Weekly Feature

2017-10-12 / Front Page

Supervisor, councilmen discuss salary increases

by CHRIS GRAHAM
Editor

After keeping increases in salaries for employees at a consistent rate during the past several years, the 2018 tentative town budget calls for an increase in salary amongst all departments and for the two councilmen and supervisor.

Supervisor Patrick Keem said each department manager received a raise of 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 percent in the budget. Councilman Michael Sherry said all non-union employees and union employees who are under a current contract received raises. The town has outstanding contracts with police and blue collar unions.

The supervisor sees a salary increase to $79,735 from $70,761 a year.

“For the supervisor’s salary, there’s been no increase since 2006,” Keem said. “At that time it was put at $70,761. What we did was a minimum 1 percent increase a year compounded all the way to 2018 and made that the new supervisor’s salary.”

Keem said if the town set the increase through the Consumer Price Index, the salary would have been $85,238.

The supervisor will still receive a $6,000 stipend for being the budget officer. He added that he has not taken a car allowance or a stipend for the special districts, as other supervisors have.

Both councilmen see an increase in salary to $21,167 from $19,588 .

“It’s not about the individual, but about the quality of their work,” Sherry said.

Sherry added that the change in salary for the elected officials did not apply to who was in the position, but rather about what the salary should be for the position in regard to its value and the work completed.

Councilman Eugene Majchrzak said the town’s raise for the council seats should be compared with other communities.

“I think in the eight years I’ve been a councilman, we’ve had three raises,” Majchrzak said. “It was time, and we’re doing what we do with two councilmen, as opposed to four.”

For those examining the budget, Keem said the town combined some department managers’ salaries with their stipend or stipends.

“It makes it look like they got this huge increase in wages, but they didn’t,” Keem said.

Some department managers this applied to included engineering, recreation, the assessor and the town attorney.

“Mike and I never liked it [stipends being separate] from the beginning,” Keem said. “We wanted it combined years ago, but then we got audited by the state this year and one of their recommendations was that the town may want to combine those.”

Keem said his stipend and some for Town Clerk Remy Orffeo are still separate because they have to be specified by New York state.

Sherry said most of the increases dealt with a fair exchange and fair market value to determine a just wage for all involved with the town.

All salaries for department managers, councilmen and the supervisor can be viewed in the tentative budget on www.orchard parkny.org.

email: cgraham@beenews.com

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