Philipstown legislator cites raises in voting ‘no’
The Putnam County Legislature on Oct. 28 approved a $179 million budget for 2023 that keeps the tax levy the same and raises salaries for the county executive’s office, the sheriff’s command staff and many rank-and-file employees.
While spending rises by $11.3 million, the overall tax levy remains unchanged at $47 million and the tax rate, $3.12 per $1,000 of assessed value, will be the lowest since 2009, according to County Executive MaryEllen Odell. Projected sales-tax revenue, $74.7 million, will pay for 42 percent of the budget.
Spending includes cost-of-living raises of 3.5 percent for employees represented by the Civil Service Employees Association. The county’s largest union, CSEA represents several hundred health, social services and Highway Department employees.
The budget also raised pay for the Sheriff’s Department’s command staff. William Carlin, the county’s finance commissioner, said that Undersheriff Thomas Lindert and the department’s four captains were paid 10 percent less than the salaries budgeted for their positions in 2022.
Lindert, who made $126,647 instead of the budgeted $140,719, will be paid $145,645 next year, said Carlin. Each captain will see raises to $137,833 next year after being paid $119,855 instead of the $133,172 that was budgeted, he said.
Legislator Nancy Montgomery, who represents Philipstown and part of Putnam Valley, is the Legislature’s only Democrat and the only representative to vote against the budget, which she said “once again puts upper management and elected officials first and the people of Putnam last.
“Those who need it the most come out last in this budget, and those who have the most come out first,” she said.
In a separate action on Oct. 28, the Legislature voted, 8-1, with Montgomery in dissent, to increase the salary of the county executive and the department staff by 3.5 percent. That will push the salaries for the incoming executive to $176,022, the deputy county executive to $129,375, the chief of staff to $86,107, the director of constituent services to $46,643 and the confidential secretary to $62,100.