Supervisors ditch their own pay hike

QUEENSBURY - The top wage earners among non-union Warren County government employees will receive a smaller pay increase during 2009 than those with modest salaries, according to a budget plan endorsed this week by county Supervisors.

In a move designed to further reduce planned 2009 property tax hikes, supervisors on the county budget committee voted Friday to scuttle their own pay raises and reduce others among county workers through a tiered pay-raise system for all non-union employees.

This four-tiered system will still allow county employees making less than $40,000 annually to receive the previously agreed-upon 3.5 percent pay increase, but those earning greater than $40,000 will receive less.

The move comes at a time when tension between county supervisors and county department heads have become more palpable as the supervisors have repeatedly mandated departmental budget cuts.

The proposed tiered pay increase system would pay those making up to $40,000 annually a guaranteed 3.5 percent increase, those making between $40,000 and $60,000 a 2.5 percent increase, $60,000 to $80,000 a

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1.5 percent increase and those making over $80,000 only a .5 percent increase.

The decisions are subject to a vote of the full Board of Supervisors set for Nov. 7.

"This is something I had thought of before," Warrensburg Supervisor and County Budget Officer Kevin Geraghty said Friday,. "but I was told if I proposed it, I would have a mutiny on my hands."

Supervisors repeatedly said that the state of the national and local economies have reached a point where extreme budget cuts are warranted.

"I applaud the work of the department heads so far," Geraghty said. "We have real problems here and I hope to bring the total county budget increase to 5 percent or less."

According to documents presented at the meeting, the total budget increase prior to the adoption of the tiered salary system was 5.46 percent.

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