Aldermen Nix Stipend Increase for Retirement Bd.

In what appeared to be a moment of confusion by members of the Board of Aldermen on Monday night, the body voted to reconsider an earlier motion to approve a stipend increase for the retirement board, and upon the second vote, declined to support the stipend increase, effectively killing it for a year.

Following the meeting, Alderman Robert Van Campen acknowledged that the vote was “probably” a mistake, after Aldermen President Sal Sachetta changed his vote, from in favor of the stipend to opposed to it, on reconsideration.

The vote initially passed on a 4-3 vote, with Aldermen Sachetta, Mangan, McGonagle and Van Campen all voting for the increase and Aldermen Cardello, DiPerri and Marchese voting against it.

However, a few minutes later, Van Campen asked that the vote be brought up for reconsideration, so that he could confirm that the simple majority vote was sufficient to approve the increase. The vote to reconsider the measure was approved, and after Van Campen’s question was answered, the re-vote on the stipend increase was taken, with Sachetta voting “Nay” at that time, essentially killing the question.

The Independent did not have a chance to clarify the vote change with Sachetta after the meeting.

Despite the close vote, there was little discussion and debate about the proposal, which would have allowed members of the Retirement Board to get an increase in their annual stipends from $3,000 per year to $4,500, as allowed by state law. The measure had previously received the support of the Common Council and was not considered to be an issue of major debate.

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