Paterson mayor Andre Sayegh wants $21,000 pay increase, proposes massive salary range increases for his cabinet members | Paterson Times

Paterson mayor Andre Sayegh wants $21,000 pay increase, proposes massive salary range increases for his cabinet members


Mayor Andre Sayegh is looking to give himself a $21,000 pay increase while raising the salary ranges for his cabinet members, according to a proposed measure his administration is presenting to the City Council.

Sayegh wants his salary increased from $119,000 to $140,000, according to the document. Sayegh administration’s other proposed increases are as follows:

  • Business Administrator salary will be changed from $110,000 to $110,000-$160,000
  • Community Development Director salary will go from $92,000 to $105,000-$130,000
  • Economic Development Director salary will increase from $107,000 to $110,000-$140,000
  • Finance Director salary will go from $140,000 to $130,000-$160,000
  • Health and Human Services Director salary will increase from $92,000 to $105,000-$130,000
  • Law Director salary will increase from $122,000 to $140,000-$160,000
  • Public Safety Director salary will increase from $122,000 to $140,000-$160,000
  • Public Works Director salary will increase from $105,000 to $110,000-$140,000
  • Tax Assessor salary will increase from $105,000 to $110,000-$130,000
  • Tax Collector salary range will be changed from $100,000-$120,000 to $100,000-$130,000
  • City Council President’s, part-time, salary will increase from $42,000 to $50,000
  • Council member, part-time, salary will change from $41,000 to $47,000
  • City Clerk salary will increase from $92,000 to $105,000-$130,000.

Municipal officials expect the mayor to give his cabinet members the highest salary within the range if the measure is approved.

Sayegh did not respond to a call for comment on Tuesday.

Council members are not fully on board with the mayor’s big salary increases. Sayegh tried to increase salaries two years ago, but could not get it through the City Council.

“What?!” said councilman Luis Velez after looking at the economic development director’s salary range. “I don’t feel comfortable with these salary increases.”

Velez said there should be some increase, but not massive increases like those proposed by Sayegh. He said performance has been “lacking” from a “lot of them,” referring to the mayor’s current cabinet.

Council members in the past contemplated taking no confidence votes against Sayegh and his business administrator Kathleen Long for their poor management of the municipal government.

“He is telling the community he is the head honcho. He is going to pay himself and his cabinet more money and throw council members pennies to get it through. It’s embarrassing,” said councilman Michael Jackson speaking of Sayegh.

Jackson said Sayegh and his team’s performance has been poor and they “absolutely do not” deserve pay increases. Council members pointed to high crime rates, dirty streets, homelessness and panhandling, poor enforcement of municipal ordinances under Sayegh to argue that the current administration has been failing residents.

“Services have diminished since Andre got into office. Why do they deserve this incredible increase?” said councilman Alex Mendez. “I’m not supporting that.”

Mendez said the mayor’s priorities are wrong. He said Sayegh should be focused on tackling violence, shootings, and garbage all over the city rather than trying to give himself and his cabinet pay raises. Sayegh originally proposed the large salary increases two years ago, at the onset of the pandemic, when the city’s unemployment rate hit 27 percent, highest on record.

“The city is in the worst condition it has ever been in,” said Jackson. He said he has heard the current business administrator told the mayor she wanted a $50,000 pay raise or she would quit. Jackson publicly confronted Kathleen Long, the business administrator, about the alleged comment; however, Long has neither denied nor confirmed that statement.

“The lowest salaried employees deserve an increase,” said councilwoman Lilisa Mimms. “We have city employees that are not even making $40,000 a year. Until we can bring those employees to a living wage, we should not be talking about this.”

Councilman Al Abdelaziz said he sees the need to increase salaries to attract talent.

“We must remain competitive with other towns around us,” said Abdelaziz. “Department heads are making more in smaller towns.”

Sayegh has not said whether he intends to replace some of his cabinet members as he moves closer to starting his second term as mayor.

“We need to have a deep discussion. This is taxpayer money,” said Velez.

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  • Ablej

    Oh now I understand why my sewer bill and taxes keep going up. Average income in paterson is about 30,000 dollars. So of course they need to make 100,000 dollars more than the citizens. Makes sense.

  • MarquinhoGaucho

    F–K him! The teachers have no contract…there have been over 500 resignations and 187 retirements AND they cant get new hires because they make more in suburban districts…Why isn't the press talking about the staffing crisis in PPS ….FYI the charters, especially the Gulen Terrorist ilearn(science and tech charters) hire teachers from Turkey with HB1 visa pay them more (67K) then force them to pay a kickback or "tuzuk" in their language…

  • Unc

    Ha Ha, I got out a long time ago……

  • J. Brown.

    They'll all vote for it. (Council)

    • Yogi Zuna

      Probably. Historically the City Council likes to play tough and complain about a lot of things, but then in the end passively approves most measures.

  • Patersonian

    The audacity of the mayor to ask for salary increases! Teachers in Paterson are currently working with low salaries, without a contract, and under poor working conditions I.E.: overcrowded classrooms, understaffed, and deteriorating facilities. The majority of Paterson residents are only making minimum wage, a large portion of his own city workers are barely making over $40K.

    This mayor has been trying to find ways to gentrify our city from the start – our sewers and taxes have increased under his watch while city services are nearly non-existent. The mayor did not do his job in past 4 years… our streets are dirty, our recycling always misses pick up, crime is at an all time high and he think he and his puppets deserve a raise?! He and administration has been a failure to our city.

    Mayor, look at how low your voter numbers were in this past election can this be the reason why? Because you've only been thinking about yourself?

    A raise is requested after a good performance and this mayor has done the total opposite.
    This "raise" is undeserved and will only hurt Patersonians.


    • alonzo scripps

      excellent letter, would like to add the DPW workers who everyday and never given thousands like the "selective" Managers Assistant B A thousands of dollars while mostly working from her warm home

  • aLdo

    There should be decreases ! Not increases cause you are a useless tool !

  • Yogi Zuna

    I don't know about the most corrupt, so would you settle for one of the most corrupt?

    • November is coming

      Ok,let me fix it,,, the must corrupt city in New Jersey

  • John

    Patersonians deserve all they get. Keep voting these low lives in. Good for you. This Mayor thinks his record breaking murders/shootings quality of life deserve pay raises.

  • http://www.facebook.com/animalabusewar Animal Abuse War

    Mayor wants us to pay him for destroying the city??? illegal exhaust on cars all over the city that sounds like gun shots in a city with almost daily shootings.illegal fireworks everywhere. Robberies, shootings, car jacking and all crime worse than ever. Filth.Blasting music from cars,yards and city events and buildings. Recycle shows up days late. Youth unsupervised running the streets acting like jungle beasts, Not a damn thing done about any of this. Maybe because of the "woke" criminal police? No patrols at all in nanny areas, and where they do have patrols, police do little to nothing. their leader needs fired now.Ditto for certain council men doing favors, allowing illegal basement/attic Apts., I can go on forever. But this is the mayor that convinced all you idiots he's about quality of life. This is what happens when you put a liberal socialist in power. I would fire the mayor and every city employee and start all over with normal, educated people who passed tests, including intelligence, psychological and background checks. Most Paterson employees would fail all of the above. The proof is the condition the city is in.