Niles Mayor Tom Scarnecchia has said that there will be a 50 percent cut in his pay in order to cope with the city’s declining budget.
The announcement came at a meeting held Friday where council members met with the mayor and his staff to discuss ways to end the nearly $130,000 year-end deficit. Currently in fiscal emergency, the state requires that the budget of the city be balanced.
“From now until probably January 1st, I am going to take a 50 percent pay cut in my wage,” said Mayor Scarnecchia. He will lose $34,000 with the cut, as reported by WKBN.
Speaking about the mayor’s effort to balance the budget by cutting his own pay, Councilman Barry Steffey said, “I think that him making that personal sacrifice should show the citizens that he’s doing the very best he can. He loves Niles.”
A similar proposition was made for the city council members. “Council would take a 50 percent cut in pay,” Service Director Jim DePasquale said. “This is from July 1st to January 1st, so it’s a six-month, it’s strictly temporary.” Councilwoman Linda Marchese says she has “no problem” with the salary cut.
“If it’s going to help the city, I have no problem with it. None at all,” Councilwoman Marchese said.
Some of the considerations being taken into account to end the deficit include transferring of five city employees to other departments, as a result of which they will be paid from the enterprise than the general fund. Seven part-time employees, as a result, will be hired to fill their roles.
Moreover, the job of the safety director will be coupled with that of the service director. DePasquale said that he has been asked to fill the role of safety director following the resignation of Paul Hogan earlier this week. While the service director had offered to work part-time in order to help with the budget savings, WFMJ reports that he could be given more work at the same pay.
“There’s no money involved with this as far as additional funding, which I’m not happy about either,” DePasquale said. The new role will help the city save $17,000.
With a few more cuts the officials are considering, the deficit could be brought down to $121,000; however, they would still be about $9,000 short.