January 14, 2016 | 1:18pm   

 

De Blasio approves raises for city’s elected officials

By Rich Calder

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Bill de Blasio

Mayor Bill de Blasio says he’s backing a plan to give hefty pay hikes to the city’s elected officials — including himself — but with the catch that council members go full-time and give up their lucrative “lulu” bonuses.

“New York City is home to some of the best, hardest-working public officials, and I believe the Commission successfully balanced a variety of competing concerns in their recommendations,” de Blasio wrote in a letter to Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito outlining his support for raises recommended by a special three-member committee he empaneled last fall.

City officials claimed the letter was delivered to Mark-Viverito 10 minutes before midnight Wednesday. The mayor was required to weigh in by midnight.

The mayor’s salary will jump 15 percent, from $225,000 to $258,750, although de Blasio said he would not accept the raise unless elected to a second term in two years.

Council members will get a 23 percent boost from $112,500 to $138,315. But in return, legislators with outside jobs would have to give them up. Bonuses of $8,000 to $20,000 for chairing committees, known as “lulus,” will be eliminated.

However, Mark-Viverito will be getting a 37 percent raise to $154,375 based on what the commission described as her “unique and important responsibilities.”

De Blasio wrote that “passive income derived from investments or ownership interests would [still] be permitted [for council members], provided that they do not involve active management on behalf of a Council Member. Moreover, a process should be established to ensure that outside activities do not interfere with the effective performance of official duties and that any potential conflict of interest should be reviewed by the Conflicts of Interest Board.”

The commission also recommended bumping up salaries 12 percent for borough presidents to $179,200 yearly, district attorneys to $212,800, and the public advocate to $184,800. The city comptroller will get a 13 percent hike in pay from $185,000 to $209,050.

The panel looked at several factors in recommending the raises — the first since 2006 — including the rise in the cost of living, the median income of city residents and increased duties of elected officials.

The higher salaries must still be formally approved by both the mayor and council, but de Blasio said they will be made retroactive to Jan. 1.

The mayor has said he won’t take his own raise until 2018, meaning he’d have to be re-elected to get it.

Under the city code, a Quadrennial Advisory Commission is supposed to be appointed every four years. With the city already facing major budget cuts, former Mayor Mike Bloomberg waited three extra years before appointing a panel in 2006.

It recommended a series of fat raises, including 25 percent for council members and bumping the mayor’s salary by 15.4 percent, from $195,000 to $225,000. Bloomberg, a billionaire, only accepted $1 as mayor.

Prior to that, elected officials last got raises in 1999 during the Giuliani administration, which included 28 percent for the council and 18 percent for the mayor.