Oswego Council Narrowly Approves Raises For Its Leaders

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.


  1. You legislators who voted for this have a lot of nerve asking for a raise when so many of your constituents, including my elderly in laws, are struggling in this economy. You will be run out of office. All of you.

  2. Please Mr. Kaplewicz, tell us how you and Mr. Myer’s are deserving of this raise. The Second Ward for instance, is a mess. Mr. Myer’s only represents himself. What has he done? What have you done? Besides fatten your wallets? This is a slap in the tax payers face. The DPW workers have been without a contract for how long? Insurance is going up. Now more is being taken out of the paychecks with no raise for our hardworking employees. And you have the nerve to want and get a raise? Enjoy it while you can, because come election time, the tax payers will remember this and hopefully vote you two selfish pigs out!!!!

  3. It’s like the rest of this beautiful country, greatest place to live, owned and run by the greatest of crooks!

  4. Eventho it wouldn’t have changed the outcome, Myers and Kaplewicz should have not of voted. It is a conflict of interest as these two hold those postions now. Not fair!!!! This should be brought back to the floor and over turned!!!

  5. Does ANYONE else but me remember what the Third Ward looked like a mere thirty years ago? How about the Fourth? etc. And what about four or five years ago with college kids gone wild most weekends throughout many neighborhoods?

    There is an improvement in these areas. Our city looks a LOT better (go to some of the historic photos and take a look at Bridge Street,for instance). Those walking tours take time away from family and other activities. How long have YOU yourself spoken to your elected official about business that is important to you? Half hour, probably not. Probably more like 45 minutes to an hour once you get venting. Multiple that by all the residents who take the time to call. Have you ever been told your elected official can’t spare the time to talk to you now? I’d bet they’d much rather be eating their dinners HOT.

    I know that the ‘compensation’ for doing this for the rest of us is not a lot. It is in the public records. Trust me, it’s a lot less than minimum wage if you divide the hours.

    Cities are big business, and Councilors don’t make a tenth what a CEO of a small, small non-government business make. Or even what a lot of our clerical help get in any government office, not that they don’t earn their keep, too. Most really do, but their hours after work are mostly their own.

    I DO understand how much our taxes stress us, and I have to say, I,personally, believe there are a lot of places we could cut (but I am not in the know, and I don’t know the ramifications of these cuts). IF I were a councilor, I would, and that would take hours and hours to figure out.

    So, taking a devil’s advocate view, how much are we talking about when we have 100,000$ budgets for departments with a lot less ‘accessibilities’ to the public than our councilors.

    Unless you’ve done the job, you really can’t see … and the truth is, maybe there is a way to find the money for employees of the general public as these men are if we look (and it is these people we are asking to look).

    Now, my next question, when are we getting another woman? Would be nice to have that viewpoint. One down, we need another.


  6. “What is recusal and abstention, and when must a municipal officer or employee recuse himself or herself and abstain from a matter when acting within his or her official capacity?

    Recusal and abstention occur when a municipal officer or employee does not participate in any decision or official action. Participating in a decision or official action includes, but is not limited to, any form of pre-decisional communications (including e-mails), informal or formal discussions, and voting on the matter. The Model Code (Sections 6 and 7) generally requires recusal and abstention on any matter requiring the exercise of discretion when the municipal officer or employee knows or has reason to know that the action could confer a direct or indirect financial or material benefit on himself or herself, a relative, or any private organization in which he or she is deemed to have an interest.”

Comments are closed.