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Roefaro Cuts His Salary, Calls For 3.9% Tax Hike

Utica, NY (WIBX) – Mayor David Roefaro is cutting his pay 5-percent, and the salaries of his department heads by 2-percent, to symbolize “the concessions we all must make.”

Roefaro presented his spending plan to the Board of Estimate and Apportionment this afternoon. It carries a property tax increase of 3.9 percent, meaning an extra $47 a year for the average homeowner, he said.

This budget does not include the layoff of any city workers, but Roefaro says that’s contingent on union concessions.

“The unions have been good to us – last year with the health insurance issue. I think they releaize there’s just no more money left. We need consessions, or else, there will be layoffs,” Roefaro said.

He wouldn’t get specific on those concessions but said it includes a pay freeze for police and fire.

Along with his budget plan, Roefaro said he is urging the common council to approve a federal ‘SAFER’ grant that would all to the fire department to add eight firefighters. The grant would pay for all salary and benefits for two years, and benefits in the third year, Roefaro said.

Fire Chief Russ Brooks indicated the grant would allow the UFD to reduce its overtime costs.

Roefaro’s cut to his own pay amounts to about $4,000, he said. City officials whose salaries will be reduced to percent are: Budget Director Anthony Arcuri, Public Safety Commissioner Dan LaBella, Economic Development head Randy Soggs, Facilities Director Mike Mahoney, DPW Commissioner Dave Short, Engineer Goran Smiljic and the mayor’s assistant, Angelo Reofaro.

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