City Hall shuts due to COVID-related staffing woes

File photo City Hall on Warren Street.

HUDSON — As the city of Hudson works through its 2022 budget, Mayor Kamal Johnson is poised to receive a $15,000 raise, officials said Monday.

Johnson, Common Council President Thomas DePietro and Treasurer Heather Campbell discussed the mayor’s salary at the Board of Estimate and Apportionment meeting Monday. DePietro said the city’s total budget is looking to be about $12 million.

The full budget will be presented to the Common Council for adoption Nov. 10.

DePietro said Monday’s meeting was in the “pleasant position” of being able to add funds. DePietro said the discussion about the raise was “awkward” with the mayor present, but said the position’s salary should match salaries other city employees.

“Heather (Campbell) gets $75,000 so it would be kind of appropriate for the mayor to,” DePietro said.

The mayor’s present salary is $60,000 a year and the position is a full-time job. DePietro said city elected positions don’t have a required number of hours to work.

“I think we were all happy to increase mayor’s salary (for) two reasons: One, he should clearly make as much as the treasurer because he puts in as much effort as the treasurer, and more importantly, the mayor has become a real symbol of everything that’s good about Hudson,” DePietro said. “He does a lot of media and that media really helps — it brings people to the city. They love that he’s an energetic young mayor. And he has a really great public presence outside of Hudson, and I think that is almost as good as any other kind of publicity that we get.”

Johnson said at Tuesday’s Hudson Development Corporation meeting that the budget — which he estimates is “90% finsihed” — looks “very promising.”

Johnson said previous mayors have said the position was underfunded, as the position earned less than the department heads it oversaw.

“I think it’s less about me and more about the position,” Johnson said.

The board also considered increasing the mayoral aide’s salary, but because the position is part-time, it might require more working hours for the position. Campbell said becoming a full-time position would also require benefits such as health insurance to be provided.

The mayoral office last got a $15,000 raise in 2018.

The 2018 budget proposed increasing the mayor’s annual salary from $45,000 to $60,000. The mayor’s salary represented the biggest increase of all department heads’ salaries.

The increase would bring the mayor’s salary to the level it was 12 years ago without an increase for inflation, former Mayor Tiffany Martin Hamilton said at the time.

“The $60,000 is level with what the mayor was paid in 2005,” Hamilton said. “And the salary was then decreased to accommodate the pension requirements of the other people that were in office between 2005 and when I entered office.”

The increase at the time sought to incentivize interest in the job.

“Having a chief executive salary at $45,000 a year really limits the field of candidates that you are going to get that are willing to take that position,” Hamilton said. “Historically, it is has been retirees who are getting compensated through another source they are being made whole by a pension or some other source of compensation.”

DePietro said the city’s budget has also found and created additional revenue streams. Sales tax realized by the city has increased, the city is anticipating some property sale revenue, and DePietro said he revised city fees to become more in line with other municipalities, resulting in more money.

Johnson also noted the impact of the updated fee schedule Tuesday.

“Revenues have been excellent,” he said. “We won’t be raising any city taxes for the second straight year.”

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Johnson Newspapers 7.1

(1) comment

scottmyers

He deserves it. I wish we had people as competent here in Greene County and Catskill!

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.