UTICA, N.Y. -- During their regular meeting Wednesday, the Oneida County Board of Legislators voted to increase the salaries of four elected officials.
The local law was voted on nearly unanimously by the board. The increase applies to the following positions:
County Executive Anthony Picente Jr. will earn $140,000 per year, increased from $114,375.
County Comptroller Joseph Timpano will earn $87,000 per year, increased from $73,120.
County Clerk Sandra DePerno will earn $85,000 per year, increased from $69,636.
Sheriff Robert Maciol will earn $115,000, increased from $101,492.
The board of legislators also approved an increase for their own salaries, from $8,368 to $16,000. Their salaries have remained untouched since 1994.
The increases were formulated and reviewed by a citizen review committee. Though only legislator salaries required outside review, county officials chose to utilize their services for all of the proposed pay increases.
"Top-notch people that concluded that the pay structure was lower for the caliber of people we have in the types of jobs they do," George Joseph, the board's majority leader said. "It was made up by citizens that came up with a review and they reviewed a number of counties of our size to make comparisons."
The citizens review committee was comprised of five people, including a corrections officer, a veteran, and Utica College's president. Two members were appointed by County Executive Anthony Picente, and the rest were appointed by different members of the county board.
The one legislator who voted against the increases said he struggled with the decision's midterm timing.
"Elected officials run for a term, they know what the term is, they know what the salary is," Richard Flisnik, who represents the eighth district said. "I think we should honor what the voters knew the salary was for that elected official."
Joseph says the salary increases aren't necessarily meant to reward current officials, but to motivate future ones.
"It''s paying good people to do the job and attract the best people to do the job," Joseph said.
"It's going to be one of those tough pills to swallow for some," Anthony Picente, county executive said. "It goes back to parity in terms of this county and what the future of this county leadership looks like."
"This is not something that I asked for or lobbied for, but it is a fair comparison to folks who are sheriff in similar counties," Sheriff Robert Maciol said.
County officials still must hold a public hearing, and expect the increases to take effect in mid-February of 2018.