LOCKPORT – Niagara County Public Health Director Daniel J. Stapleton is seeking an 8 percent pay raise – so far without success.
After his reappointment by the Board of Health, which was approved in January by the State Health Department, it was up to the board to recommend a salary figure to the County Legislature and County Manager Jeffrey M. Glatz.
Dr. Robert Bauer, the board president, did so in a March 18 letter obtained by The Buffalo News through a Freedom of Information request.
Bauer wrote that Stapleton, who is starting his second six-year term, deserves more money “based on his performance, qualifications and experience.” The letter asked for an immediate 8 percent boost retroactive to Stapleton’s official reappointment date of Jan. 28. That would boost his salary to $117,684 per year.
“Prior to Mr. Stapleton being given a 2 percent raise on Jan. 1, 2014, he went three years without a raise due to economical considerations,” Bauer wrote.
The County Legislature has no direct say in who the health director is, but it does get to set his salary. The 2 percent raise included in the 2014 budget brought Stapleton’s pay to $108,967.
Stapleton and Glatz met to discuss the request last week. Stapleton said later that no decisions were made.
Glatz said he wants to look at comparable salaries in other counties and review Stapleton’s salary history.
Saratoga County, whose population is almost the same as Niagara County’s, pays its health director $88,988. Ontario County, which is about half the size of Niagara, pays $102,457.
When Stapleton started as director in 2007, he was earning $87,014 a year. He served 10 years as the county Health Department’s deputy director and director of financial operations before his promotion.
Meanwhile, Stapleton told the Board of Health last week that he is hoping for county funding next year for some of the activities formerly carried out by the Healthy Neighborhoods Program, which shut down April 25 after losing its state grant funding. The county can’t apply for another grant for five years.
Stapleton said he’s also asked state Sen. George D. Maziarz and Niagara Falls Mayor Paul A. Dyster to provide some funding. Healthy Neighborhoods Program staffers worked almost exclusively in Niagara Falls, although plans were afoot to expand into other communities when the funding spigot was turned off.