IN THE MONEY: The Mayor Gets Raise. Council Increases Commish Salaries 2%, as 2014-15 Budget Passes with no cuts. Callahan Declines Full 2%, Increase, Takes 1%

WPCNR COMMON COUNCIL CLARION-LEDGER. By John F. Bailey. May 19, 2014 UPDATED 9:20 A.M. E.D.T. UPDATED 11:50 A.M. E.D.T. UPDATED MAY 21, 2014. CORRECTION, May 21, 2014, 9 A.M. BOLD TYPE:

The Common Council passed the $176.1 Million proposed 2014-2015 budget Monday night, and increased salaries for Mayor Tom Roach,  City Commissioners, Deputy Commissioners, managerial and confidential employees by 2%. The increase was previously predicted on WHITE PLAINS WEEK, the city news roundup show weeks ago.

John Martin, White Plains Common Council President,  confirmed the across-the-board increases to WPCNR Monday evening, in a written statement, saying, the increases in administration salaries “match the increases under the 3 current labor agreements (fire, CSEA, Teamsters). Basically we are keeping these employees in sync.”

The White Plains Police contract dispute awaits a binding arbitration recommendation.

The Common Councilmember salaries, according to Mr. Martin remain the same, at $38,971 for the Common Council President (Martin), and $36,471 for Common Council members.

Mayor Tom Roach will now earn  $148,800, an increase of $2,919, an increase of 2%.

“I felt we needed to amend the Mayor’s salary as it has not changed in 8 years and it does not make sense to pay the Mayor that much less than commissioners,” Martin told WPCNR Monday night. He pointed out that all the raises  authorized Monday night were “budgeted,” in the $176.1 Million spending program for 2014-15 approved Monday evening.

The highest paid city official, though will not be the Mayor.

Mr. Martin Tuesday morning contacted WPCNR to advise the present Corporation Counsel  John Callahan, though eligible for a $3,954 increase has declined to accept the new salary level he is eligible to receive under the increased salary structures (computed by WPCNR unofficially below)  adopted last night. Martin wrote in a statement this morning–

” I read your story this morning, and have a correction for you. John Callahan (Corporation Counsel) did not accept the 2% offered to him. His salary did not break the $200,000.00 figure.”

Upon examination of the approved salary schedule by WPCNR, Mr. Callahan will be getting a 1% raise instead of the 2% beginning July 1, 2014

His new salary as Corporation Counsel in Sec. 2-5-76 Appendix 1 Elected and Appointed Officials is reported as $199,653, $327 shy of $200,000.

The decline of the salary increase means he  will not  break the $200,000 salary watermark that would have made him the the first city official to break the $200,000 barrier.

Had Mr. Callahan chosen to accept the 2% across-the-board increase applied to the Corporation Counsel salary, he would have received a raise of $3,954, instead of the $1,977 (1% raise) he will be increased. It should be pointed out Callahan functions as Corporation Counsel and Mayor’s Chief of Staff.

The rest of the city legal brain trust does well.. The Chief Deputy Corporation Counsel receives a $3,288 raise to $167,671. The Deputy Corporation Counsel gets a $3,142 bump to $160,242.

The Assessor will earn $134,774, an increase of $2,643

The Commissioner of Building, $150,161, an increase of $2,944

Deputy Commissioner of Building,$133,712, a raise of $2,622

The City Clerk gets a $2,102 raise to $107,182

The Commissioner of Finance moves up to $179,181 from $176,060–a raise in salary of $3,121. He will also be paid an additional $20,000 for double duty as Chief Fiscal Officer according to the same ordinance, Sec. 2-5-76 (D) (1) (d). The Commissioner of Finance beginning July 1, 2014 will be paid $179,181 (including the additional compensation that was not increased). The $20,000 stipend was not increased. The percentage in increase in pay including the stipend is 1.77% (previously, WPCNR had placed the decimal point in the wrong position.)

The salary for the Commissioner of Finance effective July 1, 2014 is correctly listed on the ordinance adopted for Sec. 2-5-76 (A)(1) as $159,181. In addition to that salary the Commissioner of Finance also receives additional compensation as Chief Fiscal Officer, per that same ordinance for Sec. 2-5-76 (D)(1)(d), in the amount of $20,000 for serving as Budget Director.
So the total compensation effective July 1, 2014 is $179,181, with $20,000 of that amount representing a stipend to which no increase has been applied and which may be terminated at any time by the Common Council.

His Deputy Commissioner of Finance will receive $137,427–UP $2,695

The Director of Information Services (supervising the city website) receives a $2,705 raise to $137,957.

The Library Director moves from $146,696 to $149,630, an increase of $2,934.

The Personnel Officer moves on up to $158,120– up from $155,020, a $3,100 increase. Her Deputy Personnel Officer goes to $96,900, receiving a $1,900 increase

The Physician moves up $1,030 to $52,030.

The Parking Commissioner receives a $3,059 raise to $155,998, and his deputy Commissioners of Parking 1 & 2, receive $130,050  (up $2,550) and $136,896 (increase of $2,684).

The Commissioner of Planning moves up from $147,217 to over the $150,000 plateau to $150,161 (up $2,944). Her Deputy Commissioner of Planning is upgraded $2,497 to $127,345.

The Commissioner of Public Safety ascends to $187,294 a year, an increase of $3,672.

The Commissioner of Public Works receives a $3,537 salary increase, breaking through the $180,000 milestone for the first time. The Commissioner will be paid $180,405 in 2014-15.

His Deputy Commissioners of Public Works, 1 & 2 will  receive $146,447($2,870 raise) and $133,131 ($2,611 increase), respectively.

The Purchasing Commissioner is increased $2,310 to $117,794

Commissioner of Recreation and Parks moves up in salary to $145,900, a $2,861 raise and his Deputy Commissioner is granted a $2,464 increase to $125,653.

The Director of the Youth Bureau receives a $2,559 raise to $130.528.

Ten of the Commissioners and Deputy Commissioners will earn more money than the Mayor of the city when the fiscal year begins July 1.

The total cost of the raises approved last night for commissioners, and management: $78,113, an average of  $2,789 per Commissioner, Deputy Commissioner, and the other posts.

The City budget for 2014-15 goes up 4 Million to $176.1 Million, a 2.3% increase over 2013-14, and raises property taxes 2.3% and the tax rate to $1,000 of assessed valuation to $196.14. It is the thirteenth straight year the Common Council has raised the city budget.

Martin, in his reporting Callahan’s decline of  the approved Corporation Counsel 2% increase, included this comment on the city budget,  echoing his commentary made in the televised Common Council Special Meeting Monday night:

I am disappointed that your story did not highlight the work that all of our city staff does to keep delivering the same level of services to our citizens despite being at the lowest employee count in many, many years.
I’m also disappointed that you did not mention that our budget does not borrow for pension costs unlike the state, county and over 130 other municipalities in NY that borrowed a record amount this year.
Last, I also wish you mentioned that we are not borrowing to pay tax refunds like so many others.
I am proud of this budget including the 2% raises we gave to virtually all city employees next fiscal year. They deserve it as does any hard working man or woman out there.
The comments of the members of the Common Council on the passage of the budget may be viewed at
http://whiteplainsny.swagit.com/play/05192014-1296

Tuesday, the city voted to approve the 2014-15 White Plains School Budget of $199.9 Million, enacting a $17 increase in the tax rate to $600 per $1,000 of assessed valuation, that will increase the taxes on a $650,000 home approximately $300

 

 

 

 

 

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