NORWALK, Conn. – A planned $21,000 raise for the next mayor of Norwalk will be moved to the city’s contingency budget to end confusion over when the money will be allocated.
Mayor Richard Moccia, who said he has had to battle a perception that he’s receiving the raise when he’s not, suggested to the Board of Estimate & Taxation Monday that the money should be placed there until Jan. 1, 2014, which will fall after the city’s next mayor is elected.
“I want to make it clear that this money is in the next term,” Moccia said. “I’m not getting a raise. Whoever is elected the next mayor will receive it.”
By keeping the mayor’s future raise in the city’s contingency spending plan, Moccia is hoping to erase the perception that he is receiving a salary increase this year, when residents and some companies are continuing to struggle in the current recession.
Last month, the Common Council overwhelmingly approved raises for the city’s “Ordinance List” of non-union employees, which are department heads and other supervisors including the mayor, finance director, corporation counsel and city clerk, among others.
Moccia’s current salary is about $118,000, and after the raise for that position in 2014, that person will receive about $139,000. The amount signifies the mid-point of the finance director’s salary.
The reasoning behind the raise was to boost the mayor’s position so that future mayor’s earns more than many of the city’s top-earners because the mayor is considered the city’s top official.
Currently, Moccia’s salary is not among the top 100 salaries in the city. Interim school superintendent Tony Daddona had the highest salary among Norwalk officials last year at about $198,500, followed by Police Officers Russell Ouellette ($190,700) and Paul Larsen ($183,900). Ouellette’s and Larsen’s salaries are enhanced by working considerable amounts of overtime.
Moccia has had to explain in comments on websites and on social media that he is not receiving the raise, though he would receive half of it in January if he is re-elected.
Four Democratic candidates have lined up to unseat him, former Police Chief Harry Rilling, District D Democratic leader Vinny Mangiacopra, former Town Clerk Andy Garfunkel and Common Councilman Matt Miklave.