New York Daily News

March 2, 2003

Mike defends 26G raise for top aide

By MICHAEL SAUL
DAILY NEWS CITY HALL BUREAU

He's worth it.

That was Mayor Bloomberg's defense yesterday of the $26,000 raise he gave his top deputy - as city labor leaders blasted the generous pay hike.

Bloomberg boosted Deputy Mayor Marc Shaw's salary to $194,999 from $168,700 - a 16% raise - as of Feb. 9. Shaw, whose vast responsibilities include overseeing the operations of all city agencies, also serves as acting mayor when Bloomberg leaves town.

"He's worth every penny of it - the public's very well served by [him]," Bloomberg said before marching in the annual Rockaway Beach St. Patrick's Day Parade in Queens.

Because he said so

When pressed how he could justify the pay hike, he said: "I justify it because I made the decision. What other questions do you have?"

The raise comes at a time when Bloomberg is requesting $600 million in givebacks from municipal unions to help close a $3.4 billion budget deficit. The administration has threatened to lay off as many as 12,000 workers if the unions don't comply.

Teachers union President Randi Weingarten, who also heads the Municipal Labor Committee, said asking for employee concessions while giving Shaw a large raise "will not be understandable to anyone in the unionized workforce."

"The timing of this is incredibly unfortunate," she said.

Patrick Lynch, president of the Patrolmen's Benevolent Association, called the raise "foolish" and insulting to cops.

"We put our lives on the line and our families at risk each and every day," Lynch said. "I would love to sit down with the mayor and discuss getting a 16%, one-year raise for our members."

Bloomberg spokesman Ed Skyler said yesterday Shaw was the only high-level official to receive a pay raise. He declined to respond to the union criticism.

Shaw took a $23,800 pay cut last year when he left his job as executive director of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to join the Bloomberg administration.