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Bower will be paid less as new sheriff than predecessor

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 15 December 2015 at 12:00 am

ALBION – Randy Bower will be about $11,000 less as sheriff in 2016 than his predecessor, retiring Scott Hess.Orleans County legislators on Wednesday voted to set Bower’s pay at $71,322, which is grade 11, step 3 in the pay scale. Hess is retiring after 12 years sheriff. He has been paid $82,621 in 2015 at grade 11, step 9.

County legislators met in executive session to discuss Bower’s pay on Wednesday. The group decided that Bower would make less than Hess based on Bower’s experience.

Bower was elected sheriff last month. He has worked nearly 30 years as a public safety dispatcher.

Hess became sheriff after working for the Albion Police Department for about 20 years, including several years as police chief.

“This is just a starting salary,” David Callard, chairman of the Orleans County Legislature, said about Bower’s pay level. “We have great expectations for the job he’ll do.”

Callard said the Legislature could have started Bower at either step 1 or step 2, but opted for step 3. Bower’s salary and pay steps should increase each year he’s on the job, Callard said.

Legislator Ken DeRoller also said Bower’s pay is just at the “starting level” and will go up in the future.

“We’re looking forward to working with the new sheriff,” DeRoller said.

Legislators had a public hearing setting the pay for some appointed and elected officials. Those positions will see 2 percent increases in 2016. That includes the seven legislator positions.

The chairman will be paid $17,087, the vice chairman $12,920 and the other five legislators, $11,390 each.

Some other positions and the pay for 2016 include: county clerk, $77,529; county treasurer, $77,529; director of personnel, $81,963; highway superintendent, $84,273; social services commissioner, $84,273; real property tax director, $71,322; director of computer services, $72,930; IT operations analyst I, $58,383; director of community health services, $68,372; secretary to highway superintendent, $49,410; director of emergency management, $30,588; and county historian, $8,160.

The 2 percent increases were opposed by Paul Lauricella, who ran for legislator this year with Conservative Party backing. He lost the election to Lynne Johnson. Lauricella, speaking during the public hearing, said the raises are too much for taxpayers.

“I have a hard time understanding that,” he said about the 2 percent increases.