LISBON, Ohio (WKBN) – The Police Chief of Lisbon wants a larger pay increase than what the village council is giving the department, but the mayor says the city shouldn’t spend all the money from a recent tax levy on wages.
Back in 2019, Lisbon voters approved an income tax levy, with most of it going to the police department. Police Chief Mike Abraham asked for it to raise wages in a two-year plan.
Patrolmen got their first increase last year from about $17 an hour to $20 an hour.
“For this year, would have been another three dollars, which would have got them up to $23,” said Police Chief Mike Abraham.
But this year, council was split three-to-three on continuing the chief’s plan.
Mayor Pete Wilson cast the tie-breaking vote, opting for a smaller raise of about two dollars an hour.
“It was a two-step process, yes. No figures. We gave no real figures. That’s my recollection,” Wilson said.
But Abraham is also unhappy about what he will get paid this year.
Year one of the plan, he got a raise from about $52,000 to $58,000, but this year, the village wants to give him a raise to $61,000 instead of $70,000.
“They only want to give me two dollars and 50 cents more an hour compared to what the lieutenant makes, which I made seven dollars and 14 cents more an hour,” Abraham said.
Some council members agree that it’s too little.
“I just don’t feel that two dollars and 50 cents over than what the lieutenant is making is adequate for the chief,” said Dawn Thomas, council president.
“In the past, the lieutenant and the sergeant maybe were underpaid,” said Jeff Decort, councilman.
Wilson thinks the chief was asking for too much of an overall raise. He wants to use the levy money elsewhere.
“There’s a balance, and if you look at both of them, I’ll always opt for officer safety as regards to body cams and increase training,” Wilson said.
The council’s final vote on the police budget proposal is August 24.