The Greenport Village Board held off on voting to increase the salaries of the mayor and four trustees Thursday night, although the majority of board members said they support a raise for the mayor, but not for themselves.
Mayor George Hubbard Jr. had briefly mentioned at a Village Board work session a week earlier that he would propose salary increases for the board members in the 2017-18 budget, which must be approved in April, although he didn’t cite specific numbers.
At Thursday’s board meeting, the mayor proposed a resolution to increase the annual salary of the mayor from $18,000 to $24,000, and to increase the trustee salary from $11,600 to $13,000.
Mr. Hubbard said in 2006, the mayor’s salary was $18,650 and the mayor at that time reduced it to $18,000.
“It has not changed since then,” Mr. Hubbard said.
He said he just finished documenting his hours for the state, and for the months of June, July and August, he was averaging just over 30 hours per week.
“That works out to $10.20 per hour,” he said.
Trustee Doug Roberts asked that vote be postponed, or “tabled,” to a future meeting so the board could discuss it further.
“I don’t think we’re ready for this,” he said. “I would like to see us just table this and talk about it next month.”
He said the board hasn’t discussed the issue at a work session other than for the mayor’s brief mention of it a week earlier.
“I think it needs more thought and research,” he said.
Village Attorney Joe Prokop said there is a legal notice required for the public hearing on the village budget, and that notice, which would be due in late March, requires that the salaries of the elected officials be posted.
Trustee Mary Bess Phillips said the village employees have a contract that will run out in 2017.
“I feel that our employees are an important asset and before I’d ever think about giving ourselves any kind of raise, we need to take care of our employees.”
Mr. Roberts had proposed a vote on tabling the resolution to next month, but Ms. Phillips opposed that, saying, “Call the vote and let’s see if it goes up or goes down. One or the other.”
Trustee Julia Robins opposed the tabling resolution, but said she would rather just have a new resolution that gives a raise to the mayor, and no raise to the trustees.
Trustee Jack Martilotta supported the tabling resolution to discuss the issue further, but he said he supports the mayor’s increase.
“I know how much time this job takes up,” he said. He said he’d be happy to give up the trustee raise and use some of that money to increase the mayor’s salary.
The board ultimately voted 3-2 in favor of the tabling the resolution, with Trustees Phillips and Robins opposed.
Photo caption: The Greenport Village Board. (Credit: Tim Gannon, file)