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Long IslandPoliticsSpin Cycle

Nassau Democrats cite charter in opposing Republican raise

Nassau Democrats contend that  Republicans did not follow the county charter when they raised Presiding Officer Peter Schmitt's leadership stipend  Monday, boosting his salary 47 percent to $99,500 annually.

Even if it was done properly through a "procedure resolution" as Schmitt claims and they dispute, they say he did not have the right to do it without public notice.

The resolution raising the stipends for Schmitt, the deputy presiding officer and minority leader was not published on the legislature's Monday calendar; Instead it was clocked into the clerk’s office at 9:44 a.m. and approved by the Republican majority by 10:30 a.m.

Although the charter exempts procedural resolutions from some requirements, it does not exempt them from public notice.

The charter says: “No ordinance, resolution or local law, or amendment to any ordinance, resolution or local law, shall be passed, unless such ordinance, resolution or local law, or amendment has been on file with the clerk of the County Legislature in final form for passage for at least one week, and unless the same is entered by number and title on an agenda to be prepared by the clerk of the County Legislature and posted in a conspicuous place in the countycourt house at least one week prior to said action.”
 Legis. David Denenberg (D-Merrick) insisted, "There is no exemption for notice. They must give notice."

County Executive Edward Mangano, at the Democrats' request, has asked the county attorney to review the legality of the Republican resolution.

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