He voted against the appointment of Judge David Pfund on the basis that he believed the village was missing an opportunity to save taxpayers money through a shared services agreement.
A week later, Councilman Tom Riche says he wants to pay the judge he didn't vote for a higher salary than his predecessor because of the heavy caseload.
Most of the details of former mayor Pfund's judicial appointment have been finalized, with the exception of one key point – his salary.
Former municipal judge . Pfund, who served as mayor of Ridgewood from 2004-2010, will not be collecting health benefits, which should save the village about $20,000 a year, according to Village Manager Ken Gabbert.
Pfund was also willing to take a lower salary than Sheridan had commanded, according to council members.
Three of Riche's council colleagues supported paying Pfund $24,500 – a figure recommended by Gabbert – and another council member recommended an even smaller salary.
Riche had other ideas, saying he thought Pfund should be paid $30,000 in salary.
"I got a report from some other municipalities in terms of what they pay their judges and I was surprised that some of them are actually substantial in comparison to what Ridgewood was paying," Riche said. "We had talked about the heavy caseload [in Ridgewood]...I just wanted to make sure that we're compensating fairly for that position."
Riche's recommendation irked Deputy Mayor Albert Pucciarelli.
"It's ironic that a judge you didn't vote for you seek to compensate higher than those of us who voted for him," Pucciarelli said in an exchange with Riche at the dais. "He seems happy with a lesser amount, than so [do] I."
Riche said whether he voted for Pfund or didn't was not important; he was weighing in on how much to compensate an individual for a position.
The councilman didn't offer up much of a comment when asked if he felt his original position – that the taxpayers should be realizing a cost savings through shared services agreements – was at odds with him supporting a higher salary because of a high caseload.
"I'm not going to answer that," Riche said at the conclusion of the meeting. "It's a silly question."
With the majority of the council supporting a salary of $24,500, the village appears to be ready to make that their offer to Pfund. His judicial appointment runs through June 30, 2013.
Have a question or news tip? Contact editor James Kleimann at James.Kleimann@patch.com, or find us on Facebook and Twitter. For news straight to your inbox every morning, sign up for our daily newsletter.