NORWICH – Chenango County Supervisors voted themselves a pay raise on Monday, despite some objections that doing so sets a bad precedent for leadership.
By resolution, the Chenango County Board of Supervisors will get a 2 percent raise in 2019, staying consistent with the 2 percent annual raise given to county union employees. The increase is included in the county’s compensation schedule for employees’ salaries, which the board unanimously adopted on Monday.
County officials budgeted $313,651 for board salaries in 2018, allowing each board member a $13,637 stipend for the year (on top of what each supervisor is paid by their respective township). The latest increase will bump that figure to approximately $319,890 budgeted for the 2019 fiscal year, or $13,908 per board member.
The board chairman is given an additional $41,774 stipend in the 2018 budget. With a 2 percent increase, that salary will grow an extra $835 next year.
“I don’t personally think most people are there for the money,” said Board Chairman Lawrence Wilcox (Oxford). “On the other hand, there a lot of board members that put a lot of effort into their responsibilities and should be compensated for that.”
Proponents say while an annual raise for elected officials isn’t always popular, a small pay raise now will curb a big pay raise years from now. Nevertheless, opponents argue the self-given pay raise is symbolic, and it raises concerns among their constituency.
“I look at it as such a small amount, I think why bother,” said German Supervisor Daniel Jack, who motioned to have board salaries removed from the 2019 compensation schedule and revisit the proposal next year. Removing board salaries from the comp schedule would forfeit the board’s raise while other county officers and employees kept theirs.
“I know not everybody in this county gets a raise every year,” Jack added. But his motion failed in an 8-14 vote among supervisors...