Middletown’s aldermen could be getting a pay bump.
Alderman Joel Sierra, who has been working on the proposal, said their pay works out to far less than minimum wage, given the hours they put in. He also thinks it could help draw more people to run for office — aldermen in two of Middletown’s four wards are running for re-election unopposed.
The law’s language hasn’t been finalized, and it hasn’t been introduced into the Common Council yet. Under state law, any raises would have to be passed before the year’s end to take effect next year, when the new terms start.
Sierra said the numbers haven’t been set; Council President J. Miguel Rodrigues said they’ve talked about $10,000 a year for the aldermen and $15,000 for the Council president, up from $5,000 and $6,500 now.
The mayor’s salary was just raised, for the first time since 2001, from $39,000 a year to $75,000. The aldermen’s pay has also been the same since 2001. Aldermen also get health insurance; they get a buyout of half the plan’s cost if they don’t take it.
Rodrigues said he thinks raises are “well overdue,” but he didn’t sound too worried.
“You want to raise it, I’m OK with it. You don’t want to raise it, I’m OK with it.”
Alderwoman Kate Ramkissoon said she opposes it.
“It’s certainly not the time,” she said.
The only competitive elections are in the 3rd Ward, where incumbents Democrat Ramkissoon and Republican Mike Amodio and challenger Democrat Paul Johnson are running for the two seats; and the 2nd, where Jerry Kleiner and Kevin Witt are on the Democratic line. Incumbents Kevin Luccketti and Ashok Sabnis lost the Democratic primary; Sabnis will be on the ballot on the Independence line, but he congratulated Witt and Kleiner as the “new aldermen” at the Council meeting after the primary.