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Council Gives Itself 32% Pay Raise, Supported by Western Queens Councilmembers

Source: Flickr

Source: Flickr

Feb. 5, 2016 By Jackie Strawbridge

The City Council voted overwhelmingly to give themselves a 32 percent pay raise on Friday, bringing their salaries from $112,500 to $148,500.

Council Members voted 40 to 7 in approval of the pay raises. Western Queens Council Members Jimmy Van Bramer, Costa Constantinides, Daniel Dromm and Julissa Ferreas-Copeland voted in approval, according to a tally from the Council Speaker’s office.

This pay raise marks the Council’s first since 2006.

The approved salary hike is about $10,000 higher than that recommended late last year by the Quadrennial Advisory Commission, whose task is to evaluate City elected officials’ compensation. In a December report, the Commission recommended a salary of $138,315.

Council Speaker Melissa Mark Viverito has asserted that the salary approved Friday is warranted because it comes alongside financial reforms, including prohibiting outside income for Council Members.

Under the new pay grades, the Council Speaker’s salary will jump to $164,500.

City Council also approved higher salaries for the Mayor ($258,750), Public Advocate ($184,800), Borough Presidents ($179,200), Comptroller ($209,050) and District Attorneys ($212,800 or the salary of a supreme court justice in their district, whichever is higher.)

These pay grades are in line with the Quadrennial Advisory Commission’s December recommendations. Following the Commission’s report, Mayor Bill de Blasio released a statement saying he will not accept a raise this term.

The raises will be retroactive to Jan. 1.

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