Super calls for citizen panel

Rotterdam's town board was slated to consider a resolution that would create a special committee designed to survey and study appropriate salary ranges and terms for all elected and appointed town officials at the Wednesday, Jan. 23, meeting.

Supervisor Steven Tommasone said that if the resolution passes, the panel would consist of no more than five members and would serve the purpose of making recommendations to the town board as part of the 2008 budget process.

Tommasone mentioned two names of people being considered for the committee Diane Marco and Kevin March.

Marco, who retired from the board last month after eight years of service, was outspoken in her belief that members of the town board deserve a pay increase. She said members hadn't seen an increase in pay in 17 years.

Last year's board, which included Marco, voted 3-to-2 to propose a $5,000 salary increase for each of the four town board members. The vote proposed a local law subject to permissive referendum that would amend the 2008 budget to appropriate $20,000 for board member salaries. The raise would not have affected the supervisor's $16,000 annual salary, but would have bumped members' salaries from $10,000 to $15,000 annually.

At a meeting on Wednesday, Jan. 9, the new town board found itself in a 2-to-2 deadlock vote on the resolution that would have ultimately accounted for the raises and amended the 2008 budget.

March, a Rotterdam resident, was adamantly against the raises, speaking out at both the New Year's Day public hearing and at the Jan. 9 meeting.

March said he would probably be interested in joining the special committee because it would involve members of the public.

People in the community need to realize that they should take more action in what happens in the government both locally and nationally," said March. "People need to speak out at meetings instead of complaining about things after the fact."

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