Putnam Legislators Override Veto of Raises

Byrne had rejected increases for sheriff, clerk, coroners

The Putnam Legislature voted on Tuesday (Nov. 14) to override County Executive Kevin Byrne’s veto of 2.75 percent cost-of-living raises in 2024 for the sheriff, county clerk and three coroners. 

Six of the Legislature’s nine members, all Republicans, voted to reverse Byrne’s veto. Nancy Montgomery, who represents Philipstown and part of Putnam Valley and is the Legislature’s sole Democrat, and two other Republicans, Erin Crowley and William Gouldman, did not attend the meeting.

Sheriff Kevin McConville’s annual salary will rise to $170,376 in 2024 (from $165,816) and County Clerk Michael Bartolotti’s to $148,312 (from $144,343). Putnam’s three coroners — John Bourges, Wendy Erickson and Michael Nesheiwat — will receive $688 cost-of-living increases to bring their salaries to $25,688. 

Byrne did not include the raises in his initial $195 million spending plan, but the Legislature’s Republican majority added them to the budget adopted on Oct. 30. Byrne vetoed the additions on Nov. 8. 

On Wednesday (Nov. 15), Byrne said in a statement that the county is negotiating contracts with the four unions representing employees and that it would be “unfair to grant pay raises to elected officials who negotiate or vote on these same contracts before an agreement is finalized.” 

But Ginny Nacerino, who represents the Town of Patterson and voted to override Byrne, said she was “taken aback” by the vetoes and accused the county executive of being driven by “politics.” Byrne, she said, has approved cost-of-living increases and “cherry-picked merit raises” for the county attorney and other appointed officials. 

“Elected officials feel the inflation squeeze just like everyone else,” she said.

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