R'dam pols spar over secretary's pay

Departure of employee means shorter supervisor office hours

Rotterdam Supervisor Frank Del Gallo's office hours will be getting shorter when his confidential secretary officially leaves on Friday, May 27, following a pay cut that was approved earlier this month.

The debate over Darlene Mullally's salary got heated at times following the Town Board's 2-to-2 vote on Wednesday, May 11, to appoint her at an annual salary of about $35,000, effective May 31. Mullally had an annual salary of $42,000 and full employee benefits the previous year, but some board members pushed to have her salary cut and benefits stripped away. In 2010, she also had a $10,000 assistant to the attorney stipend, bringing her salary to $52,000. In the current year's budget, her full-time salary was reduced to nearly $35,500, with her benefits taken away.

At first, some board members thought Del Gallo planned to close the entire Supervisor's Office, but he said he only wants to close his personal office. The board appeared to agree on the closure, with Del Gallo able to find a replace at the bi-weekly salary of $1,330.78. Del Gallo didn't appear to have anyone else in mind for the position as of Monday, May 23.

Who is going to do the agenda and all that? Del Gallo asked the board. "Is there a problem paying a secretary here?"

Del Gallo said the vacancy will hamper town business, but Councilwoman Nicole DiLeva said employees could be taken from other departments to help out Del Gallo when needed. The staff at Town Hall, according to Del Gallo, is already overworked. As of Friday, Del Gallo's personal room in his office will be closed when he is not present.

"She can't make a living on what you pay her," said Del Gallo. "You cut her down $17,000. She cannot live on that. She gets more money out of her pension then she does coming to work. Why would you go to work for less money than you are making on pension?"

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