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Letter: Villages’ elected officials are worth it

The Village Hall of Great Neck Plaza in

The Village Hall of Great Neck Plaza in the Town of North Hempstead on May 29, 2013. Credit: JC Cherubini

I would like to thank Newsday for its Dec. 21 news story “LI village payrolls: Where the money goes.”

The story focused on the high payroll costs of village police departments. What was most enlightening was the analysis of Long Island villages’ top civilian earners.

The report noted that 87 of Long Island’s 97 villages responded to Newsday’s request for information. While stating, “295 of the top 300 salaries (in 2014) went to retired and active police department employees,” the article also said, “Villages paid mayors and deputy mayors a total of $953,599.”

Let’s do the math: If you remove the salaries of the two full-time mayors with the highest populations — Hempstead and Freeport — the $953,599 drops to $693,985. Divide that by the 87 villages reporting, and you have an average annual salary of $7,976.

You would be hard-pressed to find anyone who would consider this exorbitant, given the amount of hours mayors and deputy mayors work for their residents. Most receive little or no compensation.

So a big thanks to Newsday for documenting what we have been saying for years: Villages are our most effective and efficient form of government!

Barbara Donno, Plandome Manor

Editor’s note: The writer is mayor of the Village of Plandome Manor and president of the Nassau County Village Officials Association.Letter: V