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Hudson Common Council President proposes reducing his salary to $1

Oct 15, 2020 5:45 am
Aliya Schneider is reporting for Columbia-Greene Media Hudson Common Council President Thomas DePietro is asking the city to budget $1 for his 2021 salary instead of the $12,500 annual sum he earned this year. “I want the people to know that I understand the dire financial situation the city is in,” DePietro said October 14. “While my salary is a tiny fraction of the city budget, I hope it inspires us all to realize some sacrifices will have to be made until the economy recovers.” DePietro works as a freelance writer and editor, but has been focused on government work this year, he said. DePietro proposed the salary reduction to the Board of Estimate and Apportionment at its October 9 meeting. The BEA consists of DePietro, City Treasurer Heather Campbell and Mayor Kamal Johnson. No other city employees have asked for salary decreases, Johnson said. Johnson declined to comment on DePietro’s decision, as did his aide Michael Chameides. Campbell was unavailable for comment. The yearly salaries for council members total nearly $44,000, and each is eligible for a $3,500 health insurance reimbursement, as well. DePietro also forfeited his health insurance reimbursement, he said. During his first term in 2018, 5th Ward Alderperson Dominic Merante earmarked a month of his salary to Hudson Police Department youth programming and a month to miscellaneous police spending. This term, Merante earmarked one month in 2020 to help the Youth Department’s food programs. Merante commended DePietro’s decision. “It’s an interesting offer, or position, to take,” 5th Ward Alderperson Eileen Halloran said. “I don’t know why he’s not taking the salary, he certainly earned it.” NOTE: DePietro and Johnson are WGXC volunteer programmers. Read the full story at HudsonValley360 [dot] com.