Montgomery County lawmakers are considering upgrading pay scales for a handful of department heads to lessen disparities when compared to other counties.
County supervisors’ personnel committee Chairman Thomas DiMezza said correcting what is seen as disparities in the salary of Montgomery County officials compared to others in similar counties will not cost a lot of money. Currently being discussed are six department head positions.
“I think what we’re asking for is well-deserved and it should be done,” DiMezza said.
Supervisors last month agreed on minimum base salaries for department heads in response to a review that showed several county employees are paid less than their counterparts in other counties.
Supervisors initially agreed to base salaries of between $55,000 and $65,000 for the personnel officer, county treasurer, county clerk, data processing director, economic development director and probation director.
But the board’s personnel committee on Tuesday will consider further boosting the salaries of the county’s personnel officer, treasurer, clerk, community services director, economic development director and probation director to a base salary range of $65,000 to $75,000.
DiMezza on Friday said he’s expecting more measures to be submitted Tuesday aimed at further increases for other employees and officials, and that could complicate the initiative.
“There’s going to be other resolutions coming up as well,” DiMezza said.
Following research that started in early 2006, county Treasurer Shawn Bowerman, Personnel Officer Richard Baia and Board of Supervisors Administrative Aide Jacqueline Meola submitted a report comparing county department head and part-time employee salaries, which indicated disparities between them.
The study compared the salary of positions from Delaware, Chenango, Allegany, Fulton, Orleans, Cortland and Schoharie counties with those in Montgomery County.
It showed that in those counties, the average treasurer’s salary was $60,753 compared to the $55,699 base salary in Montgomery County. The probation director salary of $56,903 initially proposed for Montgomery County was similarly lower than those in other counties, which averaged $58,218, according to the study.
County supervisors’ board Chairman Vito Greco said once base salaries are agreed on, he would like to establish some form of evaluation for department heads and others in the event raises are sought in the future.
“We don’t watch all performance, I don’t think we could do something like that, but there are evaluation steps you could put in the picture,” Greco said.
Supervisors could compare the size of department budgets, the number of employees and department responsibilities to gauge the effectiveness of a department head’s administration, he said.
“Are they just submitting a budget from previous years? Are they thinking about it? Are they trying to become more efficient?” said Greco, suggesting what could be incorporated into evaluations.
The board’s committees start meeting at 6 p.m. Tuesday in the supervisors’ chambers in Fonda.