Youngstown City Council gets creative to pay health dept. employees for extra work in pandemic

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YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – On Monday afternoon, Youngstown City Council found a way to pay seven health department employees for all their extra work during the pandemic.

Health Commissioner Erin Bishop had requested nearly $24,300. The money would come from COVID relief funds, but none of the employees were eligible for overtime.

Law Director Jeff Limbian said, given the extraordinary circumstances, the payment would be legal.

Councilwoman Anita Davis suggested the payment be made by first changing the master salary, then making the payment and then changing the master salary back.

Finance Director Kyle Miazek agreed.

“Now in essence, that authority stayed within council. They, in essence, set the rate that they could be paid and then removed it. So, this way it’s not being circumvented and no precedence is being set because it’s what’s in the master salary per an ordinance changed by council,” said Miazek.

Council is expected to vote on changing the master salary and allowing for the health department employees to be paid their overtime at its July 28 meeting.

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