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Public Hearing On Pay Hikes For Pols

A new proposal by interim Supervisor John Riordan seeks to hike pay for elected officials of the Town of North Hempstead. Riordan's plan would have board members’ salaries jump by $15,000 to a total of $55,000, an increase of 37.5 percent. Other proposed salaries would be $138,000 for the supervisor, $115,000 for the receiver of taxes and $105,000 for the town clerk.

Riordan introduced the proposal at the last town board meeting, on Nov. 19, requesting that a resolution be placed on the agenda setting Dec. 10 for a public hearing to consider the adoption of an amendment that would enable the salary increases for the 2014 calendar year.

“This proposal seeks to make North Hempstead elected officials salaries comparable with neighboring towns such as Huntington, Hempstead and Oyster Bay and would still leave the town council and supervisor salaries the lowest in Nassau County,” said Riordan. “In fact, town council salaries are currently the same as they were in 1989.  This proposal would not raise taxes nor would it result in the 2014 budget breaking the tax cap.”

With the unemployment rate declining, an increase seems timely but may not receive public support. The interim superintendent says the total for the town board raises would be $140,000, which he says would come out of the town’s contingency fund. Riordan says it would not increase the tax rate or cause the 2014 budget to pierce the tax cap.

“This is ill-conceived and fiscally imprudent,” said North Hempstead Republican Committee Chairman Frank Moroney. “It is also dishonest since this proposal comes just two weeks after an election where one of the primary issues was passing the budget before the Election Day.”

Riordan has reviewed the salaries of elected officials in other Long Island townships, including Hempstead, Oyster Bay and Huntington.

“Based on this review, it is evident that the salaries of elected officials in the Town of North Hempstead are less, and in some instances, substantially less, than the salaries in these counterpart townships," he said. “It is for this reason, coupled with the hard work, long hours and dedication to service of elected officials in the Town of North Hempstead, that I am recommending to the Town Board that the salaries for elected officials in the Town be increased for the 2014 calendar year.”