Councilman Andre Sayegh has opted to forgo receiving longevity pay that a small number of elected officials in the city receive.
Sayegh is giving up $824 in extra pay he receives every year.
“Paterson is a cash-strapped city and we are facing one of the most difficult fiscal periods in our history. Therefore, I believe that it would be appropriate for me to forgo longevity pay,” wrote Sayegh in a memorandum to personnel director Abby Levenson instructing her to immediately eliminate his longevity pay. “Although this is not a substantial amount, I believe that it is a necessary and responsible course of action. I am voluntarily making this small sacrifice because our city’s treasury could use the money.”
Sayegh is one of three councilmen who receive longevity pay. The other two councilmen entitled to longevity pay are Kenneth Morris and council president William McKoy. Morris receives $824 and McKoy receives $844.
All three men came into office before the state imposed a freeze on longevity pay for elected officials and non-unionized employees in 2014. However, despite the end to longevity pay for elected officials, mayor Jose “Joey” Torres erroneously received $4,152 in 2014.
Torres returned much of the money the next year with the exception of one payment. He made the last payment of $208 this year after a Paterson Times investigation revealed he had received the extra pay upon returning to office for a third-term.