Amherst Supervisor Barry Weinstein doesn't want to give himself a raise, but he's recommending one for almost every other elected official in town.
"I thought it was time to acknowledge all the hard work of all our elected officials," he said.
Weinstein said that the town has been successful in controlling costs and reducing taxes each of the last three years, during which time most elected officials saw no change in pay. Many department heads also saw their salaries frozen.
With the supervisor putting the finishing touches on his 2013 budget proposal, in which he anticipates another property tax cut, he said it would be wrong to not recommend pay increases of roughly 2 percent for elected officials when he's recommending similar increases for some non-elected department heads.
"Begrudging them a onetime 2 percent raise is pretty shortsighted," Weinstein said. "We want to incentivize everyone to perform to the best of their ability."
He also said no elected town official came to him requesting a raise; the recommendations are entirely his. The pay hikes will be up for a vote at Monday's Town Board meeting. Here's the breakdown:
Council members: from the current $25,500 to $26,000, a $500 raise.
Deputy supervisor: $3,000 stipend is unchanged, but the deputy supervisor would also receive an additional $3,000 if he's assigned collective bargaining responsibilities with the town unions.
Town clerk: $65,000 to $66,300, a $1,300 raise.
Highway superintendent: $97,000 (total compensation, including three stipends) to $98,700.
Town justices: Unchanged at $96,700. Judges received a pay increase in 2011 when they moved to full-time status.
Town supervisor: Unchanged at $75,000.
Council members and other elected town officials appeared evenly split regarding their support for the supervisor's resolution on Thursday. The last time elected town officials received across-the-board increases was in 2004, though there have been some intermittent raises for various elected officials since then.
Deputy Supervisor Guy Marlette, who has helped negotiate some union contracts on the town's behalf and would stand to gain the most from the pay raises, said he wasn't interested.
"He told me that he was going to put something through, and I told him I wasn't going to support it," Marlette said. "I'm not going to support increases for any other elected positions. I'm certainly not going to support it for mine."
Council Member Mark Manna also said he was strongly opposed to raises for all elected officials. Council Members Steven Sanders, Barbara Nuchereno and Richard "Jay" Anderson said they weren't initially opposed to cost-of-living adjustments for time-consuming jobs, though some said their positions weren't firm.