North Hempstead plans public hearing on pay hikes

North Hempstead Town Hall in Manhasset on March

North Hempstead Town Hall in Manhasset on March 5, 2012. Photo Credit: Nicole Bartoline

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The Democrat-controlled North Hempstead Town Board voted Tuesday night over the opposition of two Republican board members to hold a public hearing next month on a measure to increase their salaries and those of other elected officials.

A hearing will be held Dec. 10 on the proposal, advanced by interim Supervisor John Riordan, under which town board members would see their salaries increase to $55,000 a year, or 37.5 percent over their current salaries of $40,000.

The salary for the receiver of taxes would rise to $115,000, an increase of 27.8 percent, while the town clerk would get $105,000, or 23.5 percent more.

The salary for the supervisor would increase to $138,000, an increase of 3.8 percent.

If the board approves the measure at the meeting next month, the salary increases will take effect in January.

The increases, which total $140,000, would come out of the town's contingency fund, according to Riordan.

Riordan has said he wanted to bring the salaries of town elected officials more in line with those of other Long Island towns.

Town GOP chairman Frank Moroney criticized the move in a heated exchange with Riordan during the board's public hearing on its 2014 budget at Tuesday's meeting.

"If you're going to raid the contingency fund, you should do it to cut taxes and not to raise salaries," Moroney said.

Council members Dina De Giorgio and Angelo Ferrara, the board's two Republicans, voted against setting the public hearing, asking their fellow board members to wait until Democratic Supervisor-elect Judi Bosworth takes office in January.

"We're getting a new administration, we're filling an empty board seat," De Giorgio said, referring to the vacant seat previously held by Thomas K. Dwyer, who resigned last week. "If we go ahead with this proposal, we're confirming all the negative things the public thinks about government and elected officials."

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