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Broome County Legislature agrees to county executive pay raise

Vaughn Golden
The Broome County executive will receive a pay raise following a vote by legislators last week.

The Broome County executive will get a pay bump this year after legislators approved pay raise legislation in its last session of 2022.

Legislators voted 9-5 last week to pass the pay raise for the county executive position, the first in a decade. Republicans and Democrats were split on either side of the measure.

Outgoing Democratic Legislator Karen Beebe was one of the five votes opposing the raise. She said she wasn’t comfortable with approving the pay raise in the last meeting of the year.

"I fully believe that the executive deserves to make more and should as basically the CEO of Broome County,” Beebe told WSKG following the vote. “I had a problem with the timing being at the end of the year. I would've liked to have seen it come through the budget process."

Beebe was joined by Democrats Mark Whalen and Suzy Ryan as well as Republicans Jason Shaw and Cindy O’Brien in opposing the measure.

Republican Legislator Stephen Flagg voted for the raise. He argued that the Legislature would’ve likely approved the pay raise whenever it was brought up. He said he also would’ve liked to see it in the budget, but it was never proposed by the county executive.

"I think the responsibilities here are greater and if we're underpaying our staff here, I think we're doing a great disservice for something in a larger county than our surrounding counties and I just want to make sure those are balanced and right,” Flagg said.

The county executive’s pay will now be raised to just over $108,000 beginning this month. The salary for county executive, clerk, and sheriff will now be automatically adjusted for inflation using the consumer price index each year moving forward.

"I appreciate the County Legislature’s commitment to fair compensation for all our employees,” current Democratic County Executive Jason Garnar wrote in a statement to WSKG. “We’ve worked to upgrade hundreds of positions over the last several years while cutting taxes for our residents and we will continue our efforts to make historic investments in our workforce."

The county executive’s office is next up for election in 2024.

Vaughn Golden has been reporting across New York since 2016. Working as a freelancer while studying journalism and economics at Ithaca College, Vaughn has reported for a number of outlets including the Albany Times Union, New York Post, and NPR among others. Prior to coming to WSKG full-time, Vaughn was a reporter for the Watertown Daily Times. Vaughn now covers government and politics for WSKG.