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Greene County lawmakers begin the new year by giving themselves a raise

Jan 07, 2022 6:00 am

Andrea Macko is reporting for Porcupine Soup the Greene County Legislature held its annual organizational meeting January 3, and included on its agenda: swearing-in new and returning lawmakers, making 2022 appointments and approving the first pay raise for county lawmakers in 15 years. In an 11 to 2 vote, legislators approved a 25 percent salary increase for themselves, bringing their annual pay $18,750. “The annual salary for members of the Greene County Legislature has not been updated since 2006 and is in need of adjustment to match cumulative average employee salary increases over the past 15 years,” the resolution stated. Republicans Michael Bulich of Catskill and Thomas Hobart of Coxsackie were the only dissenting votes. “I don’t think we should be in the business of voting ourselves pay raises,” said Bulich, adding that county residents should get to decide on the increase in the 2022 general election. “We are serving them, and I think that is how we should handle this,” he said. The legislators also voted to reappoint Republican Patrick Linger of New Baltimore to serve as their chair through 2024. Those in leadership receive additional pay — the chair gets an additional $8,400 per year, while the majority leader, Republican Matthew Luvera of Catskill, and minority leader, Democrat Harry Lennon of Cairo, are paid an additional $1,250 each. Republican Greg Davis of Greenville will serve as parliamentarian in 2022; Republican Charles Martinez of Coxsackie was reappointed budget officer through 2024. Jonathan Palmer was reappointed Greene County historian for one year, and Angelo Scaturro was reappointed to a three-year term as the full-time public defender. The Times Union and the Mountain Eagle were approved as the official newspapers of Greene County for the publication of printed local laws, notices, and other matters required by law to be published. Noticeably missing from the meeting was Jack Keller of Catskill. In November he was elected to his second term on the legislature, but Keller died unexpectedly of heart failure on December 30. Keller’s seat will be filled by appointment. Luvera said the Catskill Republican Committee will meet and then submit a recommendation to the full Legislature for consideration later this month. Read the full story at porcupinesoup [dot] com.