Sunday, January 24, 2010

Overpaid In New Hartford . . .

The Observer Dispatch asks "How much is enough?" when talking pay for New Hartford police. With new contracts pending, the taxpayers, likewise, want this question answered.
The starting salary for New Hartford officers, after they have completed academy, is $41,372. In Whitestown, that number is $32,753 and in Kirkland, it’s $33,400. In Utica, officers in their first year after academy and other training get $42,647.
So NH PBA president Paul Colburn argues . . .
New Hartford is the second busiest department on the area after Utica, he said, and the officers should be paid accordingly. . . .

We are comparable to Utica.

Colburn pointed out, New Hartford has lost an officer in the line of duty, just as Utica has.
When NH officers get off the 840 ticket detail and go into troubled Cornhill or West Utica, or deal with gang violence at Proctor on a daily basis, then I would agree that they should be paid at levels comparable to their Utica brothers. . . .but not until then.

The notion that pay should be comparable because because both police departments have tragically lost officers is as preposterous as it is disrespectful to their memories. News accounts indicate that the Utica officer may have been specifically targeted for his police work, while the NH officer may have been in the wrong place at the wrong time due to inexperience in dealing with the type of situation. The memories of both deserve our honor . . . But the situations of the respective tragedies suggest why there should be a difference in pay scales. Utica officers are more experienced with more serious crime.

Experience . . . not seat time . . . and not maintenance of a rent-a-cop company . . . is what the taxpayers should be paying for.


Mango Man said...


The New Hartford town police force is overpaid and under-worked. I cannot begin to tell you how many times I have seen two or three cars appear at a so-called accident scene or when a call comes in because a driver left his keys in his car. Both are true events and frequently repeated over the years.

I am particularly concerned over the average overtime each one of the full-time officers receive. It has been mentioned that they can make as much as or more than $40,000 annually on top of their bloated base pay.

Also, we have the issue of Officer Corr. I take personal offense when Officer Colburn invokes this slain officer's name thus hoping to garner sympathy from the town residents.

Well, I can tell you this. Officer Colburn should let the memory of Officer Corr's tragic death be remembered in other ways. The Corr family has suffered enough and too, public recognition should now be stopped.

Our men and women in uniform go off to fight wars and they too are victims of untimely death. However, they graciously accepted their roles in life and chose their careers. They chose their careers, lived it and if death came knocking at their was always for their Country - without invoking a plea for sympathy. These are true heroes.

I find it somewhat ironic the U.S. auto companies DEMANDED concessions from auto union workers and received them, to include reduced hourly wages, reduced overtime, health and pension benefits in order to make their company financially viable.

We now have Officer Colburn demanding more. It is now time for Office Colburn to follow the way of his brethen, the auto workers who sacrificed more than our local town police are willing to do.

Step up to the plate, Officer Colburn and accept a base pay of $31,000, no overtime and a requirement to pay 25-30% of the town's health and benefit package.

Anonymous said...

New Hartford needs a complete overhaul from top to bottom. A 10% reduction in pay for all Town employees and a 50% reduction in staffing for NHPD.

Let County and State Police pick up the slack and let NH do what they do best, write traffic tickets and arrest shoplifters.

Aristotle said...


I totally agree with you.

Anonymous said...

Ripping off the taxpayers of New Hartford is everyday business. So, I'm not surprised by Colburn's attitude. It's ingrained in these people.

Greens and Beans said...

With the exception of the greater New York City area, the State compensates their public employees at the same rate. Why should the plethora of Villages and Towns in Oneida County be any different? Perhaps they should all be compensated at the Oneida County Employee civil service rate. The taxpayers of Oneida County should demand public employee compensation parity. By this I refer to all of the municipal employees within the County’s boarders. With the possible exclusion of some of the employees who serve the Cities, certainly the Villages and Towns employees should all be compensated at the same rate. They all are required to take the same civil service tests, why would they object to being compensated at the same rates? Perhaps all of the School Districts should follow suit. This should include the parity of their total compensation packages consisting of wages and benefits. The additional benefit to this is that it could serve as an important first step in consolidating services. It would also make municipal budgeting much easier.

Bewildered said...

Greens & Beans,

Are you aware of the fact that the Town of New Hartford Police force is not part of NYS Civil Service?

That is why they got away with being such an overpaid, ineffective police force.

Who allowed these officers to be other than civil service employees? There was a deal struck and the newspaper needs to investigate the who, what and why...