Sheffield Village Solicitor David Graves will receive a 16% pay increase and Magistrate Krieg Brusnahan a 10% raise if council approves legislation granting raises for them and two other part-time employees Monday. The four separate pieces of legislation have already had two readings.
Graves’ salary will be $43,530, up $6,000 from his current pay of $37,530, for serving in the position that is equivalent to law director. He also is permitted to charge $130 an hour for representation in litigation, negotiations, arbitration or other dispute-resolution proceedings or matters determined by the mayor and council. That netted him an additional $2,990 in his current contract.
Village Fiscal Officer Tim Pelcic said the village is saving money by having Graves perform legal work that had been done by the former solicitor and his law firm. In the two years prior to Graves' appointment in 2018, the village spent more than $90,000 each year for legal services. Even with Graves' 2020 pay increase, the village now pays less than half that amount, according to documents provided by the village fiscal office.
Brusnahan, magistrate for mayor's court, will be paid $28,403, an increase of $2,600, or 10%, over his current pay of $25,803. Pelcic said Mayor's Court continues to generate revenue for the village — $269,888 in 2018 and $211,914 in 2019.
Mayor John Hunter believes the increases, which he recommended, are justified because both Graves and Brusnahan's work benefits the village — by saving money in Graves’ case and bringing in money in Brusnahan’s case.
Brusnahan was brought in to run the Mayor's Court when Hunter took office 12 years ago. At that time, the village had nearly $750,000 in uncollected fines on the books, according to Hunter. Brusnahan instituted changes that helped collect $650,000 of those fines, while also generating large sums from cases he hears each year.
Hunter said Graves brings considerable experience to his position. “His legislative experience in other cities has been remarkable in making things more efficient,” Hunter said. Graves is law director and prosecutor for Sheffield Lake and assistant law director for Avon Lake.
Hunter said he feels assured that things are going well because, “I get no complaints from our police, the people who are involved in these matters or the judges handling their cases.”
Village Prosecutor Wayne Nicol will get a 4% pay bump to $38,844 from $37,350. Inspector Thomas Horseman will be paid $18,655 up from $18,112, or 3%.
Their contracts run from April 1 through March 31, 2021. Pelcic said the four men do not accrue paid time off or any other type of bonus.
Other village employees received a 3% pay increase effective Jan. 1.