OSWEGO, NY – In a split vote Monday night, the Common Council approved salary hikes for its president and vice president.
At its reorganizational meeting at the start of this month, the council elected Ron Kaplewicz as president and Mike Myers as vice president.
As council president, Kaplewicz will assume the mayor’s duties in his absence; and, if he becomes incapacitated for any reason, he would take over as the acting mayor.
Monday night, Councilor Dan Donovan, Fifth Ward, sought to have part of the rules of the council amended.
Rule III, line 6 and Rule IV, line 1, authorize an additional compensation of $5,000 per year for the council president and $2,500 for the vice president.
His motion to amend was seconded, but it failed by a 3-4 vote.
The vote to approve the rules was passed 5-2 with Donovan and Councilor Shawn Walker, Fourth Ward, voting “absolutely not.”
It’s not a personal thing, Donovan said of his motion to ax the pay hikes.
“I think our president and vice president are doing a great job,” he said. “But after asking every department to make cuts, I don’t think this is the time or place to give raises.”
“I support what Mr. Donovan is saying. How can we ask our department heads to cut their budgets and give out raises. I don’t believe we should do this,” Councilor Walker said.
He added the city has agreed to new contracts with some unions that contain a zero percent wage increase.
“This is wrong, I’m sorry. I’m not going to support this,” he said.
The council president defended the move.
“In any business when a particular position is given more responsibility, there is recognition of those responsibilities,” Councilor Kaplewicz told Oswego County Today.
For examples, he cited the Oswego County Legislature with its chairman, minority and majority leaders all getting extra compensation.
“In this case, you have a president and a vice president; a president that serves in the absence of the mayor. I’ve sat in the (mayor’s) chair many times and have had added obligations and responsibilities as well as other obligations and responsibilities,” he said.