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Glen Cove’s payroll up, overtime down in 2016, records show

Glen Cove’s payroll expenses rose slightly in 2016 after falling in 2015, while overtime costs dropped for the second consecutive year, a Newsday review of city records shows.

The 2.8 percent increase in payroll, which rose from $18,790,488 to $19,316,782, is largely due to the average 4-percent raises for unionized city workers, Mayor Reginald Spinello said. Early-retirement incentives and lower pay raises for most nonunion employees helped keep the overall increase below 4 percent, he said.

The payroll remained lower than in 2012, when it surpassed $21 million before beginning to fall.

Overtime expenses dropped to less than $1.4 million in 2016, down from $1.5 million in 2014.

“The department heads are well aware to monitor overtime,” Spinello said. “I think there’s been better management by the department heads.”

But overtime as a percentage of payroll was the third highest among the two cities and 13 towns on Long Island — 7.24 percent, down from 7.78 percent in 2015. Islandwide, 4.71 percent of payroll went to overtime.

Spinello said the higher overtime expenses are largely because the city has its own police force. Police officers have higher than average incomes and are more likely to receive overtime, he said. Eleven of the 14 top overtime recipients in 2016 were police officers.

Police often need extra time in pursuing investigations, participating in wiretaps, transporting people arrested near the end of a shift to the Nassau County Correctional Center, testifying in court and performing other duties, the mayor said.

Police overtime rose more than 10 percent in 2016, after falling 17 percent in 2015. Spinello said an influx of lower-paid new officers in 2015 reduced police overtime that year, and police pay raises helped increase overtime in 2016.

The city was reimbursed for nearly $89,000 of those overtime costs in 2016 through federal, state and county grants, and money from films shot in Glen Cove, up from just over $62,000 in 2015, said Deputy Police Chief Christopher Ortiz.

The city’s top overtime recipient in 2016, Detective Brian Glennon, is part of a special community policing unit that is “very proactive and reactive to areas within the community that may have a high concentration of activity,” Spinello said. “As such, he works extended hours.”

Glennon made $50,489 in overtime, and $220,392 overall. He was one of 18 police officers who were paid more than $200,000 in 2016. All 36 of the city’s highest-paid employees were police officers, led by Police Chief William Whitton, with an income of $258,744.

The employee who in 2014 and 2015 had the highest overtime pay, water service foreman Michael Colangelo, saw his overtime income drop from $64,728 to $43,172.

Spinello said a milder winter in 2016 reduced the number of water main breaks Colangelo had to respond to because of frozen pipes, and more computer monitoring of the water system is reducing the need for manual inspections.

Colangelo’s overall pay of $127,779 made him the third-highest-paid non-police employee. Darcy Belyea, director of parks and recreation, had the highest civilian pay, with an income of $144,403, followed by James Byrne, the director of public works, with an income of $135,864.

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