BY Kailey Decker For The Miami Student
Every calendar year, Butler County holds meetings between office holders and county commissioners to discuss their needs and requests. At the 2013 meeting, held a few weeks ago, prosecutors opened the floodgates, according to County Prosecutor Michael Gmoser, and have collectively asked for more than $1 million in raises across the board from the county commissioners.
Gmoser said his staff is severely underpaid and it has become necessary to ask for nearly $356,000 in raises for his staff alone. If raises are not granted, Gmoser said he could risk losing some of his staff to the private sector.
According to Gmoser, to keep the attorneys in his office from turning to the private sector in search of higher wage, he must pay them what they deserve.
“If the horse is going to run the race,” Gmoser said. “It has got to be fed the oats the night before.”
Gmoser said he lost one of his top attorneys last year to a private firm that offered him double the salary than Gmoser was capable of paying him.
“He was a great, talented man and I was lucky to have him,” Gmoser said. “The private sector firm saw that, and how could he resist doubling his income?”
Miami University economics professor William Even said he agrees with Gmoser.
Even said if an employer is paying wages below the prevailing wage among competitive firms, then they are bound to lose employees.
“If everyone is paid $10 and you are paying $8, then expect to lose some men and not be able to attract more,” Even said.
However, Even pointed out that there is currently a debate centered around the notion that public sector employees are overpaid to begin with.
“It’s not untrue that they might need it,” Even said. “They just need a lot of evidence to back up their claims. Simply saying their wages are pathetic is subjective and will not get requests met.”
Even said the key to determining an appropriate wage level was to see if a company is losing a significant number of workers, having difficulty hiring new employees and how their wages compare to similar companies.
With that in mind, Gmoser said he researched wages of similar positions with similar job description and county equivalence, and determined that his attorneys and staff are underpaid. According to Gmoser, large private firms in New York City pay starting employees anywhere from $90,000 to $110,000 while firms in the Cincinnati offer starting wages of about $65,000-$85,000. However, Gmoser said his attorneys start with salaries as low as $41,900.
Gmoser explained that to keep his “A Team” of attorneys he has to pay them what they deserve.
“It is about fairness to treat employees equally,” Gmoser said.
As county commissioners still debate wages, Gmoser said he would not make a prediction about the outcome.
“I am hopeful that [county commissioners] can recognize what is fair,” Gmoser said. “I leave it in their hands to exercise the wisdom the voters recognized in them.”
Around 11:00 a.m. Monday, OPD was called to 13 W. High St., Hole in the Wall Bar, regarding an alleged break-in.
The bar manager claimed that between 1 and 11 a.m. that morning, an unknown person or persons had entered the bar, taking with them two 40-inch flat-screen televisions.
According to OPD, the manager said there was no sign of forced entry, but the surveillance system’s wire powering had been cut.
Later that afternoon, an officer was called back to the bar to speak with the bartender. The bartender claimed Sunday night, before he closed the bar, he left out an unopened bottle of Smirnoff vodka. He wished to report, along with the missing TVs, it was discovered the bottle had been opened and partially consumed.
Additionally, the bar reported upon closer inspection the suspects had cut the wrong wire and were in fact captured on video. Officers returned a third time to review the footage of the suspects, which showed two white males entering the bar between 4:30 and 5 a.m., according to OPD.
The suspects were not recognized by any party. The incident is under investigation, and the bottle of vodka as well as a plastic cup have been collected for evidence.
At 2 a.m. Thursday, an OPD officer was in the 100 block of East Church Street when he said he observed a male standing on a porch, cupping his groin, with knees slightly bent. The male appeared to be urinating, OPD said.
As the male tucked, zipped and turned away from the porch, the officer could see the man’s handiwork in the form of a large wet spot on the concrete porch. The officer then approached the male, who had met a presumed friend and asked him why he had just urinated on someone’s house.
The male said he had done no such thing, and the officer directed the male’s attention to the fresh wet spot from whence he came. The male then said he was sorry, and he that he didn’t want any trouble, OPD said.
When asked how he would feel if someone urinated on his house, the male responded, “I wouldn’t care.”
The officer then asked the suspect how much he had to drink, and he responded, “not all that much.” When asked for his ID, the male, who OPD said smelled of alcohol, wearing two overage bar wristbands and had bloodshot eyes, handed a Virginia driver’s license
. When asked if the ID were real, the male responded it was his sister’s boyfriend’s license, OPD said. When asked his age, the suspect responded ’19.’
As he gave his age, the officer noticed the information on the IDmatched that on the license. Further, the license the man had given the officer was actually his own, underage ID.
The suspect was then placed under arrest. After arrested, another, actually fake, ID was found. He was cited for disorderly conduct and sales to and use by underage persons.