MALTA – The Town Board adopted the 2017 salary schedule Monday, which lists Comptroller Kevin King as its highest paid employee, at $103,848.92 per year.
No. 2 is Supervisor Vincent DeLucia, who will be paid $65,000 from the town and $18,879 from Saratoga County, for a total of $83,879. DeLucia got a $32,278 pay raise from the town in its recently adopted budget, while his county salary will be unchanged. (He also receives a $65,863 annual payment from the New York State Teachers Retirement System.)
The big raise will leapfrog DeLucia past other town employees, including Attorney Thomas Peterson, who will make $58,913.79, Assessor Rae-Lyn Dusseault ($65,371.84), Highway Superintendent Roger Crandall ($70,150.92), Parks, Recreation and Human Services Director Audrey Ball ($76,074.12), and Building and Planning Coordinator Anthony Tozzi ($80,344). The budget gave rank-and-file nonunion employees a raise of 0.68 percent.
Interviewed after the meeting, DeLucia said he had not sought his raise, but that it was an initiative of the Town Board started by Councilman John Hartzell. The supervisor said he recused himself from discussions about it. DeLucia said he had not campaigned on the issue in 2015 because it had not then occurred to him that a raise was needed.
DeLucia. 72. is in the middle of his first term, and declined to say whether he would run for re-election in 2017. Asked whether he might run if DeLucia does not, Councilman Tim Dunn said he was urging DeLucia to run again. Dunn defended the raise on the grounds of DeLucia’s hard work and good job performance.
DeLucia and Dunn said the town needs a full-time supervisor, and rejected the notion that the raise should not take effect during DeLucia’s current term. New York state law prohibits state legislators from receiving raises passed during their terms of office until they start a new term, and the U.S. Constitution says: “No law, varying the compensation for the services of the Senators and Representatives, shall take effect, until an election of Representatives shall have intervened.” But there is no legal prohibition against granting such a raise at the town level.
In other business, the Town Board appointed a committee to study zoning and other issues on Route 9 north, with the expectation, DeLucia said, that the zoning will be changed to reflect its commercial nature. The board has already acted to provide more commercially zoned property on Route 9 south and Route 67. There was also discussion Monday about possibly extending the new commercial zoning on Route 67 west.
The board also discussed putting restrictions on apartment development downtown. While Councilwoman Maggi Ruisi opposed capping the total number of units there, she and other board members supported limiting density of new developments. Dunn cited the four-to-five story Ellsworth Commons, built in 2010 on the east side of Route 9 across from Town Hall, as the prime example of a too-dense development that did not work well. The developers were able to make enough money on the apartments, he said, that they had insufficient incentive to let the ground-floor retail space, much of which remains unfilled. Tozzi was instructed to come up with new recommendations to limit density of downtown projects.
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