February 5, 2016

New York City Council Votes Itself A Substantial Raise

Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito voted yes on the measure, and her salary will climb to $164,500.
Photo: Getty Images

[From article]
With just seven dissenters, City Council members on Friday went above the recommendations of a salary commission to award themselves a 32 percent raise — to $148,500.
That’s $10,000 more than the mayor-appointed commission had said was justified after months of extensive research, and well above the current salary of $112,500.
The three Republican members, Steve Matteo and freshman Joe Borelli of Staten Island, and Eric Ulrich of Queens, issued a joint statement explaining why they voted no.Modal Trigger
“There is a critically important reason the City Charter requires any changes to salaries for elected officials be evaluated and ultimately recommended by an independent body: because there is an inherent and obvious conflict of interest in having to vote oneself a pay raise,” the trio said.
“We felt the salary recommendations made by the Quadrennial Commission were the starting point of a public conversation about our jobs and our compensation. However, once it became clear that the proposed legislation by the Council would go beyond those recommendations, it precluded any potential support from our delegation.”
Democrats Elizabeth Crowley of Queens and Alan Maisel of Brooklyn voted no without explanation.
[. . .]
Forty members voted yes on the measure, including Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito — whose own salary will climb even higher, to $164,500.
She said the extra pay was justified because the commission didn’t take into account one of the council’s reform measures to greatly restrict outside income.
“We believe that there’s a value that should be added to the loss of that potential outside income. It was a modest amount of $10,000, and that is what we did in terms of that consideration,” she told reporters prior to the vote.
“That’s a serious reform that is way overdue and has been demanded of this council over years and possibly decades, and so we’re taking that into account.”
Only a handful of council members, whose jobs are considered part-time, currently earn substantial pay in other gigs.
The pay hike is retroactive to Jan. 1.


City council members give themselves a 32 percent raise
By Yoav Gonen
New York Post
February 5, 2016 | 1:53pm

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