The town of Oysterbay has 151 people since March, surpassing the salary increases already included in this year’s amended union contract, despite state public congress law that generally requires information to be disclosed before voting. Employees were quietly given a $ 665,420 salary increase.
The town board approved the salary increase as a personnel resolution and said it would amend the salary and title, but those details are in the attachment and are included in the information generally available on the town’s website for the voted items. It wasn’t. From the 2017 budget, the town has stopped including titles and salaries in the budget adopted.
Part of the salary increase was announced by blogger Kevin McKenna. He obtained a copy of the attachment of one resolution at the request of the Information Disclosure Act, but included the title rather than the name.
Salary increases were given to department heads, lawmakers, and union workers.
Town spokesman Brian Nevin said in an email, “These employees were ordered to go home for several months in a pandemic, so 24 hours a day to keep the government running. It worked. “
The biggest increase was in salaries of Stephen Manzino, “Group Worker I” in the town’s community and youth services sector, with salaries rising from $ 64,585 to $ 81,005, up $ 16,420. The town did not provide an explanation of what his work involved. Sixteen employees received a salary increase of $ 9,000 to $ 10,000.
Under the union contract revised last year, all salaries will be raised this year, adding a 1.5% increase on January 1st, in addition to the 1.9% increase on July 1st. Almost two-thirds of the increase approved in 2020 — 110 — went to the employee after receiving two salary increases.
Planning and Development Commissioner Elizabeth McCalone received a $ 9,021 salary increase this year, bringing her salary to $ 160,000, but last year’s salary was $ 146,049, according to a salary record provided by the town on Newsday.
Town supervisor Joseph Saladino’s salary is set at $ 140,000 a year under the Town Code, but since taking office in 2017, the number of commissioners, directors, and agents has increased to exceed that benchmark. I am.
Deputy Mayor Gregory Carman Jr. received a $ 6,500 salary increase this year. This is the latest in a series of wage increases, with salaries increasing by $ 48,527 to $ 183,277 in less than four years. Since he was appointed in 2017, salary increases have represented a 36 percent increase.
Richard Lenz, Commissioner of the Public Works and Highways sector, received a $ 6,500 salary increase and salary of $ 175,361, an increase of $ 57,761 from 2017.
Maccarone’s salary has increased by $ 35,827 since 2017.
Arthur Adelman, 69, a resident of Seacliffe, asked the town’s board of directors at a meeting on October 6 about why the town raised salaries during the pandemic.
“It’s all in the midst of a pandemic where people are losing jobs due to unemployment throughout the region and we’re making changes that increase costs,” Adelman said.
He also asked why the public could not see people’s names due to the raising of the personnel resolution.
“Can we publish it before voting in the future?” Adelman said.
Town lawyer Frank Scallera told Adelman no.
“There are confidentiality and privacy aspects to revealing people’s names before they are voted,” town lawyer Frank Scallera said at the meeting.
In an interview, Christine O’Neill, assistant director of the New York State Open Government Commission, said the information was released under the state’s open government law. State law provides the resolution under discussion to the public to the extent “feasible” before or during the meeting on request, and requires that the government post it online if it has a high-speed internet connection. I will.
“There is no confidentiality obligation associated with the salary of civil servants,” O’Neill said. “As a member of the general public, you should be able to see what the board members are seeing.”
O’Neill said resolutions to be voted, including attachments, should be available on the town’s website prior to the meeting and salary increases should be included in the minutes of the meeting.
Scalera said in a statement Monday that it was not “feasible” to make a personnel resolution publicly available before voting, as it could be amended.
In 2017, Judge Jeffrey Brown of the New York Supreme Court ordered Oyster Baytown Board to be trained in open meeting law after determining that it was in breach of law. Oysterbay rejected Newsday’s request under the Public Meeting Law to obtain a copy of the personnel resolution before or during the October 6 meeting, which the board resolved to approve.