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Hobart gives final approval to raises
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Hobart gives final approval to raises

Hobart City Hall

Hobart City Hall

HOBART — Raises are expected for city employees and some elected officials next year, but the City Council won’t be among them.

Ride along with Officer Jimmy Weller as he patrols the region's border of Lake Michigan as part of the Lake County Sheriff's Marine Unit. Video by Connor Burge. 

The council recently adopted a series of ordinances on second reading to provide 2% raises for full-time civilian employees, police and firefighters. Council members also chose to give raises to some elected officials, but not themselves.

Mayor Brian Snedecor believes the members deserve more pay, and providing additional wages to the council would help to attract quality candidates in future elections.

“I think it’s a travesty to you as council members and also for future council members,” Snedecor said.

Providing a 2% salary increase to the council would cost Hobart $1,925 in 2022, which wouldn’t be a major impact to the budget, he said.

“You guys give up many, many hours throughout the year above and beyond these council meetings,” Snedecor said.

Councilman David Vinzant said he views the council as a “volunteer position,” which is why he opposes council raises.

“It’s like belonging to any other sort of social organization,” he said.

Although the council pay won’t change, the council gave final approval to ordinances increasing employee salaries by a maximum of 2% in 2022.

As he did when the measures were considered on first reading, Councilman Chris Wells indicated he believes the city should pursue more employees instead of raises because departments are understaffed.

Councilman Josh Huddlestun said no raises were given this year, and the city could risk losing employees if no increases are given again. He also believes offering higher pay could help attract other people to the city when positions become available.

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