Salaries for elected town employees vary widely from town to town in Essex County. The towns of Chesterfield and Newcomb lead the county in salary rates, while the towns of Essex, Wilmington and Lewis are at the opposite end of the salary scale. Supervisors
Chesterfield Supervisor Gerald Morrow makes two and a half times what the lowest paid supervisor, Wilmingtons Randy Preston makes. Morrow said his $50,277 salary was because hed changed the position into a full-time job. He said he quit his other job to serve at the town supervisor, and needed to be properly reimbursed. If you want the job done, you have to hire qualified people. You get what you pay for, said Morrow. Morrow said he didnt compare the town salaries to what other towns paid. I don't care what the other towns make, we take care of the town of Chesterfield, that's all, said Morrow. Newcomb Supervisor George Canon draws a salary of $41,600, while Schroon Supervisor Cathy Moses brings in $40,120. Along with drawing a town salary, town supervisors draw $16,655 from the county for their work as on the county board. The budget liaison is paid a salary of $18,756 and the county chairman makes $21,652. In contrast to Morrows $50,277 salary, the supervisor of Wilmington makes just $17,848 from the town. Like Morrow, Preston is considered full-time. He said the reason Wilmingtons salaries are so low was that in the past, one supervisor went several years without taking a raise, which set rates lower. He said salaries for town officials need to be increased, to help attract more candidates. In order to get people interested in taking these jobs, whether it be town supervisor, town council, assessors... youve got to start to bring the pay up, said Preston. Its somewhat of a thankless job, and a lot of people dont run for office because its such low pay, and then you get all the frustrations that go with it. He pointed out that in the last election, there was no competition for three open town board seats. Crown Point Supervisor Dale French is the second-lowest paid supervisor in the county, earning $18,300, while Lewis supervisor David Blades salary is third from the bottom at $18,937. Council positions
Newcomb leads the county with salaries of $7,428 for its councilmen, more than three times what Essex board members make. Essex has the lowest paid board positions, earning $2,319. Canon said the town of Newcomb had traditionally reimbursed its employees at higher levels than the rest of the county. He said people were being paid for the work they did. Second in the county was North Elbas town board, earning $7,428, while Ticonderogas town board members came in third, earning $6,365. Jackson said all of Essexs elected personnel were paid salaries on the low side. You've got to want the job to do it in Essex. It's not for the money or the health benefits, said Jackson. Second from the bottom were Lewis councilmen, earning $3,339, while Minerva councilmen were third from last earned $3,419. Highway superintendents
The town of Newcomb paid its highway superintendent $61,490, $10,000 more than the next nearest town, Westport, which pays $48,959. Chesterfield rounds out the top three, paying its highway superintendent $47,984. Canon said the town of Newcomb was adequately compensating the work of its superintendent. He pointed out that the superintendent deals with a million dollar budget, similar to school superintendents who are often paid over $100,000 annually. North Hudson pays its highway superintendent the least, $33,500. Second from the bottom in salaries was the town of Essex, paying $33,602, while Crown Point pays $34,944 to its superintendent.