POUGHKEEPSIE – Elected officials in Dutchess County have not had pay raises for 15 years. That will change after the next election cycle.
The county legislature approved a new salary schedule, by a single vote, Monday night.
The measure had bipartisan sponsorship; Republicans Don Sagliano and John Metzger and Democrat Barbara Jeter-Jackson.
Most, but not all Democrats, opposed the new salaries, as did some Republicans, including Will Truitt, who said his problem was with increasing legislature salaries, not with the fulltime positions including county executive, comptroller and sheriff.
“These are their fulltime positions and they have not seen any increase whatsoever since 2003. So, I can support that, but I can’t support one for us,” Truitt said. “We’re a part-time position. I know many of us in this room give it our all but I’m just not going to support a pay raise for this position.”
Another Republican, James Miccio, disagreed.
“There needs to be some incentive to get good people to run and to get good people to spend their time,” Miccio said.
Democrat Minority Leader Hannah Black called it a matter of conscience.
“I cannot justify a three percent increase per year for each position, not even those that are full-time, when our current full-time elected positions make well over the median income of $75,000 for one job,” Black said.
Another Democrat, Rebecca Edwards, noted that when Marcus Molinaro assumed the post of county executive in 2013, the payroll for the entire office was $467,000 a year. It has now more than doubled, to $971,000.
With the salary schedule approved on a 13-12 vote, beginning in 2020, county executive will be paid $144,065, and $148,387 in 2021. Salaries for the part-time legislators would go to $16,391 next year.