Nesquehoning Council explains chief's wages
Nesquehoning Borough Council President David Hawk read a statement Wednesday clarifying raises the chief of police has received in the past several years.
He said he was making the statement in light of the fact that a court has voided the contract that Sean Smith worked with from Jan. 1, 2011 through Dec. 31, 2013. Smith is appealing the court's decision, Hawk said.
He said statements were made at last month's meeting regarding the contract, especially relative to pay increases Smith had received. "I did not comment on those statements at the time, either in agreement or opposition, because I did not have the facts in front of me," Hawk said. "To both inform the public and place into minutes the facts I am making the following statements."
In the contract that was voided, Chief Smith received a 9.4 percent increase in his rate of pay in 2011, where the full-time officers got an increase in pay of 3.5 percent.
Hawk explained, "The 9.4 percent increase in 2011 was to bring Chief Smith's rate of pay into line with other chiefs in the county. It did not give him the highest rate of pay as a police chief in the county.
It placed him making less than chiefs in Palmerton, Lehighton, and Jim Thorpe; making more than chiefs in Lansford, Summit Hill, and Weatherly.
Hawk added: "In that same contract, Chief Smith received a 3.2 percent increase in his rate of pay in 2012, where the full-time officers' increase was 3.5 percent; and a 3.6 percent increase in his rate of pay in 2013, where the full-time officers' increase was 4.0 percent."
In 2013, Smith still did not have the highest rate of pay as a police chief in the county. He was still in the middle of the other chiefs in the county.
His rate of pay was less than chiefs in Palmerton and Jim Thorpe. Lehighton did not have a chief in 2013, but based on the full-time and sergeant's pay, the rate of pay for a chief would have probably equaled or exceeded Smith's since the sergeant rate was only $1.05/hour less than Chief Smith's rate. His rate of pay was more than chiefs in Lansford, Summit Hill, and Weatherly.
"The previous statements regard rate of pay on an hourly bases, not total annual compensation as would be reported on a W-2. Whether a chief is an administrative chief or a working chief, works overtime, and/or receives premium pay for overtime or some other sort of compensation time, would affect their total annual compensation." Hawk said.
Hawk added, "The decision of the contract is still in the appeals process."
Council will be meeting with Smith soon to discuss a new contract, Hawk said.