TODAY'S PAPER
61° Good Morning
61° Good Morning
Hello, we've upgraded our systems.

Please log back in to enjoy your subscription. Thank you for being part of the Newsday family.

Forgot your password? We can help go here.

Log in
Long IslandPolitics

Smithtown lawmaker to seek reversal of controversial $30,000 pay raise

Smithtown Town Councilman Thomas McCarthy, who cast the

Smithtown Town Councilman Thomas McCarthy, who cast the deciding vote to give himself a $30,000 raise in the stipend he receives as deputy town supervisor, said he wants to rescind the increase. Credit: Newsday / Thomas A. Ferrara

Smithtown Town Councilman Thomas McCarthy, who cast the deciding vote to give himself a $30,000 raise in the stipend he receives as deputy town supervisor, said Monday he wants to rescind the increase.

McCarthy plans to sponsor a resolution making the change at a special meeting Tuesday.

He said he came to the decision after researching municipal law and finding his approval didn't "rise to a vote of necessity."

Smithtown Town Attorney Matthew Jakubowski said a vote of necessity is a legal rule elected boards may use to act on matters where a recusal would prevent a quorum or to take valid official action.

McCarthy said, "Once I saw that it didn't rise to a vote of necessity, I felt it wasn't the proper time."

McCarthy said he still didn't see a conflict of interest in the 3-2 vote Sept. 9 to raise his stipend from $5,000 to $35,000 -- a 600 percent increase -- because the town board votes for all elected officials' salaries during budget meetings.

McCarthy said he did not receive negative feedback from the public to influence his resolution. "I made that decision on my own, period," he said. "People know I go above and beyond the call of duty and do the job, and I know I'm extremely ethical beyond reproach."

Pat Biancaniello, a former councilwoman, said she heard "a great deal from the community and a lot of support" for the letter she sent to the town ethics board last week requesting an inquiry.

"They, too, were outraged that someone would vote on their own salary increase," said Biancaniello, adding that McCarthy's resolution to rescind the raise is "absolutely the right decision."

Smithtown Supervisor Patrick Vecchio said Monday he would support McCarthy's resolution. Vecchio initially sought the increase in an Aug. 1 memo to town board members citing McCarthy's help with "new demands" and an increased workload.

Councilman Robert Creighton, who voted against McCarthy's raise, declined to comment on the resolution.

Lisa Scott, board member of the League of Women Voters of Smithtown, said, "Given that throughout Supervisor Vecchio's administration his administration has been known for financial prudence and financial integrity, this should have been handled in a different way."

Latest Long Island News