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CATTARAUGUS TO MULL PAY RAISES NEXT WEEK; MINORITY DEMOCRATS FAIL IN BID TO DELAY SALARY VOTE UNTIL LATE JANUARY

The County Legislature will air proposed raises for supervisor personnel and officials ranging from $5 to more than $6,000 at a hearing next week after the Legislature's Democrats failed to delay the process Wednesday.

A vote is scheduled to follow next Wednesday's public hearing.

The minority Democrats were unsuccessful Wednesday night in a series of maneuvers designed to put off a vote until late January.

"It's the holidays and people aren't interested in coming down here next week," Minority Leader Joseph K. Eade said. "No harm will be done by delaying as the raises will be retroactive to Jan. 1 and there will be more time for public input."

The compensation plan for managerial and confidential employees and for certain county officers is based on a program used in Ontario County and on surveys of other Western New York Counties with similar populations.

Legislators were given charts showing current salaries, amounts 71 workers will receive under the current process and under the proposed plan. Workers would receive annual raises of about about 4 percent based on their service and also will receive any raises given to workers in the county's three labor unions.

Since the county has budgeted for 3 percent raises for employees next year, the workers in the management-confidential group could get a total of 7 percent or more.

The raises vary from $5 for the director of nursing services and $22 for the controller to $3,337 for the environmental health director and $1,525 for the chief of operations in the Sheriff's Department, plus the additional 3 percent or more.

In addition, a benefits package for those employees will be negotiated in September.

Legislator Kenneth McClune, D-Salamanca, earlier told the Negotiating and Finance committees, "We should be doing that now, not later. I don't like that part." As a result McClune and four other Democrats voted no when Majority Leader Peter Kittleson, R-Yorkshire, called for voting on the raises next week.

McClune said the raises will cost the county a minimum of $60,000 next year, about $90,000 in 1992 and $250,000 a year within five years.

His figures include raises in a companion measure, requiring a public hearing next week, setting higher salaries for county officers, including the administrator, attorney, public works and social services commissioners and other department heads.

"It's just like increasing legislator's salaries, it's never the right time," said Don B. Winship, who heads the Negotiating Committee.

The Legislature also:

Approved a countywide, 35-cent telephone line surcharge that will go into effect Feb. 1 in preparation for an enhanced 911 emergency telephone system coming on line in 1993. The fee is expected to generate more than $50,000 next year toward the cost of setting up the system and purchasing transmitting equipment.

The measure was approved following a public hearing at which only Laura Bennett of Steamburg, a former Democrat legislator, spoke. "This surcharge will affect everybody no matter what their income. Telephones are a necessity. Think about it before you vote," she said.

After another public hearing, adopted an ethics code for themselves and other county government officers. Beginning Jan. 1, they will be required to file disclosure statements with the county clerk's office that, with the exception of some personal financial information, will be available to the public.

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