County legislators reject own pay raises

Pay hikes for Westchester County legislators were rejected Monday after sparking public outrage.

Taxpayers and government groups came out against the plan, which would have seen the salaries of some lawmakers go up as much as twofold. Others would have seen an extra $12,000 a year at the same time lawmakers were raising property taxes nearly 4 percent.

The Westchester County Board of Legislators met for only minutes and agreed that the timing of the proposed hikes was all wrong.

?With all the foreclosures and unemployment and property tax increases, I think it?s horrendous and lawmakers should just step aside and say no,? said Chairman William Ryan (D-District 5).

Supporters of the bill argued that most legislators work full time and should get full-time salaries. However, they get paid part-time salaries.

Independent groups like Westchester County Associations and League of Women Voters say legislators are part-time workers and ran for the seats knowing that.

The vote doesn?t mean the pay hikes won?t be passed at some point. A special compensation committee will be put in place next year to determine what kind of pay raises would be fair and appropriate.

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