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Measure to give Saratoga Springs City Council a pay raise will not go to a vote

September 03, 2019 11:22 PM

SARATOGA SPRINGS – The Saratoga Springs City Council was considering giving itself a big pay raise, but Tuesday night it was decided the measure will not be brought to a vote.

A public hearing was held Tuesday night on the local law that would increase the council’s salary from $14,500 a year to $30,000.

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The measure was brought forward by Saratoga Springs Mayor Meg Kelly who said council members have not received a pay raise since 2001 and the time is now as they enter a new budget season.

Mayor Kelly said Tuesday night she, along with the four commissioners who make up city council, are not compensated for the amount of time they put into the job. She also said when compared to other councils in New York State, their salary is among the lowest.

“Council members are neither part time or figure heads,” said Mayor Kelly. “These people are responsible 24/7, these positions are seriously time consuming, ripe with responsibility, liability and accountability.”

Many at Tuesday night’s public hearing agreed with the mayor. The majority of people said the council does work long hours and deserve a pay raise. They also added having a living wage as a salary could encourage younger people to run for office. One resident questioned why there wasn’t more transparency with the measure and why it wasn’t brought forward sooner than two months until Election Day.

Two commissioners on the council strongly opposed the measure. They said the commended the mayor for bringing the issue forward but said they knew the pay going into the job.

“I don't do it for the money, I do it because I want to make a difference,” said Commissioner of Public Works Anthony Scirocco. “It'd be nice to make more money, but obviously this is not my livelihood."

Michele Madigan, Commissioner of Finane, also said she couldn't support the measure she said perhaps it could be brought before voters through a referendum. 

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Emily De Vito

Copyright 2019 WNYT-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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