Salaries Adjusted To Reflect Rate of Inflation

The Council has voted to increase the pay of the Mayor and Council Members for the first time in more than a decade, beginning in January of 2008. Pay raises for elected officials are rarely popular, and this action has received some critical comment, so you deserve an explanation for my vote. First, the percentage of increase is set exactly equal to the inflation rate since the last time the salaries were set – in other words, the Council has adopted a cost-of-living adjustment. Second, the resulting pay levels will, in the case of the Council, be comparable to those of the other cities of Westchester, and in the case of the Mayor, be about half that of the other cities of Westchester (although the latter comparison is imperfect, because other Westchester cities have “strong mayor” systems of government.) Third, the pay raise will not take effect until after the next election in 2007, timing that contrasts favorably with the more common phenomenon of legislative bodies adopting pay raises immediately after elections. Under these circumstances, I concluded that the salary adjustment was reasonable and appropriate, and I supported it.