Clarkstown's Outrageous Police Salaries

In a recent blog, Clarkstown resident, M. Hull, studied the Clarkstown's police salaries, compared them to other towns and mused about how the salaries of our police officers are affecting Clarkstown's property taxes. In summary, he found that in 2009, the last year state wide data was available, the Clarkstown police department employed the FIRST, SECOND and FOURTH highest paid county and municipal employee in New York state. Moreover, the Clarkstown police department also had the highest average salary in New York state with a mean compensation of $148,000/yr and a mean salary of $115,000/yr, which is more than DOUBLE the average police salary of all police officers in the USA. For a full reading of Mr. Hull's analysis, please click on the Read More button below.

Interim Results of Our Term Limit Initiative

The Clarkstown Taxpayers want to thank everyone for their hard work and support with helping get over 3,400 signatures for the term limit petition. We presented the petition to the Town Board at its August 16th meeting and we had just under 150 supporters at the meeting. Unfortunately, the Town Board seems to be hiding behind legal opinions that under NYS law they feel that our Term Limit petition cannot be put on the ballot in November. However, the final arbitrator will be the NYS Board of Elections. That being said, the Town board can enact term limits on themselves, but they have chosen not to do so at this time. Councilman Frank Borelli has indicated that he is willing to look into the Term Limit issue and has promised to try to get a Term Limit resolution developed at an upcoming Town Board workshop and then present it to the Town Board for a vote prior to the election. Councilwoman Shirley Lasker said Term Limits was a complicated issue and wants to study it and revisit it after the election (delay, delay, delay). Moreover, Supervisor Gromack and Councilwomen Lasker and Hausner are on the record as being opposed to Term Limits.

Remember that your time and efforts was not wasted. If you are in favor of Term limits, we encourage you to research the candidates and see where they stand on this and the other issues that are important to you. Get educated, get out the vote and send a message to the Town Board on how you feel about Term Limits. Click the READ MORE button for websites and addresses of the current Town Board and all the other candidates running for town office in November.

On another front, the Clarkstown Taxpayers, in spite of what the Town Board says, will be delivering the 3,450 signatures on our Term Limit petition to the Town Clerk and the NYS Board of Elections in the next few weeks and asking them to place this Term Limit referendum on the November ballot. Also, we will be reviewing the Town Board's legal opinions to see if what we have been told is correct, and if it is not and the Board of Election refuses to place the Term Limit referendum on the ballot, the Clarkstown Taxpayers will sue the Board of Elections in State Supreme Court.

We will continue to update you on this important Term Limit issue.

Town Board Enriches the Police with New Sick Day Policy

As many of you have read in the Journal News, the Clarkstown PBA asked our Town Board to increase the number of sick day that officers can cash in each year stating that it would save the town money in the long run. Supervisor Gromack and the rest of the Town Board were duped into agreeing with this policy change, even though the most likely reason the PBA wanted this change was to avoid the possibility of losing these accumulated sick days in the future because the anti-public union clamor around the country is growing stronger each day. Attached is a speech our founder, Mike Hirsch, gave to the Town Board at a recent meeting criticizing this policy change.

Another Successful Membership Meeting on Reducing Property Taxes

The Clarkstown Taxpayers had a membership meeting on April 10th to continue our discussion of Term Limits and to lead a seminar on "How to" reduce a homeowner's property tax by challenging the town's assessed valuation of his or her property. The meeting and seminar went very well with over 150 people in attendance. A copy of the presentation along with hand outs are attached. The presenter, Mark, is open to receive follow-up questions and his e-mail address is: MEBCPA41@aol.com.

Handout 1

Handout 2

Handout 3

Handout 4

Clarkstown's 2011 Salary Schedule

The new salary schedule is out:

- The very bad news is that most of the 6 department heads, that belong to the Special Bargaining Unit, got salary increases for 2011 of over 5%, one got a 15% salary increase. This at a time when the average taxpayer is lucky to have a job, let alone a raise.

- The bad news is that Gromack has given himself and most of his non-union senior managers 2.5% raises for 2011.

- The only good news is that the 4 Council members, police chief, captains and Advisory Board members got no raise.

Journal News Recognizes the Clarkstown Taxpayers

The editorial writer of the Journal News on Novenber 19, 2010 gave his opinion on the recent consolidation efforts in Clarkstown. He stated that these consolidations would not have occurred if not for the pressure applied by the Clarkstown Taxpayers to the Town Board.

Clarkstown Taxpayers' Pressure Results in 0% Tax Increase, But Gives All elected Officials and Appointed Employees a Raise

For the first time in recent memories, Clarkstown residents will see essentially a 0% tax increase for next year. This is a major victory for the Clarkstown Taxpayers, which formed in April 2009, and has demanded budget cuts and lower payroll. The Clarkstown Taxpayer organization certainly has had an impact on keeping last year's tax increase at 1.6% and this year's tax increase at 0%. This is especially true since taxes have increased by a cumulative 30% from 2005 to 2009 under the current administration before the Clarkstown Taxpayers were active. While 0% is good, our taxes could have actually decreased more if the Town Board didn't give 2.5% raises to all elected officials and a 3.8% raise to all appointment, non-union town employees. These raises are unconscionable and arrogant and come at a time when Clarkstown residents are still struggling with high employment, foreclosures and salary decreases or freezes.


