Cortland County Legislators Vote for a Pay Raise But Questions Remain.
Cortland County Pay Plan, September 24, 2015 Meeting.
On motion of Whitney, agenda item no. 23, Increase Annual Legislative Compensation - Cortland County Legislature.
WHEREAS, the Cortland County Legislature is currently paid $6,000 per year, per Legislator, with the Chairman receiving $15,000 and the Majority and Minority Leaders receiving $6,500, AND
WHEREAS, the above salary has remained the same for 25 years (1991 was raised from $5,000 to $6,000), AND
WHEREAS, over the course of those 25 years additional compensation and/or benefits have been withdrawn, such as monthly meeting stipends ($25 per meeting), and eligibility to participate in the County Health/Dental/Vision insurance plan, AND
WHEREAS, the Cortland County Budget & Finance Committee recommends an increase in salary for Legislators beginning in 2016, and an annual increase matching that of the Management Compensation Plan, NOW THEREFORE BE IT
RESOLVED, that the Director of Budget & Finance, as Budget Officer, shall hereby include a Legislative salary of $10,000 per legislator, $19,000 for the Chairman and $10,500 for Majority and Minority Leaders in the 2016 budget, AND BE IT FURTHER
RESOLVED, that effective January 1, 2017 any annual salary adjustment of Legislators shall match that provided to employees covered under the Management Compensation Plan.
The Cortland Contrarian suggests that legislators review Local Law No. 6 for the year 1971, which has not been rescinded, or amended. It was in force when the September 24, 2015 vote was recorded. Annual raises suggested in Resolution 23 may be subject to an Article 78 challenge in Supreme Court.
LOCAL LAW NO. 6 FOR THE YEAR 1971.
A Local Law Regarding Effective Date of Board of Supervisors or County Legislators’ Salaries.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE BOARD OF SUPERVISORS OF THE COUNTY OF CORTLAND AS FOLLOWS:
Section 1: Legislative intent. It is the expressed purpose and intent of this Local Law to provide that an election of supervisors or county legislators intervene between the time that the salary of supervisors or county legislators is approved by the legislative body and the time said adjustment becomes effective.
Section 2: Section 200 of the County Law of the State of New York provides that the Board of Supervisors of a county shall have power from time to time to fix the compensation of its members for services rendered to the county.
Section 3: The County Law does not expressly provide nor prohibit that an election of legislators intervene between the time that a legislative salary or expense adjustment is approved and the time said adjustment becomes effective.
Section 4: Therefore, be it enacted by this Board of Supervisors that an election of Supervisors or County Legislators shall intervene between the time that a legislative salary is approved by the legislators and the time said adjustment becomes effective.
Section 5: This Local Law shall take effect immediately.