Monday, June 9, 2014


UPDATE:  2:00 PM

The Stark County Political Report began a new series focusing on gender (equal pay for equal work) seven weeks ago with Volume 1 with an examination of "the commissioners office," "the Stark County treasury" and "the recorder's office."

Six weeks ago  in Volume 2 the perusal was of the county auditor's and prosecutor's office.

Five weeks ago (Volume 3 in this ongoing series) the look was at the clerk of courts office and the Stark County sheriff department.

Four weeks ago  (Volume 4) the SCPR examined the Stark County Engineer's office and the Stark County coroner's office.

So far The Report has been less than impressed (in an overall sense) of how Stark County's elected officials are doing on the matter of gender equity. 

And that experience squares up with the state and federal governments.

A primary document to be familiar with for anyone who cares whether or not American women are treated equally in the job market is in the Equal Pay Act of 1963.  However, the fight for fairness for more than half the American population continues inasmuch as the fact of the matter is that the 1963 act has not resulted in pay equity for women.

Of course, the law is one thing.

The underlying facts of the rampant discrimination and hardship that American women from the early 1600s on have had to endure and thereby necessitating the 1963 law is something that we all should familiarize ourselves with.

The SCPR recently completed reading Gail Collins' America's Women and recommends that readers of this blog series take time to read.

Anyone who thinks that our great nation has overcome this blight, needs to think again.

In 2009, population demographics showed that women outnumbered men 158.6 million to 151.4 million.  And there is no reason that the tilt to a distinct majority women is not growing.

One danger in citing national statistics is that you, I and our neighbors might think that here in "good ole Stark County" there is very little if any gender employment discrimination going on.

Already, the SCPR believes that this blog's series is showing that the fact of the matter is that there are pockets of real and substantial differences in how men are paid depending on what department of Stark County government one is looking at.

Of course, the only place that information is readily available to assess is in government.  There is no right to obtain data from the "private sector" as to what the pay scales are between males/females as there is in the public sector. Accordingly, we have no choice but to rely on national statistical studies to get a feel for what is going on locally among privately owned entities.  And there is no reason to believe that the Stark County private sector varies significantly from the national scene.

As far as Stark County is concerned the blog of three (3) weeks ago (i.e. the Court of Common Pleas, Family Court and the Public Defender's departments of Stark County government) showed complete turnaround from Volumes 1, 2, 3 and 4 in terms of women getting equal treatment in terms of pay and position.

But the blog of two (2) weeks ago (9-1-1 EMA, the Stark County Board of Elections and the Veterans Service Commissioner) showed a reversion to a indication that women are not by and large seeming to get equal pay/opportunity in county employment.

The trend line continues with this week's blog that deals with:
  • Regional Planning,
  • Sanitary Engineering, and
  • Stark Parks

Does this chart (blue contrasted to pink) show any apparent gender bias in terms of pay and opportunity equality?

The Stark County Political Report thinks so.

Notice how many Stark County departments have males as department heads as compared to women?

And the Regional planning department falls right into line with the predominant trend.

 (LINK to list of "all" members of RPC)

Robert Nau (former Louisville city manager) does have an "adjusted 'for PERS?' service date" going back to 1988 but he actually became director on March 8, 2004.   Note that Elizabeth "Beth" Pearson goes all the way back to January 18, 1978 in terms of hiring into Regional Planning.

But Nau makes $22,000 plus more than Pearson.

Also, look and compare the service dates of Brenda Sarsany and Lynn Carlone.

They pre-date Underwood and Dutton and yet Underwood and Dutton are paid
  • Underwood [service date 1995] compared to Carlone [1987] - $36,000, and
  • Dutton [service date 1996] compared to Sarsany [1991] - nearly $27,000
substantially more.

As to the matter of having an opportunity for promotion when Nau's predecessor Gerald Bixler retired (2004), why wasn't Carlone or Pearson in line to get the top job?

The SCPR spends a lot of time covering the Stark County commissioners' weekly meetings and frequent visitors who bring with them their expertise on regional planning matters are Ms. Pearson and Ms. Carlone.

Nau does show up on occasion, but The Report gets the impression that the likes of Pearson and Carlone are the heart and soul of the Stark County Regional Planning operation.


All one can say is that "engineering" - apparently, of any variety, is far and away "a man's world."

And the payroll of the Stark County Sanitary Engineering office presents nothing whatsoever to dispel that notion as being in full force in Stark County.


The Stark Parks continues the "top heavy - male" employment pattern (in terms of pay and promotional opportunity) that is so prevalent in Stark County government - taxpayer supported; both males and female tax payers, of course!

An non-gender factor to look at moreover is the double entry that the SCPR includes on Robert Fonte.

Pay attention to the adjusted service dates.

Fonte's latest is March 1, 2013 as compared to a prior payroll report which shows December 16, 1982.

What does this mean?

Fonte is a "retire-rehire," so it appears.

And did Stark County taxpayers get a break on his retire-rehire salary.

Not according to the Stark County auditor's office data that the SCPR is using in doing this series of blogs.

Exactly the same before/after retire and rehire:  $103, 343.95.

What on the Stark Parks board is looking out for Stark County taxpayers?

Note that Barbara Wells and Daniel George are paid some $33,000 per year less than Fonte.


Is it a question of them being paid appropriately or Fonte being way over paid?

The SCPR opts for the latter over the former.

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