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Amityville trustees at odds over $35G in raises for 3 workers

Some Amityville trustees objected to votes on raises

Some Amityville trustees objected to votes on raises for three village workers without input from the public. Credit: Steve Pfost

The Village of Amityville Board of Trustees approved more than $35,000 in raises Monday for three employees over the objections of two board members, who said there was not enough transparency in the action.

The raises were approved 4-to-1 during a board meeting. The dissenting vote came from trustee Nick LaLota, who objected to the raises not being on the meeting’s agenda. Trustee Jessica Bernius also voiced a need for more transparency. An effort by LaLota to pass a resolution tabling the vote until the next meeting to allow for public input failed 3-to-2.

Clerk-Treasurer Catherine Murdock, who was hired in April, will receive a 28 percent raise, boosting her annual salary from $75,000 to $95,680. Building Inspector Bryan Donato, who was hired in July, will get a 13 percent raise, bumping his pay from $55,000 to $62,000. Senior Court Clerk Shannon Kokoneshi, who was hired in 2007, will get a 14 percent raise, and her salary will increase from $52,494 to $60,000.

“These raises are well-deserved,” said Mayor Dennis Siry, adding that the funding is available in the payroll budget.

LaLota said he agreed that the raises are merited, “but still I think the public ought to be a part of the process.”

Siry said raises have always been done in this manner.

“It’s not like we’re hiding anything,” Siry said later. “We did it at a meeting and we said what the raises were and why they were getting them.”

Resident Patrice Distler told the board that as someone who runs a human resources department, she found the raises to be “extremely reasonable,” but called for a change in policy.

“Just because something wasn’t done in the past, doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be done moving forward,” she said.

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