December 29, 2021                                                        


Contact:  Rensselaer County Minority Leader Peter Grimm – (518) 265-6451

Democrat Minority Calls for Protection Against Unprecedented Pay Raises

On Tuesday, December 28, 2021, the Rensselaer County Minority Office filed a formal resolution calling for the establishment of a bipartisan legislative committee to explore taxpayer protection options that will prevent unprecedented salary increases without proper public notification and review.  This resolution was prompted by the last-minute filing from the Republican Majority to give pay raises to select individuals on December 21, 2021 after the 2022 County Budget was already adopted.

“As elected Legislators, we play an essential role in providing financial and budgetary oversight and transparency for the people we represent.  The 2022 County Budget was just recently unanimously adopted; there was no mention from the Republican Majority that they were considering salary increases for handpicked individuals.  It’s disingenuous and duplicitous to then turn around and amend this budget to include pay raises – without any public notification or review,” stated Democratic Leader Peter Grimm.

The seven-page resolution calling for salary increases, ranging from 2% to nearly 18%, was presented by the Republican Majority moments before the meeting.  There was no supporting documentation to justify the pay raises for the selected individuals that include County Executive Steve McLaughlin and his office staff Richard Crist and Jim Gordon.

“These pay raises should have been presented during the regular budget process whereby the public is properly notified and public hearings are held to appropriately discuss and debate the merits of all budgetary actions.  Instead, the Republican Majority, out of public view, uses the County savings to dole out pay raises, with no regard for the financial impact these legacy costs will have on the taxpayer,” stated Cindy Doran.

“It is incumbent upon elected Legislators to protect the taxpayer, stated Legislator Carole Weaver.  “The Democratic Minority is calling for the establishment of a bipartisan Committee to set forth proper procedures that call for salary increases to be part of the comprehensive budget process moving forward,” added Weaver.