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TOM Board Splits on Non-Union Raises

In a 3-2 vote at its October 7 meeting, the Mamaroneck Town Board approved 2.75% raises for its non-union managers and staff for 2009 retroactive to January 1. A split decision is a rare occurrence for the Mamaroneck Town Board, where votes are typically unanimous and discussions are invariably cordial.

The Raises: The 2009 salaries range from $149,748 for the Town administrator (who gets an additional $31K as superintendent of the Joint Sanitation Commission), to $51,000 for the administrator’s secretary, who got an additional raise to ensure her salary was commensurate with that of unionized staff.  The general foreman and garage foreman also earn overtime wages.  The Town will pay an additional 35% of salary for  benefits (Social Security, pension, health care, etc.).

The police chief will make $136,575 after a  4.1% increase; his raise is pegged by New York State law to the police contract. The director of community services and assistant director of recreation got no raises;  they received increases last year when their positions were modified.  See the chart below for other salaries.

In developing the 2009 budget last December, funds were included for the raises. But the final decision was deferred until all contracts were settled with the unions.

Compared to raises for the different bargaining units, the non-union raise of 2/75% falls somewhere in the middle. Police received a 4.1% raise for 2009 and 2010 based on a 4-year contract concluded in 2007. (See: Mamaroneck Town Approves 4-Year Police Contract. )

This April, firefighters got a 2.5% increase for 2009 and 2010 and a 2.75% raise for 2011.  Members of the Civil Service Employees Association (highway department and office workers) got a 2.5% raise for 2009 plus a one-time $1000 payment.

The Vote: Supervisor Valerie O’Keeffe said the 2.75% raise was “fine,” but took issue with the timing.  “We’ve had a practice of voting way late in the year on the non-union salaries and making them retroactive to January 1,” she said.  “I don’t think we should continue that practice.

Also voting for the raises was Councilwoman Nancy Seligson, who recognized the timing was “casting a pall over the situation.” Municipal workers should not be immune to the recession, she said, but they don’t benefit from private sector pay scales or rewards and so “depend on not sharing in the downturn.”

The third aye came from Councilwoman Phyllis Wittner, who said she saw no “reason to penalize this group – they are all very hard working people who are very important to making this government work.”

Councilman David Fishman agreed that the group was “totally deserving” but he was “concerned about the signal we’re sending” given the “very significant recession” impacting the community.  He was also looking forward to next year’s negotiations with the unions and wanting to telegraph that management was considering lower increases.

He voted no along with Councilman Ernie Odierna, who said he would have preferred a 10% reduction or no raise at all because he opposes “automatic increases the same for everyone” and because of “the reductions and cut backs our residents have to be making.”

Also at the Board: Section 8 & Grafitti

Requests for Housing Help Soar: Director of Community Services Anna Danoy presented both an annual report and a 5-year plan for the Section 8 Housing Program, which since a merger last year administers federal housing subsidies for all of Larchmont and Mamaroneck. The new plan clarifies some policies and modifies others, including restrictions on residents who abuse drugs or alcohol and requirements on reporting and repayment when there are changes in a resident’s rent or income.

Cutbacks in federal subsidies last year limited Mamaroneck’s ability to extend housing vouchers to any new applicants in 2009. The program provided vouchers for 647 households, including 325 from Larchmont or Mamaroneck. However, there are 1149 households on the waiting list, 71 local.

“Before last summer, we were getting 2 or 3 applications a month,”  Ms. Danoy told the Gazette after the meeting. That picked up to 5 or 6 a week, she reported.

“2010 is looking much better than 2009,” Ms. Danoy said.  She expects to have sufficient funding to cover all current clients and to take new ones from the waiting list. Local applicants will have priority.

Graffiti on the Weaver Street Bridge: Ms. O’Keeffe and Mr. Altieri reported good and bad news in their quest to replace the graffiti marred plastic panels on the Weaver Street Bridge over the train tracks and I-95. They’ve determined who is responsible: it’s not Metro North, which installed the panels, but the New York State Transportation Department (DOT), which can take “months and months or years and years,” to respond, said Ms. O’Keeffe. The Town is giving DOT one week, after which they will go to Plan B: requesting help from Albany.

2008 & 2009 Salaries for Town of Mamaroneck Non-Union Staff

Name Title 2008 Salaries 2009 Salaries
S. Altieri Town Admin + $145,740 $149,748
G. Edmond Sec Town Adm $47,500 $51,000
M. Liverzani Admin Ambul $81,350 $83,587
S. Thomas Assessor $95,755 $98,388
R. Carpaneto Dir. Bldg $93,215 $95,778
M. Orchanian Bldg. Supt $62,430 $64,147
A. Siligato Comptroller $130,000 $133,575
E. Paul Env. Coord $53,540 $55,012
A. Castarella Genl Foreman $67,555 $69,413
L. Martirano Supt Highways $93,000 $95,558
M. Pinto G’age Foreman $67,555 $69,413
M. Stanton Asst Town Ad $74,910 $76,970
R. Rivera Police Chief $130,040 $136,575
K. Simon PD Records $66,530 $68,360
J. Fisher Supt of Rec $99,875 $102,621
M. Gallagher Asst Supt Rec $75,160 $75,160
R. Lunde Ice Rink Mgr $62,790 $64,517
A. Danoy Dir Com Serv $91,000 $91,000
F. Antonelli Supv Secy $57,175 $58,747
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