VESTAL, NY (WSKG) -The Binghamton City Council is proposing a raise in the mayor’s salary next year.
Under the proposal, Mayor Rich David’s salary will increase by 2.5 percent in 2020 and top out around $74,000-per-year. It passed Monday night on a 4-2 vote, with one member absent.
When the issue was brought up at a September 30th budget hearing, some members said the Republican mayor was doing a good job and deserved the raise.
“It’s not just the mayor, but it’s the position that we’re going to give it to, although I think he’s doing a fantastic job,” said Republican Councilman Chris Papastrat at the hearing.
Democratic Councilman Dan Livingston, who voted ‘no’ on the proposal, doesn’t like that approach. “They weren’t making a decision about the salary of the mayor in general,” he said. “They were making a decision about Mayor Rich David’s salary for 2020.”
Livingston added the raise isn’t enough of an issue for him to vote against the entire 2020 budget.
Most councilmembers who voted ‘yes’ did not return a request from WSKG for comment. Councilmember Dani Cronce did respond, saying the raise is about guaranteeing a competitive salary for Binghamton’s future mayors.
“We are here for all residents, not just those who are in our own party,” said Cronce, in a statement. “Shame on the Democrats for making this political.”
Meanwhile, Mayor David wants the city council to continue incremental pay raises. He thinks that would cover multiple mayoral terms and take the politics out of it.
“When this council had an opportunity to do that, they didn’t do that,” David said. “Which I thought was unfortunate.”
David is in his second four-year run as mayor and is term-limited. He’ll leave office at the end of 2021.
The mayor’s salary had been essentially stagnant for decades. The City Council tried to address the issue 2015. That’s when legislation authorizing five years worth of incremental raises went into effect. Those raises totaled about $10,000. That legislation is now expired.