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Council set to vote on pay raises

City Treasurer Michael E. White is in line for a series of 5 percent pay raises over the next four years if the Common Council agrees Wednesday.

The Council also will vote on raises of $750 a year for itself, bringing aldermen's pay from the current $6,500 to $7,250 in 2008 and to $8,000 in 2009. The Council president will continue to be paid $500 more per year than the other aldermen.

The Council vote on elected officials' pay must be taken in July, according to the City Charter.

This is a city election year, but only one of the incumbent Council members is expected to have an opponent.

Alderwoman Phyllis J. Green, R-2nd Ward, is moving to the First Ward and running there for the first time. She said she has decided how she will vote on the raises but declined to reveal her decision Friday.

"You'll have to wait until Wednesday to find out," she said.

White, who became treasurer by mayoral appointment last year and won a contested primary and general election for a one-year unexpired term, is expected to be unopposed this year for a full four-year term.

The Council must set his pay for the full four years, and the plan drawn up by Corporation Counsel John J. Ottaviano calls for White -- who currently earns $56,320 -- to receive a raise to $59,136 in 2008.

Future salaries for White would be $62,093 in 2009, $65,197 in 2010 and $68,457 in 2011 -- all 5 percent annual increases.

Ottaviano said there was an understanding when White left the county that the city would make it worth his while.

"I told him if he was patient I would work with him after his second election to get him back to where he was with the county," Ottaviano said.

White left a job as deputy Niagara County treasurer to work at City Hall.

White has earned the nickname "Dr. No" around City Hall for his tough questioning of spending proposals.

"I question just about everything that takes place within my power," he said. "They kid around, but they know we have to talk about things."


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