During the full legislative session last night at the Cortland County Office Building, the Legislature voted 10 to 7 to approve giving themselves a 20% raise ($2,000). The vote came after a discussion with views from both sides regarding if the Legislature should or should not get a raise.
Legislator Kelly Preston said this raise is need and well deserved for the work the Legislators do and argued on the notion of Legislators in it for the money. Noting she is not seeking reelection and that raises are due after not having one since 2015.
Fellow Legislator George Wagner (who is also not seeking reelection) argued that while he supports this raise he believes it is not enough. Noting he believes county residents do not realize the amount of meetings Legislators actually have to attend each month.
Currently, the Cortland County Legislature is paid $10,000 per year for each Legislator and the Chair of the Legislator being paid $19,000 and the Majority and Minority Leaders paid $10,500.
Legislator Cathy Bischoff said she had done much research into the possibility of Legislator pay and found when compared to neighboring counties with similar populations, Cortland County is well below the average (which is about $15,000).
In 2015, the Legislature voted last to give themselves a raise. Increasing their salary from $6,000 to $10,000.
The increase will be $12,000 for each Legislator, $21,000 for the Chair, and $12,500 for the Majority and Minority Leaders and begins for the next Legislative Session in January.