Mamaroneck Town Approves 4-Year Police Contract

by Harriet Kline

(August 9, 2007) At a lengthy August 8 meeting, the Town Board approved an agreement with the Mamaroneck Town Police Benevolent Association for a new four-year contract. The agreement was reached after seven months of negotiations between a Town negotiating committee and the PBA. Mamaroneck currently employs 39 members of the union.

In presenting the agreement to the board on Wednesday night, Town Administrator Steve Altieri cited five substantive issues which emerged during the negotiations: employee health insurance premium contributions; medical and hospitalization insurance coverage in retirement; professional development; wage and longevity increases; and rank officer differentials.

Wage Increases

The percentage salary increases negotiated for the next four years are: 3.75% for the year 2007; 3.85% for 2008; 4.1% for 2009 and 4.1 % for 2010.

Health Care

Police officers hired after 2000 will contribute more towards their health insurance premiums. With fifteen new officers hired since 2000, their higher contribution will yield an overall health insurance premium savings of $17,480 over the life of the contract.

The PBA also agreed that police officers must work a minimum of fourteen years to be eligible for Town paid medical and hospitalization insurance coverage in retirement. The Town agreed to pay 100% of the cost of medical and hospitalization insurance coverage to the spouse, domestic partner, and/or eligible dependents of an officer who dies in the line of duty.

Longevity Payments

Agreement on longevity payments will mean a reduction for officers having served 7-10 years and increases for those having served 11-14 years and more than 15.

Professional Development

According to Mr. Altieri, the Town will also realize long term savings in the area of professional development. Police officers remain eligible for reimbursement for six college level courses, however, only the first three courses will be paid at the rate charged by the college attended. The tuition for the next three courses will only be reimbursed at the prevailing rate charged at the State University of New York (SUNY) Albany, Department of Criminal Justice.

Other Board Business

Trees: Residents Madeleine and David Arnow appealed to the board to reverse the Town Tree Committee’s rejection of their petition to cut down two large white pine trees on their property. The Arnows cited safety concerns for themselves as well as their neighbors on Griffin Avenue. Although a board decision was not forthcoming, the lengthy discussion resulted in the Arnows agreement to present a “replanting plan” to the board on September 5.

Legal Services: The board approved a retainer agreement with Kevin Ryan to provide legal services to the Town Planning Board and Zoning Board of Appeals for the period August 1, 2007 through July 31, 2008.

Assessor: Susan Thomas was reappointed Town Assessor for the period October 1, 2007 through September 30, 2013. Town Administrator Steve Altieri urged her reappointment based on her extensive service to the Town since April 1985. She became Town Assessor in 1998 upon the retirement of Ross Valenzia.

Litigation: Town Attorney William Maker urged the board to approve a settlement of litigation between the Town and a terminated former police officer who had wrongly received disability benefits. The board voted unanimously to approve the settlement which requires that the former officer repay the Town $50,000 dollars in six installments.

Fire Department 100th Birthday: Councilwoman Phyllis Wittner reminded residents that the Town Fire Department will celebrate its 100 th anniversary on Saturday September 8 from 11am to 5 pm with a “street party” at the Weaver Street fire house. Many activities and refreshments are planned.

Upcoming Public Hearings

● Tuesday August 28, 2007 at 2:15 pm to consider borrowing money for the special water district.

● Wednesday September 5 at 8:15 pm to consider (1) an amendment to the tree law and (2) a change to the chipping law.

Wednesday October 3 at 8:15 pm to hear the annual Public Housing plan for the Town as required by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development.