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Shelter Island spent $4.7M in payroll in 2015, up 5% from 2014

Shelter Island Town Hall is shown in this

Shelter Island Town Hall is shown in this 2012 photo. Credit: Randee Daddona

The Town of Shelter Island spent $4.7 million in payroll for municipal employees in 2015, according to town documents.

While the lowest among town payrolls of towns across Long Island, the figure represented a 5 percent increase over 2014, and a 14 percent increase since 2011, the records show.

In an interview, Town Supervisor James Dougherty said the increases over the past five years can be attributed to nonunion workers receiving 2 percent annual raises and union employees receiving pay increases through their collective bargaining agreement.

Shelter Island, which has a population of roughly 2,400 residents, had 132 town employees in 2015, up from 124 the previous year. It wasn’t immediately known what positions were added.

While more than $247,000 was spent on overtime in 2013, the number fell to roughly $197,000 in 2014 and rose to $246,000 last year, records show.

Dougherty said the fluctuating numbers are a result of staffing needed for highway department crews during winter months.

Dougherty said last winter was harsh and that the increase in overtime was used to battle snowstorms in addition to other weather-related incidents.

There were 19 Shelter Island residents per town worker, records show. The 10 highest salaries came from the police department.

Chief James Read earned a total of $185,000, followed by Sgt. Jack Thilberg with $173,000 in total compensation, records show.

Town Supervisor James Dougherty earned $85,000, documents show.

Town Attorney Laury Dowd made $82,000 in total compensation, while Town Clerk Dorothy Ogar made $81,000, records show.

Shelter Island Town Board members made nearly $37,000.

The highest overtime earner was Thilberg, with $35,000, according to documents. Brian Sherman, a labor crew member in the highway department, was next with $17,000 in overtime.

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