New Paltz: Mayor Generic Wants an 80% Raise — Hey, Don’t We All!

Our glorious newspaper of the local revolution, the Fidelpaltz Nytol-Abuser,* reports in a press release from its top public relations man Terence Ward that Mayor Generic wants a $20,000 raise.

So do I! The burdens I bear are enormous, and they constitute a full-time job, in my opinion.

There’s a local ritual that goes something like, “I’m running for office because I think this is an exciting time in New Paltz and I want to have a leadership role in making the best of it. And I’m uniquely qualified for the job!”

No one ever adds, “but hey, when I get there, I’m gonna want more money, pretty quick.” In this case Mayor Generic thought the decent interval was one year before asking for the 80% raise. Contextualizing that just a bit, it was shortly after winning last year’s election that Generic declared the Village Hall a dinosaur and entangled himself in a fairly consuming effort to get village offices into a new, fresh, green building, with the town, at a “joint municipal complex” out on the periphery of the village.

I find that irritatingly presumptuous, but who am I, as I often say to Madam Vandam.

My favorite paragraph is where PR man Ward leaves this quote from Mayor Generic: “It is clearly a full-time job that requires more than a $25,000 annual salary. I would like to see all future mayors paid fairly too so a broader pool may consider applying for the job.”

So it’s a question of fairness, this 80% boost, but when he was a candidate, Generic didn’t raise the fairness of the salary. (Just as he did not mention that the Village Hall was a dinosaur and he wanted a building more suited to his taste.) It’s “clearly” a full-time job? Well, maybe for someone else it would be a part-time job. A good delegator and time manager might handle it very differently. Someone not susceptible to Parkinson’s Law.

If the question is about future mayors, then raise the salary so that it takes effect at the beginning of the next term. If it’s about the pool of applicants, there were four who ran last year, including Generic and the incumbent, the historical celebrity Jason West. How many more candidates should there be?

But I’ll be fair and say go with a mere 40% raise, to $35,000.

An upstate small-village mayor should be a part-timer, and should have another and main source of income. That’s what helps keep things small and ambitions in check.

* Some refer to it as the New Paltz Times.

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