City talks amendment to salary ordinance

WEIRTON — Weirton Council will be asked to amend the city’s salary ordinance to establish the pay range for the new city manager as part of the agenda for its meeting Monday.

The proposed ordinance was presented Wednesday to members of the city’s Finance Committee, where it received a recommendation to the full council.

According to City Manager Joe DiBartolomeo, the proposal for his new salary range would see an increase of $9,000 per year.

In September 2015, council voted to set the salary range for the post at between $65,000 and $70,000. It previously had been $76,500 to $79,500.

Even with the increase in pay, DiBartolomeo said the city would see savings elsewhere.

“I don’t need insurance, so you’re going to save about $23,000 or $24,000,” DiBartolomeo said.

In other business, DiBartolomeo and Finance Director Diana Smoljanovich said they want to make certain council is informed of all purchases and expenses

Currently, the city manager has a $3,500 spending limit, for which he can authorize the expense.

DiBartolomeo, however, said even with that spending limit in place, all financial decisions should be brought before the Finance Committee and Weirton Council in an effort to keep them informed.

“That’s how it used to be,” DiBartolomeo. “It was changed under my predecessor.”

Ward 3 Councilman Fred Marsh recalled the city’s previous finance director, the late Tom Maher Jr., would bring purchase invoices to each month’s committee meeting for review.

“Every time Tom came to a meeting, he had a box full of invoices,” Marsh said.

Smoljanovich said, in addition to the invoices, she would be providing a summary list of expenses, organized by department.

Meanwhile, Ward 7 Councilman Terry Weigel said it may also be time to revisit the city manager’s spending limit, noting the increase in costs for some day-to-day expenses or emergency costs.

“A garbage truck goes down, it’s easily $5,000,” Weigel said.

Smoljanovich also said the city is preparing for its annual audit, with the city entering its second of three years with Ferrari and Associates for the service.

“We do need a full-blown audit just like last year,” she said, noting pension information has been taken care of, so no delays are expected this year.

Weirton Council is set to meet at 7 p.m. Monday in council chambers.

(Howell can be contacted at chowell@weirtondailytimes.com, and followed via Twitter @CHowellWDT)

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