Mahoning CSB grants raises, but may have violated Sunshine law

From The Vindicator The Mahoning County Children Services Board voted to grant 2 percent pay increases to 20 of its non-union employees, mostly supervisors, effective Feb. 1.

It may revisit this issue, however, due to an executive session notice on its special meeting agenda that did not accurately describe the matter to be discussed behind closed doors.

Today’s vote followed an executive session that Randall Muth, executive director of the child welfare agency, said was limited to discussion of pay raises for non-union agency employees.

Muth said he plans to consult with the county prosecutor’s office on this matter and that the board could reconsider the raises at a future meeting. The board’s next meeting is scheduled for Feb. 14.

The agenda said the executive session would be “to prepare for, conduct or review negotiations or bargaining sessions with public employees concerning their compensation or other terms and conditions of their employment.”

That language referred to labor negotiations with unionized employees, and the raises were to go to non-union employees.

Under Ohio’s Open Meetings Act, both open and closed sessions of special meetings are to be limited to items stated on the agenda, according to a manual prepared by Ohio Atty. Gen. Mike DeWine’s office.