taxesIn Fair Haven Tuesday night, officials are expected to take up a change to the salary ordinance that at first glance might appear to boost the borough administrator’s salary by $30,000 a year – a whopping 30 percent.

In truth, however, Administrator Theresa Casagrande isn’t getting an extra dime, and the change is all about keeping things in line with “hierarchical” notions of who reports to whom, says Mayor Mike Halfacre.

The amendment, if approved, would boost the administrator’s salary range to $40,000-to-$130,000; it’s now at $40,000-to-$100,000.

But Casagrande, who Halfacre says is currently paid about $78,000 a year, isn’t getting an increase. Rather, the change is to keep her, on paper at least, on a salary par with police Chief Darryl Breckenridge.

Breckenridge reports to Casagrande, Halfacre said. And he’s now in the second year of a multiyear contract that, when it maxes out, will put his pay at around $127,000 a year. So the council is adjusting the ordinance to reflect that the chief’s pay is between $75,000 and $130,000 a year – up from the current range of $75,000 to $120,000.

And with that, there’s the need to boost the administrator’s range.

Why the need to go lockstep?

“It’s simply hierarchical,” Halfacre said. “Technically, you don’t want to institutionalize the reporting of one employee to another who makes less, even though in reality, that’s what’s happening.”

Halfacre said the ranges don’t reflect the actual figures in the budget, and that when it comes time to negotiate new individual contracts, the existence of a lot of upside in the range doesn’t give an employee any negotiating leverage.

Here’s the agenda, including the proposed salary ordinance: 10-11-2011councilagenda

And here’s the 2010 salary ordinance for comparison: alteringsalaryranges