BREAKING: Judy: $1.5 million back into the budget for retroactive police raises


In an email shared with MSV minutes ago, Judy Tripodi, the fiscal state monitor reversed the City Council’s deletion of $2MM at the City Council meeting last Wednesday.  During the meeting a heated moment occurred when the Council protested the funds being inserted in an emergency appropriation.  In a reversal not seen in earlier appearances on emergency appropriations, Finance Director Nick Trasente agreed to withdraw the $2MM before the Council vote that later passed.

The fiscal state monitor has previously adopted similar budget measures the day after the City Council has failed to pass emergency resolutions.  In this instance, Judy Tripodi reinserted monies for potential retroactive police raises.  She explains her decision thusly:

The $2 million is to cover any retroactive pay that may be required to be
paid prior to the adoption of the budget.  This number was inserted based on
the potential settlement of the police contract prior to adoption of the
budget also.  I will insert $1.5 million as I anticipate ratification of the contracts by the union rank and file.

The Hudson Reporter earlier wrote about a police union contract agreement while the fiscal state monitor was on vacation.  That story revealed a 3.9% increase for each of the two years prior with a 2.3% increase for this year and next.  MSV confirmed the Hudson Reporter story appeared accurate and noted it for the record.  There’s been little public discussion about this potential union contract until today.
Update:  Late last night, MSV received a reply from Council Peter Cunningham on a query concerning The Emergency Appropriation (TEA) and the $2 million inserted. He responded:

Hey there smartyjones.  Long day at the office, so I am sorry for the delayed response.  My apologies if my actions were unprofessional last week.  I was really annoyed over (1) Director of Finance for either not listening or stretching the truth on what was in the TEA, ie 2 mil, (2) the lateness of the document in the first place and (3) errors.  We all make mistakes, but it happened before when he refused to make changes to correct errors.  This document should be prioritized to be completed timely and accurately.
On the 2 million, it’s shocking that the Director and Fiscal Monitor were looking to fund salary increases that were not discussed or authorized by the Mayor’s office or funded by the Council.

Could it be deliberate that the reason TEA came down so late was an action to catch the council off guard to approve them and specifically salary increases?  I hope not.  Thanks and have a good evening.

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