Council Receives Salary Review, Report

The Jamestown Salary Review Commission is recommending an increase in salaries totaling $58,000 for the city’s 10 elected officials.

On Monday, the Jamestown City Council officially received the commission’s four-page report detailing why it came to the conclusion that the salary for the mayor should increase from $72,000 to $85,000 and for nine council members to have a pay hike of $5,000 each — currently the president gets $6,000 while the remaining members receive $5,000.

Anthony Dolce, Ward 2 councilman and Finance Committee chairman, said the council has three choices it can make in respect to the commission’s recommendations.

He said it can either accept the recommendation, change it or do nothing.

In the report, the commission stated it understands that, in a struggling local economy and in a city with budget concerns, that an increase of any sort will be looked on with skepticism and concern.

“This recommendation is not made lightly and is based, in part, on the unwelcome reception of commission reports in previous years that has left salaries lagging behind comparable cities and statewide trends,” the report stated.

The council last received a hike in pay in 1984 and the mayor last received a jump in compensation in 2008.

The report states the mayor is outside of the top 100 city salaries despite having significant responsibility.

“Attracting the best candidates in the position requires, in part, offering a salary commensurate with the job duties and expectations,” the report stated.

The commission stated that the mayor’s salary of $72,000 set in 2008 would equal $82,000 in 2018 dollars.

From 1984 to 1999, the mayor’s compensation was determined by a formula that granted an annual increase based on the average increase to the non-bargaining (department heads) employees.

The formula was replaced by a flat salary in 1999.

By comparison, the bargaining unit employees from 2000-2018 averaged a 2.45 percent annual increase.

The non-bargaining employees averaged 1.58 percent over the same period. According to the report, applying the pre-2000 formula, to the $65,000 the mayor made in 2000, the salary today would be $92,000.

If applied to the 2008 $72,000 salary, it would currently be $87,000.

The commission state that council’s $5,000 pay they started receiving in 1984 would have the purchasing power of $12,000 today.

If a 2 percent cost of living applied to both council and president they would be getting $9,800 and $12,000 respectively.

Every four years, according to the city charter, a salary review commission can be created to examine how much pay elected officials in the city receive.

Also according to the city charter, the council president and mayor each nominate three members for the commission.

The people nominated last year by Marie Carrubba, council president, included Tyler Case, Margaret Cornell and Catherine Way.

The three members nominated by Sam Teresi, city mayor, included Howard Brook, Dr. Lillian Ney and the Rev. Chloe Smith.

In December 2014, the commission recommended a salary increase for the mayor from $72,000 to $80,000 starting in 2016, with the salary increasing an additional $5,000 in 2017 and by $2,500 in 2018 and 2019, to a total of $90,000.

In 2014, the commission recommended council members’ salaries increasing from $5,000 a year to $6,000 in 2016, with the president’s salary increasing from $6,000 to $7,000.

Also, for the first time, committee chairs would get an additional $500 bonus.

The council during several meetings in 2014 and 2015 discussed the recommendations by the salary review commission, but didn’t act on any of the proposals.

The salary of an elected officials cannot be adjusted during a current term, which is why any change needs to be approved by the council in 2019 to go into effect in 2020.