City Council discusses study, budget, firefighters

By Charlotte Caldwell - [email protected]

SIDNEY – The Sidney City Council heard findings from a compensation study, details about the 2023 budget, and firefighter introductions at a workshop meeting on Nov. 7.

According to City Manager Andrew Bowsher, the purpose of conducting the compensation study is to address changes in city operations and staffing levels. The goals of the study are to increase city employee retention and recruitment and to be competitive in the job market.

Amanda Riess and Joshua Onyemachi, account managers for an HR and management consulting firm called Clemans Nelson & Associates, Inc., were in attendance to explain the details of the study. The firm conducted an external and internal equity check for non-bargaining employees only, then used the point factor method to create a ranking of how essential each job is to the city’s operations, then they generated a wage scale. Riess said the plan should be reviewed every three to five years.

Mayor Mardie Milligan asked Bowsher what the process would be in the future for implementing changes, and Bowsher said the changes will be reflected in the 2023 budget and in chapter 131 of the city’s code of ordinances, which addresses personnel policies, procedures and regulations, and both changes will be voted on by the council in the future.

Staff also presented a slideshow discussing the 2023 budget. Included was a breakdown of the general fund, including where the revenue comes from, the departments that use the money, and each department’s proposed updates for 2023. They also reviewed breakdowns of the street, sewer, stormwater, water, transportation and garage/fleet, and information technology funds.

Sidney Fire Chief Chad Hollinger introduced Lt. Chance Guisinger who was promoted after the retirement of Lt. Greg Francis. Guisinger has been with the Sidney Fire Department since March 2015, and he is an EMT paramedic and a member of the technical rescue team. With the promotion, he was also assigned to the prevention bureau. He was involved in the Van Wert Fire Department before Sidney. He is a 2009 graduate of Anna High School and was active in football during high school.

“I’m so excited to have Chance as a lieutenant. He’s passionate about the job and works hard. He has a desire to learn, and he’s a great addition to the hallway staff,” Hollinger said.

Next, Hollinger introduced new firefighter Ricardo Lenhart, whose first day was Nov. 7. Lenhart graduated from Sidney High School in 2002 and played football. He received a bachelor’s degree in sports and fitness administration/management from Otterbein University.

“When Ricardo showed up for the candidate physical agility test, I could just tell right away; this guy was passionate about Sidney Fire Department. He brings a positivity and an energy about him that I just knew we had to have this guy. It’s infectious. You spend some time around him and you know that this guy bleeds Sidney,” Hollinger said.

The council also reviewed the upcoming zoning board of appeals and planning commission agendas for their meetings on Nov. 21. Community Development Director Barbara Dulworth said the zoning board will deliberate on three cases and the planning commission will address two items. The council also asked Dulworth about new development on a lot near Menards and in between PNC Bank and WellNow Urgent Care on Michigan Street, and she said the lot near Menards will be a self-storage business and the other lot will be a Take 5 Oil Change.

At the end of the meeting, the council reviewed the items that will be discussed at the upcoming Nov. 14 and Nov. 28 meetings. The Nov. 14 meeting will include first readings of utility rate and sewer tap fee adjustments, the 2023 budget, zoning matters and personnel ordinance changes, and the Nov. 28 meeting will mostly be second readings with a first reading of the rental registration program.

By Charlotte Caldwell

[email protected]

Reach the writer at 937-538-4824.

Reach the writer at 937-538-4824.