Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Sottile Looks For Annual Raise for Himself and Aldermen


Mayor James Sottile is looking for annual raises for the office of Mayor, Alderman at Large and for rank and file Aldermen. The raises, if approved will coincide with Kingston's local CSEA contract. Which means that if the CSEA approves a contract that calls for a three percent increase for three years, than the Mayor, Council President and the aldermen would get the same raise.


I do not have a problem with a reasonable cost of living raise for the office of Mayor because it's a full time position. However, the Alderman at Large and Aldermen are part-time jobs and they should not be entitled to annual raises
However, the Mayor negotiates the CSEA contract on behalf of the city of Kingston. Therefore, it's a major conflict of interest to have his raises negotiated at the same time and in the same manner as CSEA. One must wonder will the mayor be negotiating on behalf of the city of Kingston, or on behalf of himself.

Mayor Sottile should rethink the way his administration is proposing to grant themselves raises. The current proposal to say the least is unethical. The public should stand up and get answers from the Mayor and the Aldermen that they elected just two short months ago.

22 comments:

Anonymous said...

Jeremy--You deserve to be given credit. I thought you were just a "yes" man for the Sottile/Noble administration but you've proven me wrong. I'm glad that you question the ethics of what is being done here and, for now, I have to wonder if the hundreds of votes cast by CSEA workers back in Nov. were simply bought by the reigning Kingston Dems.

Anonymous said...

The Mayor does not need a raise. He granted himself one last year to the tune of 25%.
He has the city pay for a vehicle, of course insurance is included in that and gas too.
If he does not take advantage of the health benefits he probably gets some sort of cash allowance instead.
All of this, combined with his salary package, probably is over $100,000 a year.

Anonymous said...

I would like to know when Jimmy Sottile planned to announce this to the tax payers of Kingston.

Where in the budget is the money hidden for such a raise package?

I wonder if Al Teetsel, the budget guru, knew about this last fall.

Anonymous said...

It appears to me that other people in City Hall really need raises more.

A survey done a few years ago showed that our City Hall employees were severly underpaid based on evaluations of their peers in the Hudson Valley - City Planner, City Corporation Counsel, City Clerk, Comptroller and Purchasing Agent - just to name a few.

Sottile stop being selfish. You are an elected public servant. Take care of others who you manage.

Anonymous said...

I am no fan of Sottile. His actions do not appear criminal. What laws have been broken?

It is certainly not good timing after the public has put up with his tantrums, bullying and unprofessional conduct at local bars.

The best thing for Sottile is to remember he works for the good of the people.

He is clearly an opportunist for himself. He should spend the first year of your his term bending over backwards for your constituents.

Anonymous said...

Jeremy - a cost of living adjustment is not a raise. It is intended to prevent the real value of the wage from decreasing as a result of inflation. A raise is an increase over and above the rate of inflation. Is he asking for a match of any increase CSEA gets or just the cost of living adjustment?

Anonymous said...

Sottile just got re-elected - he knew what the salary and benefits were when he ran. If he didn't think it was enough, why didn't he say that when he was campaigning? He wins the election and now gripes that it's not enough money for him - let him go find a job in the private sector, then.

conservativepigvomit said...

The Thespain needs the job and the 8 Grand.

Anonymous said...

I, Anonymous say... Rates of pay are established each year by elected public officials for government officials during the annual budget process. I think it is wise policy for officials to re-evaluate these pay rates on a periodic basis to ensure the wage is fair and appropriate based upon the job description. This review might involve a comparative compensation and benefits study conducted by a professional firm. It would be a good idea to keep the wages of elected officials "in line" by establishing an automatic COLA, or cost of living adjustment. The simple fact that is that we all need the compensation provided for officials to be adequate to lure talented, educated and best qualified folks to enter the punishment of public life.

Its all enough to make anyone think twice about entering public life. An annual salary package of better than $100K would not be near enough for me to face the likes of little Dick Cahill or Cruella DiBella on a 9-5 basis monday thru friday, nor have my reputation destroyed for sport in front of God and everyone by Hugh Reynolds in the Freeman. When you stop to consider that elected public officials have a public responsibility every day of their term, 24-7, you can appreciate that no amount of money is enough.

Anonymous said...

FYI for anyone out there who is not aware of this fact. We have many people in our city who are not guaranteed a specific annual salary (with or without a COLA). These people have to earn their living based upon the economic conditions for each particular year. This means what they may make this year might actually be LESS than what they made last year. Sometimes they even get a second job to make up this difference. Its called the private sector.

Anonymous said...

We need to all go to city hall and picket outside to have the step down. We have to, we need to.

Anonymous said...

The mayor really need's to to the y and work his ass off to lose some of that fat.

Bill Berardi said...

Your correct Jeremy. Jim campaigned for the job knowing the pay which he raised $ 15,000 after getting elected during his first term. Now he should do the time. This manever seems underhanded and out of character - I don't agree with all of Jim's decisions but this seems as unethical as accepting campaign contributions from unions and businesses who benefit from the taxpayer's dollars our Mayor is supposes to protect.

Anonymous said...

Sottile will get his raise. The Common Council will do ANYTHING he wants. And when they do, don't blame me. I voted for Cahill.