Our response to Clarkstown's Proposed Raises - a Letter to the Editor:

Clarkstown 2010 Salary Schedule

Take a look at how your hard earned tax dollars are spent. Just click here for the details

Clarkstown Holding Taxpayers' Money

The town of Clarkstown is holding $21 million of taxpayers’ money in a Reserve Fund for a rainy day, which amounts to 21% of Clarkstown’s annual tax receipts.   Before the town sold its transfer station in 2007, Clarkstown had a reserve of only $7 million. Also, the Clarkstown School system, which has a budget 25% greater than the town’s budget, only has a reserve of $6 million. While obviously some reserve is required to handle unforeseen revenue shortfalls, the current size of the town’s reserve seems

Patronage Alive and Well in Clarkstown

While Supervisor Gromack professes to be against patronage, his last two appointments to senior level positions in Clarkstown’s government are people whose most obvious qualification seems to be some serious local political connections.

Update on Clarkstown 24/7 Town Vehicles

Clarkstown provides twenty nine employees (including people like the Town Insurance Manager) with town paid automobiles which are available to them on a 24/7 basis. The justification for this practice is that these people may need to come in at odd hours and it is appropriate to provide them with a vehicle instead of just reimbursing them for the mileage. We have not been given any formal accounting analysis which in fact supports this contention.

Cell Phone Usage by Clarkstown Town Employees

Forty Percent (40%) of Town employees have town owned cell phones, which will cost the taxpayers $157,000 this year. These 208 cell phones, of which the police department has 125 cell phones, are distributed among the town’s 512 employees (see attachment).  Many of these cell phones are not required, but the Town Board doesn’t see it that way.

 

Our Proposal for Bringing the Police Budget Back to Reality

TALKING POINTS POLICE BUDGET    

-   Objective:  Reduce the Police Budget

-   The 2010 Police Budget:  

      a)   $29.9 million, without Benefits.  With Benefits it would be around
$37 - 38 million or 34% of the "Fund" part of the town budget   
 

Patronage You Need to Know About

TALKING POINTS on PATRONAGE 12/11/09

Besides trying to reduce taxes, the Clarkstown Taxpayers would like to reduce the amount of Patronage and employees with two salaries in the Town.

A)   The Town Attorney's Office: Part time patronage jobs with most attorneys continuing to have law practices. This causes a Conflict of Interests in not knowing whose job they are working on and on specific cases
             

Our Proposal for Reducing the Advisory Board Gravy Train


TALKING POINTS on ADVISORY BOARDS

-   Town has 9 Advisory Boards costing almost $300,000/yr

-   6 Boards have 7 members

-   7 Boards have Chairmen and 3 Boards have Vice Chairmen

Our Group feels that there are too many members on each Board, the Board members are paid too much for a job, which, in the past, was a job paid with a small honorarium and the Boards are filled with many patronage  appointments.

Consolidation - Our Proposal for Making Government Efficient Again

  CONSOLIDATION/ SHARED & OUT-SOURCED SERVICES  
 
A)   Consolidation of Departments

Clarkstown Police Benefit Analysis - PBA vs. Corporate America

Clarkstown Police vs.

Clarkstown Police Arbitration Requests

CLARKSTOWN POLICE ARBITRATION REQUESTS 
 
 

A)   TOWN COUNCIL‘S PROPOSAL:

Current Clarkstown PBA Contract

This is the current Clarkstown PBA contract which expired 12/31/2008.  It covers all officers except the Chief, Captains, clerical employees and Auxiliary Police.   The town is taking the PBA to arbitration, but as you can read in the article about the Triborough Amendment to the Taylor Law, this bloated, perk filled contract remains in effect until a new contract is settled.  In these tough economic times where Clarkstown residents are losing their jobs and houses, THE CLARKSTOWN PBA IS DEMANDING MORE!!

Clarkstown PBA Compensation

Gromack's Tax History

A letter to Supervisor Gromack from our group detailing tax increases.

 

Supervisor A. J. Gromack                                       February 22, 2010

Clarkstown Employee Vehicle Use

On 12/11/09, two committee members of Clarkstown Taxpayers met with George Hoehmann and Frank Borelli, two of our Town Councilmen.  They also met with Supervisor Gromack later in the day.


»To be an information source for the residents by watching how the Town Board spends your money
»To significantly reduce town expenses and taxes
»To pass an 8 year Term Limit resolution to eliminate patronage and cronyism is town politics
»To cap public employee compensation


CLICK HERE to view and print an Informational Flyer about the Clarkstown Taxpayers

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