top of page

Some Controversy Over Monroe County Legislature Pay Increases

Many unhappy constituents packed the room at Monroe County Legislature's monthly meeting Tuesday night. The county residents frustrated over the growing number of car thefts listened as legislators approved a 58% pay increase for themselves.

The Monroe County Legislature approved a 2024 pay increase of 50% for the county executive from $120,000 to $180,000. Rochester First reported the compensation policy commission made these recommendations in May, they noted that its been three decades since these positions saw a salary increase. Still, 10 county legislators voted against the pay increase, while some of the 19 who voted yes called it a fair raise and long overdue.

Here's the proposed rate increases:

  • County executive - 50% increase - from $120,000 to $180,000.

  • Sheriff - 17% increase - from $149,376 to $175,000.

  • Monroe County clerk - 42% increase - from $81,000 to $115,000.

  • Legislators - 58% increase - from $18,000 to $28,500

But some social media users weren't pleased with the increase in pay.

"Abolish Monroe County Legislature. Abolish the Rochester City Hall," Twitter user Kevin Lockhart tweeted,

Another Twitter user named JohnBeck2Tall tweeted, "Complaining about this while the Monroe County Legislature votes for a large raise is called what? Do NYS Public employees work for free because transportation is a "human right".

The timing of the pay increase comes as county residents face inflation across the board. The National Retail Federation said back-to-school spending has increased by nearly 41% over 2019. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported food prices rose .7% between May 2022 and May 2023.

The pay increase nearly triples the average income of residents. According to the U.S Census, the median income for Monroe County residents is $66, 317 and 13.3% live in poverty.

Some residents are concerned the increase will place an additional burden on the local budgets. Counties often face financial constraints, with limited resources available for essential services such as education, healthcare, and infrastructure. Allocating more funds toward legislators' salaries could divert resources from these critical areas, potentially impacting the overall well-being of the community.

Some people are raising the question of whether taxpayers pay the county legislators' salaries. If so, why were they left out of the decision-making process?

The notion that taxpayers pay the county legislators' salaries is that county budgets are primarily funded by taxpayers' money. The county's budget includes various expenses, such as infrastructure development, public services, and salaries of county employees. Since legislators are part of the county's workforce, it is reasonable to assume that their salaries are derived from the same pool of funds that taxpayers contribute to.

Others argue that county legislators' salaries are not directly paid by taxpayers, but rather through alternative sources of funding. These sources may include state or federal grants, which are allocated to counties for specific purposes. In such cases, the legislators' salaries would be covered by these grants, rather than directly from taxpayers' money.

But the answer to the question (of whether taxpayers pay the county legislators' salaries) is not a straightforward one. According to reports, it is not always the case that taxpayers' money is directly used to pay legislators' salaries. Alternative sources of funding such as state or federal grants, can also contribute to covering these expenses.

Ultimately, the specific circumstances of each county and its budgeting process will determine the extent to which taxpayers directly or indirectly contribute to legislators' salaries. Experts say it is crucial for taxpayers to have transparency and accountability in the allocation of public funds to ensure that their money is being used efficiently and not just to pad politicians pockets.

Whether you are for or against the pay increases, to put the situation in perspective, the increase is the first in 30 years for the Monroe County Legislature and the first in 20 years for the County Executive and County Clerk.


Rated 0 out of 5 stars.
No ratings yet

Add a rating

Top Stories

bottom of page