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Orangetown: No Decision Yet on Police Raises

Town lawmakers mull five-year contract with progressively higher pay increases

Orangetown lawmakers did not reach a final decision about contracts with the at Tuesday's board meeting, but noted rising costs are presenting a problem for the town.

Supervisor Andy Stewart and other board members are with the Rockland County Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association (PBA) that would retroactively implement 2.25 percent raises for 2011.

Going forward, town police would see a 2.25 percent raise for 2012, 2.35 percent raise for 2013, 2.45 percent raise for 2014 and 2.50 percent raise for 2015. Benefits would remain the same, officials noted.

"It costs more and more every year," Stewart said. "It's not really an affordable solution."

Three local lawmakers—Tom Diviny, Denis Troy and Paul Valentine—have already signed off on the agreement.

Stewart said the town is calling on New York State to mend the way arbitration is carried out. Currently, the PBA looks to neighboring towns and bases their numbers partially on that.

"Local governments have to have more latitude to negotiate," Stewart said.

Still, the final vote remains weeks out.

"That agreement would not be ready for a final decision next week, as we thought it might be," he said, noting one lawmaker will be absent, and citing other reasons, as well.

Stewart noted police are crucial to the town—"we have low crime rate, and we want to keep it that way," he said—but rising costs are a burden on taxpayers.

"Our hands are tied as a community and as taxpayers," Valentine said.

"We would rather have 90 or 100 police officers in a program we can afford, but unfortunately we're going to have fewer and fewer officers as the budget gets crunched," Stewart added.

Watchdog June 08, 2012 at 03:49 PM
The Town Leaders shoul be able to rally the citizens for a Town wide protest against these outrageous slaries and benefits. Anyone can cave in to the ...WE HAVE NO CHOICE...MANTRA. Leadership in rallying ala Scott Walker is what is needed...not wimping out to the uncaring Public Unions.
Brian Goudie June 08, 2012 at 06:14 PM
Talk vs. Action: Example 2: A police officer's pension is determined by the last three years of salary. So it is a given that when a member of the Police Department gets ready to retire, the others police officers throw as much overtime as they can over to him/her. This effectively jacks up the amount of pension that that officer will receive at taxpayers' expenses for the rest of their life. Why not stop this abuse? Where is the courage, Paul and Andy? Do you have the guts to really deal with this? We are waiting see if you really intend to lead us out of this madness.
Mike Hirsch June 09, 2012 at 12:28 AM
Andy Stewart is fast becoming my favorite elected official. The solution is really very simple. You need to start with zero and end with zero. If the best you can do with the PBA is 2.5%/year for 5 years, then decrease the police dep't budget by an equal amount. Any CEO in private industry worth his salt can reduce costs by 2.5%/year without it affecting service. Do it in Orangetown and embarass our Clarkstown local hacks into doing the same.
Bill June 16, 2012 at 03:26 AM
Mr, Stewart and Valentine please dont listen to these people. lay off cops? r u kidding me. crime rates are very low here, maybe because we have good cops who work hard. in municipal services u get what u pay for.
Mike June 16, 2012 at 03:35 AM
Is crime rate low b/c of PD or is it an attribute of the community? FBI crime stats show crime rate ( if you can really call it tha t) actually has decreased in Orangetown over past few years at same time the number on force has also decreased. So not sure there is a significant relationship to # of POs and crime rate.

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