Municipal Court clerk Phelps proposes compromise on personnel requests

NEWARK — Marcia Phelps, clerk of Licking County Municipal Court, proposed a compromise to the Newark City Council Personnel Committee on her requests for clerk’s office employees.

Phelps previously told council her employees deserve more than the annual 4% raises they received, but Mayor Jeff Hall said it would be difficult to find the money in the 2022 budget. The mayor said the additional salaries proposed for employees in the clerk’s office have been estimated to cost about $150,000 annually.

The clerk’s office employees are underpaid, Phelps said, and frequently leave for better-paying jobs, such as in other city departments or municipal courts in neighboring counties.

The legislation had proposed creation of a deputy clerk/information technology coordinator, as well as the salary increases.

Phelps proposed removing the deputy clerk/information technology coordinator from the request, saving the city $81,303 and reducing the total cost of her request to $70,889. She also proposed changing the title of the current information technology coordinator to information technology specialist.

Marcia Phelps

“I have proposed, with some reluctance, in a motion of cooperation, to remove the deputy clerk/information technology coordinator,” Phelps told the committee. “I’ve stated in the past that position is needed. I’m not disputing the fact it’s needed, I’m just trying to bring some compromise, if you will, to members of council and the administration.”

The full council will consider an amended resolution at its Feb. 22 meeting. Council tabled the ordinance on Oct. 5, 2020, and on Jan. 18.

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