North Hempstead Town Hall in Manhasset, seen here on Sept....

North Hempstead Town Hall in Manhasset, seen here on Sept. 1, 2015. Credit: Newsday / William Perlman

North Hempstead Town’s payroll rose 0.56 percent in 2017 over the previous year, with the town adding 20 new staffers, documents reviewed by Newsday show.

The town spent $34,854,414 on its payroll in 2017 and staffing rose to 935 from 915, the records provided by the town indicate.

North Hempstead’s highest-paid employee last year was town attorney Elizabeth Botwin, who made $166,470, according to the data. She has worked for the town since 2014.

Other employees at the top of the payroll are Commissioner of Planning and Development Michael Levine, with a salary of $150,094, and Deputy Commissioner of Public Works and Acting Superintendent of Highways Joseph Geraci, who made $148,798 last year.

With a salary of $135,780, Town Supervisor Judi Bosworth was 10th on the list of the town’s top-paid employees last year.

Overtime pay went down 6.44 percent, to $1,705,242 from $1,822,705, records show. Overtime costs represented nearly 5 percent of the town’s total payroll in 2017.

Town spokeswoman Carole Trottere said the overtime decline was “driven by the fact that individual department heads were more focused on the judicious use of overtime” and that overtime usage is always variable, based on weather and special projects that come up.

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The town board in October 2016 adopted a policy requiring all Highway Division overtime to be approved by the finance department. The Public Works department, which includes the town Highway Division, had the most departmental overtime in 2017 with $943,477 paid, records show. In 2016, the department spent $936,338 in overtime costs.

Charles A. Poole Jr., a highway maintenance supervisor, received the most overtime of all town employees last year, with $40,663 collected in addition to his $97.080 salary, the data show.

The Parks Department, one of the town’s largest departments with nearly 400 employees, had $281,390 in overtime last year.

The town employee headcount rose 2.19 percent to 935 positions in 2017, records show. Town officials said that number was conflated by the inclusion of both employee resignations and their replacements in its list of staff on the payroll.

After taking out the duplicate reporting, town officials said the number of full-time employees increased by 11 people from 2016 to 2017.

Trottere said the town increased the number of positions in the Building Department by four in 2017, reflecting the town’s “focus on providing more resources to this department.”

The town’s 2017 payroll per capita amounted to $149.64, records show. Its average pay of $37,278, which decreased 1.59 percent from the previous year, was above the Islandwide average of $36,856 for the year.

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