SHEFFIELD VILLAGE - Sheffield Village councilmen Kevin Watkinson and Bob Marcovich turned in petitions by the Aug.7 filing deadline to ensure their names appear on the Nov. 5 general election ballot.

However, Marcovich filed two years early to take advantage of council pay raises that kick in Jan. 1. Marcovich, who was first elected to council in 2011, has two years remaining on his current term. But he abandoned that term and filed to run for the council position being vacated by Carolyn White, who is running for mayor. That term begins Jan. 1.

Neither Marcovich, 56, nor Watkinson, 63, face opposition and each will be elected to another four-year term.

Marcovich and Watkinson’s pay will nearly double when their new terms begin in January, jumping from $4,800 to $8,077, based on legislation council adopted this year. This was done to ensure they receive a full-year, instead of half-year, retirement credit with the Ohio Public Employees Retirement System.

Council members Matthew Bliss and Joe Koster, whose terms do not expire for two more years, will continue to be paid $4,800 and earn a half-year retirement credit for every year served.

By running now and being elected because he has no opposition, Marcovich will be eligible for the salary bump and the larger retirement credit.

Watkinson, whose term expires at the end of this year, was first elected in 2000.

Because no one else filed to run before the Aug. 7 deadline, both are guaranteed their slots as long as their petitions are certified by the Lorain County Board of Elections.

When council holds its first meeting in January, it will need to appoint someone to serve the two remaining years in Marcovich’s current term.

Michele Murphy is a freelance reporter in Avon Lake. Email questions to editor@westlifenews.com.

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