SHERIDAN — The issue of possible pay raises for some village employees was an unexpected entry under the “new business” portion of Sheridan’s village council meeting Tuesday evening.
Although some employees received 2 percent raises earlier this year, Councilman Pete Gehoski contends those raises — when considered in tandem with increased insurance premiums — actually constituted a pay cut. Gehoski said he has contacted several other area municipalities and all of them pay their Department of Public Works employees significantly higher wages than does the village of Sheridan.
“The 2 percent raise was not enough,” Gehoski said. “I talked to Carson City and they start their DPW employees out at $1.25 more per hour than we pay, and that’s for guys without experience right off the street.”
Gehoski noted that both Village Superintendent Doug Lane and Assistant Superintendent Ed Lingeman both are regularly commended for their excellent performance.
Councilman Don Nassif countered that the issue should have been discussed earlier this year, when raises were being discussed.
“That was the appropriate time to address this; when we voted on it,” Nassif said. “We’ll never agree on everything. We need to keep this village in the black.”
Councilman Derek Wagner suggested the council look at the situation and conduct a study prior to making a determination of any kind. Councilman Curtis Sisson echoed Wagner’s sentiments.
“We need to have some kind of compensation and benefit committee to evaluate this and let us know where we are,” Sisson said. “We want to do this justice.”
Sisson, Gehoski and Village President Susan Wyckoff-McFarland volunteered to serve on that committee.
In other council business, Lane reported on work being done at the community center, as well as the progress regarding four new picnic tables to be installed at the lakeside park early this summer. Lane said he hoped to have the new tables installed before the park reached its busy season.
Lane also suggested the possibility of installing a large street clock as part of the upcoming main street improvements, which also will include new street lighting. The cost of the clock is estimated at $2,000 and would be designed to coordinate with the street lighting posts.
“I thought it would be kind of a neat thing,” Lane said. “It’s just something to think about.”
The council’s next meeting is May 14.