West Lafayette wants to stay in the economic game

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) — West Lafayette is looking to get competitive as the economy takes an upswing.

Mayor John Dennis said he wants to make sure wages for open spots in government offices are competitive with the private sector, so the city can attract high-performing employees.

An engineering assistant job and an assistant street commissioner spot are open after Ben Anderson left for another job. The Board of Works approved to increase the engineering assistant job’s salary by $4,000 a year.

Dennis said this competitiveness is natural in an economic cycle.

“When the economy suffers a downturn, it’s a little easier to recruit high-quality employees because the private sector generally isn’t hiring,” Dennis explained. “Then when the economy returns back to a high standard, then it’s a little bit more competitive for us to do so.”

Anderson planned to take Street Commissioner Dave Downey’s position after his retirement this month. However, Downey has agreed to postpone retirement another month to give the city more time to fill the positions.

West Lafayette starts the city’s budget process Tuesday.

Dennis said he will evaluate what the city can afford to give people raises who are currently filling positions.

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