SEVEN HILLS, Ohio — So much of Seven Hills looks the same as it did back in 1987, the rolling hills of homes with manicured lawns on streets marked by meticulously kept wooden signs. Census figures show the city of around 12,000 is still roughly the same size as it was back then but another thing that is exactly the same is the salary of the city's mayor. It was $14,000 in 1987 and it remains $14,000 today.
"Right now it amounts to a little more than a gratuity,” said Bob Wrobel, a former Seven Hills City Councilman who is one of those behind Issue 55 on this November's ballot that would raise the mayor's salary from $14,000 to $40,000.
"Personally I feel it's like anything else, any other job you should be rewarded for the responsibilities that you have, the demands of the position, the time you have to put in and plus your qualifications and you know $14,000 is not much of an incentive these days,” Wrobel said.
You often see stories in the news about lawmakers voting themselves for a pay raise. State legislators gave themselves a roughly $13,000 one in 2018. The Seven Hills Charter is set up to prevent that. The mayor works for the people of Seven Hills and they have the final say.
Seven Hills residents have been asked the question twice before about raising the mayor’s salary shooting down a 2003 ballot issue that asked for a salary of nearly $125,000 and another in 2017 that sought a salary of $83,300. The $40,000 ask is essentially in line supporters say with where that $14,000 would be if it had been adjusted for inflation. Because of that Seven Hills resident, Lucy McKernan says she'll be a yes.
"I don't think that what is being asked is that exorbitant, I think it's very reasonable,” McKernan said.
Still others like Seven Hills Council President expressed their concerns, telling News 5 in a statement the mayor's office is already supported by two full time staffers. “I think it is important to factor in all costs associated with the Mayor’s Office because this is what helps to keep the Mayor’s position part-time. While I do feel the position does need a salary adjustment, tripling the salary is not justified."