Christmas in Clarkstown

Supervisor Gromack, acting as Santa Claus at Christmas, gave raises to all union and non-union town employees for 2012. While most raises were a modest 2%, certain privileged town employees received much larger raises, including: Supt. of Parks (6% raise) to $155,000/yr.; Clerk of the Works (Lettre-co-chair of the local Conservative Party-5.7% raise) to $169,000/yr.; and the Director of Environmental Control (5.3% raise) to $188,000/yr. Overall, the Clarkstown salaries for full time employees, excluding hourly paid employees, is up $2.8 million in 2012, which amounts to a 7% increase over 2011. Of this total increase, the police department's salaries are up $2.2 million, mainly because of all the back pay owed them from the recent arbitration award. This $2.8 million increase in salaries represents a 2% increase in Clarkstown's total 2012 budget.

The problem in Clarkstown with even 2% raises is that these raises are now added to town employee salaries that are already extremely high when compared to similar jobs in private industry or in other towns. Examples of these already bloated town salaries, excluding benefits and over time, where applicable, are shown below and you can see all the salaries of the Clarkstown employees by name and position by clicking the READ MORE icon below.

Justice Clerk: $114,000/yr Chief of Staff to Gromack: $112,000/yr Comptroller: $173,000/yr
Ass't Comptroller: $105,000/yr Assessor: $151,000/yr Town Attorney: $156,000/yr
Recreation Supv.: almost $100,000/yr Auto Mechanics: almost $90,000/yr Custodians: $60,000/yr
Groundskeepers: over $70,000/yr Hwy. Equipment Operators: $80,000/yr Hwy. Main. Supv.: $100,000/yr
Hwy. Dept. Confidential Secretary: $100,000/yr Police Chief: $258,000/yr  

Secretive Special Bargaining Unit Contract for a few Special Department Heads

The Town has given a number of its department heads a special, highly lucrative contract, which gives these managers the protection of a union contract while at the same time the high salaries of management.

Special Bargaining Unit Gets Sweetheart Deal from Town Board

Presentation Made by the President of the Clarkstown Taxpayers
to the Town Board

I must say that this Town Board never ceases to amaze me. First, you give the taxpayers of Clarkstown a 0% tax increase, then just when we think you finally understand the message that the average citizen wants lower taxes and no sweet heart deals with special interest groups, you approve this outrageous contract with the Special Bargaining union.

This union is compromised of 6 already very highly compensated department heads, who currently make between $117,000 - $169,000/yr. This new contract gives raises and increased benefits to these already highly compensated employees at a time when the average citizen is not getting raises and is having their benefits reduced. Also, what type of precedence have you established when the regular CSEA union contract comes up for negotiation.

The six remaining departments heads in this union with their 2010 salaries are:

   - Building Inspector - Peter Beary - $149,000/yr

   - Director of Environmental Control - Kurian Kalarickal - $169,000/yr

   - Director of Automated Systems - Robert Stritmater - $126,000/yr

   - Director of Insurance - Robert Berdy - $117,000/yr

   - Supt. of Parks and Recreation - Jo Anne Pedersen - $138,000/yr

   - Clerk of the Works - E. Lettre - $151,000/yr

Term Limits Voted Down 3 - 2 by the Town Board

At the September 13th Town Board meeting, Councilman Borelli introduced a 12 year Term Limit proposal that was put up for a vote at the September 20th Town Board meeting. Councilmen Borelli and Hoehmann voted for the Term Limit resolution, while the other three members of the Town Board, Supervisor Gromack and Councilwomen Lasker and Hausner, voted No. These No votes tell me that the Town Board members who voted No are telling the 3,450 citizens of Clarkstown, who signed a Term Limit petition, and everyone else in Clarkstown who is for Term Limits that they don't care what the citizens of Clarkstown want because these Town Board members think they are smarter than us and that the average citizen is not smart enough to know what is best for them. Therefore, Term Limits are dead for now unless we vote the politicians who cast these No votes out of office in November.

Salary Comparison Among Rockland Towns

The Clarkstown Taxpayers decided to compare salaries for the same titled manager jobs in Ramapo, Orangetown and Clarkstown. The results of the analysis can be seen by clicking the READ MORE button below. In summary, as expected, Clarkstown's salaries, on average, are 13% higher than Ramapo and 50% higher than Orangetown. Competition and rivalry seem to keep salaries down in a two party town like Orangetown, but with both Clarkstown and Ramapo basicly being one party towns with cross party endorsements and patronage the norm, salaries in these towns are not constrained.

More Taxpayer Money Wasted by the Town Board

The Clarkstown Taxpayers continued to be amazed at the ways the Town Board wastes are tax money and rewards its political cronies. Some examples of Supervisor Gromack and the Town Board waste of taxpayer money are: $10,500 for a Deputy Supervisor, who already gets $41,000/yr for being a Councilwoman; $10,000 to J. Maloney, our ex-councilman, to direct a senior citizen's play; $9,000 to 3 Vice Chairmen of Clarkstown's Advisory Boards, who already get paid stipends for being Advisory Boards members; and $10,000 for a Deputy Comptroller, who already gets $93,000/yr for her job.

Clarkstown's One Sided Municipal Employee Union Contract

Clarkstown's CSEA union contract for its non-police union employees expires at the end of 2011. The Clarkstown Taxpayers believe that the current contract has many bad features with the most egregious ones being:

- The Longevity bonuses combined with the automatic Step raises;
- The lack of any substantial cost to the employee for their medical coverage and, in most cases, their retiree medical benefits;
- The significant number of sick and personal days that these employees get on top of their already very generous vacation schedule;
- The ability to obtain additional sick days with half pay, even after all their sick days are used up. For the first 11 months of 2010, this program has cost the town $52,000, including the $11,000 for M. Loeffler.
- The continuation of large monetary retirement awards for employees hired before 1/1/93

Our Proposals to the Town Board and their Responses

During the last 18 months since the Clarkstown Taxpayers came into existence, our group has made many proposals to the Town Board to save millions of dollars per year in town expenses and to eliminate patronage and cronyism in our town government. In a few instances, the Town Board has implemented our ideas, but, in most cases, they are not willing to make the hard choices required to do the right thing for the taxpayers of Clarkstown.

Clarkstown Departmental Consolidation

Councilmen Borelli and Hoehmann have pushed a plan that the Clarkstown Taxpayers have been advocating for over a year and that is to consolidate the offices of the Town Clerk, Receiver of Taxes and Assessor. The Town Board is in favor of part of this plan, and they have agreed that eventually the town will eliminate the Rec. of Taxes' position along with the Deputy Town Clerk's and Deputy Rec. of Taxes' positions. The immediate savings will be around $150,000/yr and will eventually grow to around $450,000/yr by 2014. The Clarkstown Taxpayers would like to congratulate Councilmen Borelli and Hoehmann for pushing this consolidation proposal forward, and, while they were not able to achieve everything that they wanted, they still obtained significant cost savings for the residents of Clarkstown.

The Epiphany of the Clarkstown Supervisor

The Clarkstown Taxpayers would like to take some credit for the proposed decrease in town taxes for 2011 because our group has continued to pressure the Supervisor and Town Board during the last 18 months to really look hard at ways to hold the line on town expenses and eliminate any tax increases.

»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