Hempstead board approves pay raises for 18 GOP employees

Hempstead board approves pay raises for 18 GOP employees
Hempstead Town Supervisor Laura Gillen, right, and Council Member Dorothy Goosby earlier this year. Goosby took insult to Gillen's claim the Town board's budget was "irresponsible." (Photo by Rebecca Klar)

The Hempstead Town Board voted unanimously to approve 25 personnel moves at Tuesday’s meeting, including raises for 18 people who work for Republican board members.

The vote was 6-0 in favor of the raises; Councilman Bruce Blakeman was absent.

Supervisor Laura Gillen, a Democrat, said the funds were within the budget for the majority party, the Republicans, according to Newsday.

Earlier this month the Town Board voted to consolidate its employees into pools of staff for the majority and minority parties.

Each council member currently has $75,000 for an aide reporting directly to him or her; the rest of the central staff is shared between the members of the party.

Councilwoman Dorothy Goosby and Gillen are the only Democrats on the Town Board.

At least two of the employees who received raises had received raises in the past few months, including Councilwoman Erin King Sweeney’s former executive assistant, Alex Vassallo, and Councilman Anthony D’Esposito’s former assistant, Matthew Paccione, according to Newsday.

After the two rounds of raises, Vassallo’s salary is currently $82,600, according to Newsday.

Paccione got a raise in December during a vote in former Supervisor Anthony Santino’s final meeting that resulted in almost 200 personnel moves. After Tuesday’s vote, his salary is $52,000, according to Newsday.

During the meeting the board also approved two aides for Gillen.

Gillen’s former campaign manager, Hunter Gross, was approved to be a confidential assistant to the town clerk, and will be paid $60,000, according to Newsday.

Joseph Davenport was approved to be an executive assistant to Gillen and will be paid $167,500, according to Newsday.

The board previously approved hiring other members of Gillen’s staff, including three other executive assistants.

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