Democrats hold the line on government worker raises next year

creases for themselves and non-unionized government employees in check Tuesday at a meeting of the Board of Supervisors, and very nearly passed a freeze at last year’s level.

Supervisor Richard Schlag, D-German, moved to amend a Republican-dominated Personnel Committee resolution that would have paid no increases to part timers and employees earning over $60,000, and from 2.5 to 3.25 percent for three tiers identified in between.

Schlag’s amendment, which was seconded by Finance Committee Chairman Lawrence Wilcox, R-Oxford, established 1.5 percent raises to all compensation schedule employees. The board agreed to amend in a vote of 15 to 7, and the measure was later adopted into law by a vote of 16 to 6. Finance Committee Vice Chairman Supervisor Dennis Brown, D-Pharsalia, who supported a raise freeze, agreed to vote with the majority in the final tally.

But it was Supervisor Peter C. Flanagan, D-Preston, who garnered unprecedented support for a motion to amend Personnel’s resolution. His motion to freeze increases, seconded by Brown, was narrowly defeated after a weighted count of 1,246 votes to 1,110. Republicans David C. Law of Norwich, Jerry L. Kreiner of Plymouth and William C. Craine of Sherburne, who is running unopposed for county treasurer next month, broke ranks from their party in support of the Democrats. Schlag was the only Democrat to vote against a freeze.

The two amendments and subsequent votes were part of a nearly two-hour meeting yesterday, one of the longest sessions of the county board in recent memory.

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