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Public questions proposed pay raise

In the town board's first meeting of the year, members of the public voiced surprise and concern over a proposed board member raise that would bump member salaries by $5,000 each from $10,000 to $15,000.

New members, Republican Michael Della Villa and Democrat John Silva, were sworn into office less than two hours before members of the public began to discuss whether or not the men should receive a 50 percent pay raise.

Elaine Zimmer, of Putnam Road, said she was not opposed to an increase in board salaries, but that a $5,000 increase was unreasonable.

It's an awfully large jump, said Zimmer.

Fellow Rotterdam resident, Kevin March echoed some of Zimmer's sentiments and also pointed out that the discussion of a wage increase didn't occur until after elections took place in November.

"All the members in front of me were elected at a time when members made $10,000," said March. "While I realize the board has done many things to make the town of Rotterdam a nicer place to live, a 50 percent jump in salary is just not something I would be used to. My salary will likely go up 3 percent this year, not 50 percent."

March also voiced his concern that if board member salaries were set at $15,000 they would be too close to the supervisor's annual salary of $16,000.

"Will we be looking at a raise for the supervisor sometime in the future?" March asked the board.

While several board members suggested that the supervisor's salary should be increased, Supervisor Steven Tommasone opposed the adjustment. The supervisor's salary would not change under the proposed local law.

Only one resident spoke in favor of the raises " recently retired board member Diane Marco who left this year after eight years of service to the town.

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