase enacted by the Ohio General Assembly and have the opportunity
to accept it. If a salary increase is accepted by Council with the
required 2/3 vote, Councilmembers' salaries would increase by 3/4 of the
percentage increase adopted by the Ohio General Assembly for Hamilton
County Commissioners. Any ratified pay increase would become effective
immediately after the next Council takes office and could not be
retroactive. If an increase is not ratified, Councilmembers' salaries
would remain at the then existing level.
- This amendment would also affect the salary of the Mayor as the Charter
directs that the Mayor receives an annual salary equal to two times the
salary of a member of Council (Article III, Section 1). The most recent
increase in Councilmembers' and the Mayor's salaries occurred in
December 2004 bringing the Councilmembers' salary to $ 60,645,75 per
year and the Mayor's salary to $121,291.50 per year.
- The City Charter of 1925 provided that Councilmembers receive compensation of $5,000 per year. In 1953 voters approved an increase in the annual compensation of Councilmembers to $8,000 per year. A 1976 amendment to the Charter specified that Councilmembers' salaries would be an amount equal to three-fourths of the salary paid to Hamilton County Commissioners. These salaries are established and increased from time to time by the Ohio General Assembly giving the Councilmembers an increase whenever the County Commissioners' salary is increased. Since 2001, the directly elected Mayor receives a salary twice that of a Councilmember.
- Those in favor say:
Many city employees have received no salary increase in recent years. This is an opportunity for City Councilmembers to show restraint and be able to decline what would otherwise be automatic salary increases.
- Those opposed say:
Council salaries should be reduced from their current levels. This amendment does not provide that option.
- This information was prepared by the League of Women Voters of the
Cincinnati Area. September, 2005
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- City of Cincinnati