HRS_Purcell_City raises

HRS_Purcell_City raises

MWC
Submitted by Amanda Purcell Columbia-Greene Media on Tue, 09/11/2018 - 11:06 pm

City to vote on doling our $25,000 in raises

HUDSON — The Common Council is set to vote on allocating more than $25,000 to increase the salaries of three city employees.

If the raises are approved, they will be retroactive to Jan. 1, 2018.

Mayor Tiffany Martin Hamilton set aside $50,000 in the 2018 budget for salary increases for three city employees, but the funds were not allocated when they were supposed to take effect at the beginning of 2018.

“The money was there but it wasn’t allocated to these three positions,” Common Council President Thomas DePietro said Monday at an informal Common Council meeting. “The mayor and I thought because it was already designated in last year’s budget, it was a fair and just increase.”

The resolution calls to increase the salaries of the following positions to be paid retroactively from Jan. 1, 2018, according to a resolution that was introduced by the Common Council.

n City Treasurer Heather Campbell’s salary would increase by $14,854 to $75,000.

n City Clerk Tracy Delaney’s salary would increase by $4,156.36 to $75,000.

n City Code Enforcement Officer Craig Haigh’s salary would increase by $6,784 to $55,000.

Mayor Rick Rector said at the meeting he did not know why the raises did not go into effect.

The Board of Estimates and Appropriations and the city’s department heads were on the compensation committee that determined the raises in 2017, DePietro said.

Second Ward Alderwoman Tiffany Garriga requested an explanation of the salary increases, saying it sounded like a lot of money.

The salary increases were determined based on a number of factors, DePietro said.

The city clerk took over the city parking bureau’s administrative functions. Haigh has new responsibilities, including fire inspections. He will also enforce the city’s vacancy law once it is passed, DePietro said. The city treasurer has not received a salary increase for several years, Rector said.

“I think all three [raises] are merited,” Rector said. “The city has changed a lot. So it should have been done last year. It is time to be as fair as we possibly can to everyone that deserves it without breaking the bank.”

The city will next look at raises for hourly employees within the year, Rector said.

Past Common Council President Don Moore agreed with Rector.

“I would point out that one of my most important factors about city government is experience,” Moore said. “And you have good people as you do with all three of these people and it is imperative that they be retained and paid a wage that is commensurate with their experience and ability within this particular region. And I think all three of these salaries are well within that.”

Not all of the money set aside for the purpose of raises was used. Approximately $24,000 in unused funds will return to the city’s general fund, DePietro said.

It’s possible the remainder could be used to fund a housing coordinator, DePietro said, answering a question from the audience.

“It’s [the housing coordinator] definitely on the table and it is definitely something we are trying to figure out how to fund,” DePietro said.

The council will vote on the resolution approving the funds for the raises at its formal meeting 7 p.m. Sept 18 at the Hudson Area Library, 51 N. Fifth St.