Passed against the wishes of one council member and a vocal group of residents, the village has mailed checks to non-union and management staff for though many contend they're little more than bonuses issued in troubled times.
the village utilized general operating funds to pool "incentive" raises of up to 4 percent retroactive for both 2010 and 2011.
The retroactive salary incentive figures were obtained by an Open Public Records Act request.
According to the list, a total of 21 employees received compensation, ranging from $362 (Parking Enforcement Officer Doug Randolph) to $7,598 (Streets Dept. head John Spano) between 2010 and 2011.
The total pool – just north of $75,000 – has been reduced from the original figures, according to Village Manager Ken Gabbert.
A sum of just over $85,000 had been allocated to the fund but because some personnel "did not have an opportunity for the full two year incentive," the pool was reduced, he said. Additionally, the council requested one staff member be taken out of the pool, Gabbert added.
himself received a controversial 12 percent raise in 2011; he was not eligible for a raise under ordinances 3312 and 3313.
Procedurally, staff members wrote a self evaluation which was then passed to supervisors who reviewed the evaluations and added comments.
"The staff provided their accomplishments and general goals for the rest of ’11 and at that time most also mentioned ’12," Gabbert said in an e-mail to Patch. "As Manager I met with each person and discussed performance, the goals, and the incentive increase. The maximum in any one year could have been up to 4%. I made the final determinations as to the amount of the incentive increase."
The ordinances were paired with the council electing to freeze salaries for non-union and management staff. Several said it was a way of promoting 'fairness' given that unions have seen escalating raises of around 4 percent.
Though village officials contend it's purely based on performance, some have their doubts.
One staff member, who requested anonymity out of fear of retribution, said the raises amounted to pure political patronage.
"If the village manager likes you, you got a nice Christmas present," the worker told Patch. "If he didn't, you got bupkus or close to bupkus."
One qualifying staff member did in fact get zero – Parking Enforcement Officer Peter Taylor.
Others also received low marks.
Deputy Director Nancy Bigos received a paltry 0.75 percent raise in each 2010 and 2011, among the lowest totals of those who qualified. Only Tony Merlino, the Building Inspector and Zoning Board Secretary, received less, adding about $550 each year, a 0.5 percent increase.
Director of Operations – and head of embattled Ridgewood Water – Frank Moritz notched a 1.25 percent incentive raise for each of the past two years, clearing an additional $3,902. Mary Jo Gilmour, the tax collector, received a 1.0 percent increase each year, worth $2,076.
On the other side of the coin, Maria Doerr, the Administrator, received an increase of 3.75 percent each year, totaling $4,967. Likewise, Gabbert's secretary, Claire Schrumpf, received 3.75 percent and a total of $5,023 between both years.
The average raise allocated was around 2.0 percent, with dollar amounts based on the respective employee's base salary.
passed 4-1, with .
"We know taxpayer money doesn't grow on trees," said Aronsohn, who was also the lone no vote to giving Gabbert a raise. "Yet when it comes to salary increases, the highest paid in our government, we just keep giving it out. I just don't understand it."
"Leaders should lead by example," Aronsohn he added in his disapproval, mentioning that retroactive bonuses to 2010, a year of increased taxes and the , was not something that settled well with him.
The following year, 2011, saw a and large-scale needs like storm damage recovery needing to be addressed though more workers were added to the payroll.
Prior to the ordinances, raises of up to 6 percent were common and not based on performance, Deputy Mayor Tom Riche said in November.
"What this changes now for the first time ever is it's based on performance...if you don't perform, you get zero. Those that do perform get between 0 and 4 percent."
The figures are as follows:
NON-UNIONName 2010 Increase; % 2011 Increase; % Janet Fricke $1,953 2.95 $2010 2.95 Claire Schrumpf $2,465 3.75 $2,558 3.75 Stephanie Evans $0 0.0 N/A N/A Kris Hayes $1,601 2.5 $1,641 2.5 Julia Raymond $870 2.0 $888 2.0 Chris Foxon $574 1.5 $583 1.5 Peter Taylor $0 0.0 $0 0.0 Doug Randolph $180 1.0 $182 1.0
MANAGEMENTName 2010 Increase; % 2011 Increase; % Frank Moritz $1,939 1.25 $1,963 1.25
Chris Rutishauser $3,217 2.5 $3,298 2.5
Michael Barker $1,915 1.5
$1,994 1.5 Tony Merlino $554 0.5 $557 0.5 Tim Cronin $2,086 2.0 $2,128 2.0 John Spano $3,734 3.5 $3,864 3.5
Dylan Hansen $1,929 2.45 $1,976 2.45
Eric Fooder N/A N/A $2,880 3.0
Steven Sanzari $2,545 2.5 $2,609 2.5
Dave Schiebner $1,436 1.5 $1,457 1.5
Mary Jo Gilmour $1,033 1.0 $1,043 1.0
Robert Gillow $2,486 2.5 $2,548 2.5
Dawn Cetrulo $1,715 2.45
Nancy Bigos $690 0.75 $695 0.75
Maria Doerr $2,438 3.75 $2,529 3.75
Blais Brancheau $1,125 2.0 $1,147 2.0