Islip Town spent $45.9 million on its payroll for 1,037 employees in 2014, a $1.9 million or 4.3 percent increase compared to 2013, a Newsday analysis of salary data shows.
Islip’s payroll spending included 34 additional employees over 2013 and was affected by a dumping scandal that became public last year. Addressing the dumping at Roberto Clemente Park in Brentwood contributed to a 28 percent year-over-year growth in overtime pay.
The town spent $3.6 million, or 7.8 percent of its total payroll costs, on overtime last year, representing $790,000 more than 2013, when overtime accounted for 6.4 percent of total payroll costs. Islip ranked second among Long Island towns and cities for its ratio of overtime spending.
The dumping and cleanup “did contribute substantially to our overtime,” said Supervisor Angie M. Carpenter, who took office in March and inherited the cleanup project. “In this case we had no choice.” The cleanup was finished in September, but fill and restoration work remains, she said.
The departments of Public Safety, Environmental Control, Public Works, as well as Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs were involved in the cleanup and generated significant overtime last year, the payroll data shows.
The highest-paid town employee was Edward J. Carter, a park ranger II for Public Safety Enforcement. He made $122,258 last year, including $57,464 in overtime on top of his $64,793 salary. A total of 116 town workers made $10,000 or more in overtime last year. Of those, 22 made $20,000 or more in overtime. Thirteen were in Public Safety Enforcement. That department accounted for $726,275, or 20 percent, of Islip’s total overtime pay.
Public Works had $1,110,773 in overtime pay, or 31 percent of total overtime costs for the town.
The dumping also resulted in changes in leadership last year, with former Islip Parks Commissioner Joseph Montuori Jr. and his executive assistant, Brett A. Robinson, being forced to resign. Both are facing charges related to the dumping, including conspiracy, misconduct and reckless release of an acutely hazardous substance into the environment.
Montuori and Robinson were each to make $65,000 last year, but after resigning in May, they were paid $32,749 and $27,276 respectively, town officials said.
Commissioner of Public Works Thomas Owens received the highest base salary in Islip at $118,615, which included a $20,000 stipend for temporarily taking over the parks department after Montuori resigned.
Carpenter said the town could eventually recoup the cost of cleanup, including the overtime pay.
“Whenever the guilty parties are named and convicted, we will be moving forward to recoup every single penny we can,” she said.
Former Supervisor Thomas D. Croci, who resigned in January after being elected to the state Senate, made $48,096 in Islip last year. That salary ranked 520th among Islip’s employees and last among Long Island’s 15 town and city executives. Croci is a Navy commander and did not accept pay while he was deployed overseas for the first six months of 2014.