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The mayor of Middletown held a public hearing Wednesday to hear what residents think about a proposal to increase his salary by more than $30,000. It would be the first raise in more than 10 years. YNN's Michael Howard has that story.
MIDDLETOWN, N.Y. –"This is about time."
It was the sentiment Wednesday by handful of people who attended a public hearing regarding the salary of Middletown Mayor Joseph DeStefano and whether to raise it. If it is passed, the mayor's pay would go from $39,000 to $75,000.
It's the first pay raise in 12 years, but DeStefano says the increase in salary would attract qualified candidates for the job, which has been declared a full time position. He says the increase would then be level with other towns in the area and within his own office.
“This position is being compensated much less than other positions within the county. Some positions are almost three times the amount,” said Middletown Mayor, Joseph DeStefano.
According to the mayor, many candidates for city positions are running unopposed, which tells him the salary for a position is an important fact for anyone thinking about running.
“If you’re not capable of doing the job due to your financial situation,” said DeStefano. "We’ve seen the result of that and the result is out of 10 elected offices that are up this year, seven of them are unchallenged and it’s not good for democracy.”
The proposal was passed eight to one by the common council, with the one no vote by Alderman Michael Amodio. Following the meeting, the Times Herald Record reported he voted no because of the timing, saying it should have been done earlier in the year to attract candidates before this election.
The public comment period has been open for more than a week and DeStefano says he hasn’t heard much opposition for the plan. If it continues, he could pass the proposal Thursday, which would go into effect on January 1st.