Oyster Bay doles out $620,500 in raises

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The Oyster Bay Town Board has approved raises for 84 nonunion employees, ranging from $2,000 to $9,000 and benefiting a variety of personnel, including all department heads.

The raises, which are retroactive to Jan. 1, will cost a total of $620,500 this year.

"These are employees who have really gone literally four full years without a raise," Town Supervisor John Venditto said after Tuesday's unanimous vote. The employees, who are not covered by collective bargaining agreements, last had a raise in June 2010, Venditto said.

"Now that we are beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel financially, or fiscally, I thought it was time and, quite frankly, I thought it was overdue," he said.

The raises were not included in the town's adopted budget, but Venditto said he reviewed the financial impact with the town comptroller before deciding the town could afford them, adding, "We have ample funds in the town's budget to cover it."

More than a third of the employees, 36, received top raises of $9,000. The highest salary among them is Deputy Supervisor and Town Attorney Leonard Genova, whose $9,000 raise takes his salary to $150,348.

The raises were generally calculated using a formula that gave $1,500 per year without a raise plus merit raises of up to $3,000, though some were adjusted, Venditto said.

As a percentage of salaries, generally the raises ranged from 3 percent to 17 percent, compared with 2013 pay. Town historian John Hammond's salary rose 25 percent to $40,113 from $32,113, town records show."The job has grown, but even without the growth . . . the job does really require a lot of time," Venditto said of the historian's post.

One raise that didn't fit the formula was for Louis Imbroto, who was hired earlier this year as a town attorney. Venditto said he was hired at a lower pay scale in the high 40s with the intent to give him a raise because the town didn't want to bring him in at a salary higher than an existing attorney.

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"At the time of his hiring, based upon his experience to have given him a higher salary would have violated the pay structure," Venditto said, even though the structure is informal. Imbroto received a $4,500 raise. Venditto was unsure of Imbroto's exact salary.

Imbroto has sought political office in the past, and last month, the Nassau Conservative and Republican committees endorsed him to challenge Assemb. Charles Lavine (D-Glen Cove) in November.

Venditto said Imbroto's hiring was not political.

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