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Stratford's Next Elected Mayor to Make $20K More

Stratford Town Council approves pay raise for town's next top elected official from $90K to $110K.

Stratford's next elected mayor will make $20,000 more than what its current mayor is earning now.

The Stratford Town Council Monday approved the pay raise by a 7-2 vote. The raise bumps the $90K salary up to $110K and comes with no increase over the next eight years.

So if Mayor John A. Harkins runs and wins a 2013 re-election campaign, he will in essence receive a 22 percent raise for his second term.

"If you break it down over eight years, it comes down to what would be a cost of living adjustment for each year," said Councilman David Fuller (D-6), calling $110,000 "reasonable" compensation.

"I'm comfortable with that amount," said Councilman Jason Santi (D-4). The last Council wanted to raise the salary to $130,000, he said.

While all Town Council members agreed that a salary adjustment was needed, some thought a $20,000 increase was too much.

Stephanie Philips (D-2) and Christian Barnaby (R-1) are the two Council members who voted against the raise.

Comparison with Other Towns

"I actually think $100,000 would be a more appropriate number for the mayor," Philips said. There are two towns with similar median household salaries that pay its mayors around $100,000, she said.

But one of those towns allows its mayor to seek a salary outside of his or her municipal duties, Philips noted. Stratford's mayor is not permitted to take such action.

Though Philips did not name the two towns, a report of chief executive salaries by Stratford’s town attorney shows that Danbury, which has a median household salary of $65,419, pays its mayor $104,015 a year; and Norwalk, which has a median household salary of $75,695, pays its mayor $100,000.

The median household salary in Stratford is $66,127, according to the report.

However, both Danbury and Norwalk have larger municipal budgets than Stratford. According to the report, Danbury's budget is about $209M and Norwalk's $280M, while Stratford's is $188M.

Editor's note: The following comment was provided by the office of Mayor Harkins: "The mayor is deferring the council on salary issue as it was their own bi-partisan initiative."

Do you agree with the raise? Let us know by voting in our poll. Back your answer in the comments.

earl November 23, 2011 at 09:22 PM
One of the best insights into people's character was the article posted by Jezebel : http://www.ctpost.com/local/article/Miron-and-top-administrators-depart-with-240-000-291793.php#ixzz1druMNDj4 Those people in public office walked away with $240,000 on their last day. So much for being in "public office to office to serve the people". What kind of example was set when those folks just walked out on the town with no notice. I wonder if some collected unemployment too because they were fired by Miron on their last day. Pretty slick. $20,000 is nothing I want to hear what the candidates have to say about millions in town attorney "fees" and bloated pensions.
Rusty Nail2 November 23, 2011 at 09:26 PM
You can use the column that Gail Brown wrote in the CT Post as toilet paper. The CT Post and Brown have become so liberal that the paper is impossible to read. I bet she wrote it while staring at her framed heart shaped picture of Obama next to her computer! Ms. Brown articles are all bleeding heart stories and frankly poorly written. She tried to compare the Mayor of Stratford's salary to Bloomberg the Mayor of NYC. How ridiculous. Bloomberg works for $1 a year because he is a multi billionaire and can. I don't see any billionaires running for the Mayor of Stratford. The salary change for the Mayor was justified. Get over it. Hopefully we can get better Mayor's now than the last two.
Jaclyn Rothenberg November 23, 2011 at 11:48 PM
Marian Gail Brown's "mayor" Nov. 23rd article -- liberal? She suggests a cut for the future mayor, that sounds conservative.
George E. Mulligan November 24, 2011 at 12:59 AM
Please note my post of November 18, where I was 5 days ahead of Ms. Brown, by offering to work for 22 % less salary than existing and cuts in other parts of the benefit package. Email reply from Ron Ing, Stratford HR Director: "Mr. Mulligan, The base salary of the May or is $90,000.00/year. Based on the annual salary and his benefit package the daily rate is $ 346.15/day. Since the defined benefit pension plan is not available to employees hired after September 1999 the Mayor is not eligible for the that plan. Any employee in the defined benefits plan pays all appropriate taxes. There is no tax free pension that I am aware of for any current past or future Town of Stratford employees."
Tom November 24, 2011 at 01:35 AM
Imagine if someone qualified offered to work the job for a buck.? I bet it would be tough to beat someone like that.

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