Planned Raise For Norwalk Mayor Moved To Contingency

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Norwalk Mayor Richard Moccia suggested Monday the city move a planned raise next year for his position to the city's contingency fund to make sure there is no confusion that he will not receive a raise this year. Photo Credit: Alfred Branch

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.

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Comments (29)

OLD TIMER:

If the mayor gets 18%, for whatever excuse is used to justify it, don't expect any of the unions to rush to accept much less. A raise may be justified, but please keep in mind, nobody can give that size raise to just one employee without a ripple effect throughout the city. Despite what moccia says, he expects to get re-elected and to get the raise in both his salary and his PENSION. The pension will be more than 18% higher because he will have worked more years and length of service is part of pension benefit calculations.

lwitherspoon:

It's true that Norwalk's Mayor is paid considerably less than the Mayors of Stamford and Bridgeport, but these are very difficult economic times. There are companies in the private sector where the President makes less than some star performers who report to him, so I don't accept that as the logic for why this Mayoral pay raise had to happen now. It is not appropriate to raise ANYBODY'S salary when at the same time you're cutting taxpayers take-home pay with a 4% property tax increase.

So I have a question for all the Mayoral candidates, Democrat and Republican. Will you offer to give up this raise for the entire length of your term if the City's municipal employee unions all agree to forego their own raises?

Broad River:

.It seems any increase this year is irresponsible. An 18% wage hike is just wrong in any one year.

norwalkspends4:

You're right. The left is primarily concerned with limiting government spending and lowering taxes

right wing are wackos:

Correct its about time some says the truth..As we all know its the right wing wacko republicans that are the ones that tax and spend...Remember the 2 wars Bush started on lies and financed..
Thank You for pointing that out norwalkspends4

norwalkspends4:

Try not to operate any heavy equipment for a while, RWAW.

Be safe.

Norwalk Native:

What, exactly, is a progressive Democrat, and how does this mindset distinguish one from say.. a liberal, moderate or conservative Democrat? Generally, a progressive lens provides ocular clarity and sharper vision at all distances. Does the "progressive" mindset provide insight to all viewpoints when specific issues/items are brought to the table for concensus?

norwalkspends4:

Thanks for your service.

I am nowhere near the particulars of the politics, but it seems they are part of the problem, too. It's no surprise that blue state republicans are free spenders....Especially when their boss is the likely recipient of the cash. Which might explain your NO vote, too? :)

Anna Duleep:

@norwalkspends4,

Actually, I was the only person who voted NO to this raise. I am a Progressive Democrat. It was a tripartisan coalition of Republicans, Democrats, and one Unaffiliated who approved this raise (everybody else on the CC minus one absent member & Matt Miklave, who recused himself). Even Nick Kydes, arguably our most fiscally conservative Republican, voted YES to raise the next Mayor's pay.

- Councilwoman Anna Duleep

ENorwalk:

How about we cut back on all of the overtime so we dont have a traffic cop as the highest paid city employee?

Broad River:

At least limit OT to no more than 8 hours a week. We don't need burnt out sleepy cops working, when they are working for us. They can still easily bring down an extra 18K a year that way.

Paige:

I don't know if this is true in Norwalk, but recently someone in Stamford pointed out that when an officer works a dirt job, the utility (CL&P, Yankee Gas, O&G, whoever) pays the Police Department for the service. The officer does get overtime pay, but the Police Department in Stamford also get something like 16% of the cost, which means the officer is actually bringing in revenue to the Department.

Does anyone know whether that is true here in Norwalk?

OLD TIMER:

The OT for construction jobs goes through City Payroll and the contractor is charged that amount plus a "service fee". That fee is income to the city.

.jrey:

This is how it works. The cop gets 65 plus an hour to sit in a running city gas creating wear and tear on the vehicle and using gas at 4 bucks plus a gallon. Of course the cop is sitting in the car reading the paper while motorists are attempting to get around the construction site . The funny thing is that some will have you believe that the taxpayers are not paying for this, well that is not true as the taxpayer pays each and every penny of this as the contractor charges a higher rate to pay for the cops OT or the utility charges a higher rate to compensate for the 65 plus per hour. Also this OT boosts the cops retirement as it is paid via city payroll.

On the other hand we could use flag men or traffic agents as many towns, cities and Moccia urban center do at 15 and under per hour , no city car and no city gas. Also the best perk is the traffic agent actually directs traffic instead of reading the paper...Plus no gas and no wear and tear on a city car.
The issue is the mayor will not go against the thugs of the police union as he is more concerned about the endorsement than the taxpayer this was proven by appointing a new chief with ZERO search for the best candidate. Also let us not forget that Ct has NO law that says we must use cops at hole.

Paige:

The question I asked was whether or not anyone knew if the Police Department received a percentage of the cost when an officer does a dirt job. I did not ask how the contracts or even when the contracts were negotiated. Nor did I say that the State requires an officer at the site.

I don't believe the Mayor has anything to say about the negotiations with the unions. I think that is pretty much handled by the Personnel Department and the Legal Department. As to the police officers reading while on the job, I've never seen that. I've seen them standing outside in the blistering heat or the freezing rain, but never sitting in the car reading.