Anonymous said...

So who should negotiate the contract? Each legislative body either local, state or national must propose and pass legislation in order to increase their pay.... It has been happening for decades and has been a problem since it started. You might not like it, but that is why we have assemblyman and state senators making over 60K a year with benefits in a part time position and then acting as lawyers or in private business on the side. Perhaps the ethical thing would of been for him to announce DURING the election that he wanted to do that...but he didn't. I don't know what kind of answers you expect to get from him about it...what do you think he is going to do tell you he didn't need the money?

Anonymous said...

This is the absolute wrong time to be talking about raises for the mayor and the alderman. They all just got sworn in, and their first order of business is proposing pay raises.
HOW ABOUT DOING SOME WORK AND SERVING THE TAXPAYERS OF KINGSTON?

HOW ABOUT MAKING OUR CITY SAFER? IMPROVING PUBLIC WORKS, HELPING MIDTOWN? LOOK TO ATTRACT BUSINESS AND INDUSTRY TO KINGSTON?

At least we know where the mayor's heart is--in his wallet.

Anonymous said...

what next?? a clothing allowance??

Anonymous said...

does this suprise anyone?

Anonymous said...

When we get hired for a new job-we know the wage we start at and do our jobs. After our jobs are done well (this includes plowing our roads, patching up the roads, installing new sewers and maintaining the city for let's say two years) is when the mayor's job should be evaluated and then the taxpayer's should decide if the public official gets a raise. This is how the private sector operates-it's time our elected officials abide by some of the same guidelines. Our sidewalks/intersections/streets are lawsuits waiting to happen. Perhaps we should put some of the extra money aside to allow for the snow removal in uptown Kingston. Hey, how about the revenue from some of those newly installed parking meters???

BeenThereDoneThat said...

Anonymous 12:16 wrote:

I, Anonymous say... Rates of pay are established each year by elected public officials for government officials during the annual budget process. I think it is wise policy for officials to re-evaluate these pay rates on a periodic basis to ensure the wage is fair and appropriate based upon the job description. This review might involve a comparative compensation and benefits study conducted by a professional firm. It would be a good idea to keep the wages of elected officials "in line" by establishing an automatic COLA, or cost of living adjustment. The simple fact that is that we all need the compensation provided for officials to be adequate to lure talented, educated and best qualified folks to enter the punishment of public life.

Its all enough to make anyone think twice about entering public life. An annual salary package of better than $100K would not be near enough for me to face the likes of little Dick Cahill or Cruella DiBella on a 9-5 basis monday thru friday, nor have my reputation destroyed for sport in front of God and everyone by Hugh Reynolds in the Freeman. When you stop to consider that elected public officials have a public responsibility every day of their term, 24-7, you can appreciate that no amount of money is enough.
***********************************************************************

The first paragraph appears to be quite reasonable in justifying pay rates for municipal elected officials. However, any review should be done in conjunction with the comparison of salaried public officer positions in communities of equivalent population.

As to the second paragraph; Yes, elected public officials have a public responsibility as well as ACCOUNTABILITY. Unfortunately, few elected to public office remember this concept. Make no mistake about it, the vast majority of politicians are self-serving opportunists who will get whatever they can out of the system. The “punishment of public life” cited goes with the territory that encompasses hostile detractors, critics, spurned former supporters and unfriendly newspaper editors.

What elected public officials have that average Joe or Jane working stiff do not is a fixed term of office guaranteeing employment over a four-year period. In addition, membership in the New York State Local Retirement System is available with the option to collect a pension at the minimum retirement age of 55. Talented, educated, and best-qualified folks make it on their own without the need of being on the public dole and simply realizing the aggravation is not worth the trouble in entering public life.

Anonymous said...

It takes balls for Sottile to ask for a raise after he and his friends tell the construction workers they have to lower their pay if they want to work in Ulster County.He has to go,maybe to China with his offspring!!!

Anonymous said...

"Cruella Dibella." Interesting name. Perhaps "Elvira Ringwood, Mistress of The Dark," could be added. On second thought it should be "Elvira Provenzano, Mistress of the Useless." Oh yeah--"another company"---sort of.
In any case, does anyone seem to understand that perhaps an alderman could be elected that may need that part time salary to survive, and that the logic that Ms. "Cruella" used to naysay the idea of such folks having a pay raise would thus truly represent "Cruella Philosophy?" And whatever happened to the idea that Democrats were supposed to be for the common man, the underpaid and so forth? However one slices it, the Mayor is not underpaid compared to many others in his organization. Where is his concern for THEM--stuck in a prayer response to the ritual petition recited at Mass, not yet sent skyward?
And furthermore...the nonsense about the brightest being lured to politics with money is silly. The most skilled at trickery will always seem to rise to the top of that barrel, with the exception of folks like Sottile who simply, in the words of Bubba Clinton, "work hard, playbahtherules, and show up." He can so bypass all the strongarm tactics used by folks like Saddam Hussein and so forth in getting to the top, and simply wield power arrogantly like a drunken Roman Emperor. Well, it beats actually throwing real punches and getting into real fights unlike the one at the bar, like he did in grade school!!
Hail, Maximus Aurellius--if HE exists!!