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Huntington Bay Village officials pay themselves in proposed budget

Huntington Bay Mayor Herb Morrow has said that

Huntington Bay Mayor Herb Morrow has said that he will continue to push a proposal that would allow village trustees and the mayor to get paid. Credit: David Pokress

Huntington Bay Village trustees are again considering a proposal to pay themselves, the mayor and other officials, renewing concern among some residents.

Trustees scrapped the idea last year, but Mayor Herb Morrow said then that it was an issue he would continue to push.

"The inclusion in this year's budget is less than proposed last year and recognizes, as most villages have, that these positions deserve compensation for the work done and time committed," Morrow wrote in a letter posted on the village website.

Morrow couldn't be reached for further comment.

The village board consists of Morrow; trustee Dominic Spada, who also serves as deputy mayor and police commissioner; trustee Mark Dara, who also serves as road commissioner; and trustees Jay Meyer and Don Rave.

A total of $43,000 in stipends is included in next year's budget proposal. Of that, the mayor would receive $1,500 each month and the trustees $250 each month. Members of the village's Zoning Board of Appeals would receive $125 for attending meetings, according to village documents.

A public hearing is scheduled Monday night at 7:30 at the Huntington Yacht Club for the 2014-15 proposed budget, which begins June 1. The proposed budget is $1,989,444. There is no increase in taxes in the proposal, according to village documents.

Huntington Bay has about 1,600 residents.

Northport, with about 7,500 residents, is the only village in Huntington Town that pays some of its officials. The mayor there receives $7,500 annually, and the trustees $3,750. Asharoken and Lloyd Harbor officials aren't compensated.

Deb Colton, a 10-year Huntington Bay resident, said she thinks the proposal to pay some village officials needs more review.

"Our government hasn't been working transparently for a long time," said Colton, 56. "What we are calling for is that anything like that should be vetted in a proper way."

Colton said she has many questions about the proposal, including whether it would trigger pensions for the village officials. And she wants residents to vote on the proposal, not the board of trustees.

"The people who are benefiting shouldn't be voting on their own salaries," she said.

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