Of course the residents always pay. I would bet that there are plenty of people who would like to have natural gas at their house rather than oil and electric. The installation will cost people. That's how businesses run. One thing I often hear people say is that the big businesses get rich on all the profit. Well, some of that profit went back to the City in the form of cost for the officers and possibly a percentage to the Department. Regarding the boost in the OT and ultimately in retirement benefits, well, there's a lot of other professions where people do the same thing. It would be considered looking out for one's family.

OLD TIMER:

OT does NOT have an effect on pensions.
The police contract is available online. Not all the job sites where you see cops working OT are city jobs, a lot are private jobs where a property owner is paying to have something installed or repaired. The city does get a percentage of any OT job when cops are hired and that fee is added to the bill to the contractor.

Broad River:

I have no idea. Sounds like that 16% covers the cost of an idling vehicle. I have nothing against the cops working O.T.. I jst don't want drowsy cops working their shifts.
I would take O.T. on occasion but on the end of my shift not my days off. So coming home at 8PM instead of 3:30PM didn't really impact my next mornings performance. It counted as double time so I got 8 hours pay and it took care of the taxes, so it was still a true gain. If I did it twice in a week, I felt my quality of life with my family suffered. For years working an extra 4 hours paid my heating bill. Nobody lived in a stuffy house and nobody needed to wear a sweater indoors. It took care of Christmas for the most part and sure helped my 3 kids participate in sports and summer camps away from home. But I never felt as though I was compromising my patients. I just would like to feel as though the cops pulling O.T. aren't neglecting the publics need for alert and vigilant officers.
Almost time for another spider run Paige? :-)

Paige:

Actually, I was thinking about another spider run for tomorrow, but may have to put it off til Friday. It is important to plan these things carefully for maximum benefit.

Broad River:

Always weighing your options for maximum gain, Love it ! ;-)
I use to think Sunday mornings if you can be the first in the door is when they tasted best and you could also get the pick of the litter lol. An18% increase would be devisationg.

Paige:

I'm not really sure, but I think that the non-union department heads have a salary scale that moves up with the union agreement. I agree with you that 18% seems rather steep. At the same time, I also remember a discussion about the fact that former Superintendent Marks was getting over $200,000, which struck me as odd when the Mayor didn't make the list of the top ten highest earners in Norwalk. So, I picked up the phone and called someone who would know how much the Mayor did get. Let me just say that I sat down rather suddenly when I was told that it was under $100,000 at that time. Knowing that, I wonder if the 18% is more of a COLA (cost of living adjustment) rather than a straight raise.

There were only light flurries this morning, so today's choice was the chocolate toasted coconut. Yum.

Broad River:

Thanks for asking somebody that would know. The story reads as if it is the next planned raised and it's not broken down for us.

They don't make a bad anything there !

Paige:

Just let me clarify that when I originally asked about the Mayor's salary, it was at that time under $100,000. Dr. Marks' BOE contract had just been signed and there were hysterics all around. Now I believe the Mayor's salary has been increased so it is over $100,000.

I also sent a question out to someone who would know about the utilities pay for dirt jobs. The answer I got back was what the city does is charge an extra 8% to book the jobs. It covers (supposedly) the administrative expense of arranging the job, obtaining an officer and doing the payroll function. You would have to vertify this with the Finance Department, but I think that when those checks come in, they apparently go into the general fund.

Most of the time, I find that once you know who to call and how to ask the question, the information is easily obtained.

.jrey:

Enorwalk and broad river you both make excellent points. The issue is no one in Norwalk government wants to take on the thugs of the police union. Broad River makes a very good point about burnt out cops as this may explain the lack of results from the NPD.

beverly.lysobey:

Part time employees of Norwalk have received a 0% raise in at least 4 years. These are not transient employees; many have worked for the city for decades. Many of these people reside in Norwalk and pay ever increasing taxes. Other communities (Westport noteably) split the percentage among ALL employees. This is the fair and ethical thing to do. I am against any raise unless ALL employees are included.

Broad River:

A raise, based on merit, longevity or cost of living? No matter which or even all, shouldn't amount to nearly 18%. Not in these economic times or any. I'm assuming it must be a cost of living raise, if it is to be given to the next mayor as he gets elected. Is this including all benefits or just cold hard cash?
$139,000 is about twice what the mayor of Waterbury gets.

$62,000 is a national average. This salary was calculated using the average salary for all jobs with the term "mayor" anywhere in the job listing.
http://www.simplyhired.com/a/salary/search/q-mayor

Lisa:

The fact that ANYONE is talking about raises for anybody in public service in this economic climate is ridiculous. The mayor didn't vote this for himself, but for the Common Council who did, it reflects poorly and suggests how out of touch you are with the tax paying public. The logic used about the mayor's office making as much as department heads down at city hall isn't rational either, since folks aren't too happy about their performance either.

Ken P Jr:

Why does the next mayor need a raise? About the ONLY people I know who are still getting raises work for the city or state, just saying.

norwalkspends4:

Welcome to a blue state...if you believe govt is the answer, and bigger govt spending will cure the economy, this is what you get. People on the left voted FOR this and have no right to whine.

right wing are wackos:

norwalkspends4
You may want someone with a better education to read this article to you...It says both dems and the right wing wackos voted for this..Also the mayor is a right winger if you were not aware. This is not a blue red state issue.

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