COHOES, N.Y. -- A budget workshop was held Tuesday in Cohoes -- and this year's spending plan calls for a big raise for its new mayor.
But Mayor George Primeau says the proposed $79,000 salary is on par with what the mayor should be making, even though it is still less than what it really should be.
Before winning a full term, Primeau was taking in a $59,000 salary, similar to previous Mayor John McDonald.
But Primeau tells us that was the result of a self-imposed pay cut McDonald gave himself years ago -- and this year's budget is bringing things back to normal.
"Back in 2000, Mayor McDonald lowered his salary by about $20,000," said current Cohoes Mayor George Primeau.
Part of the proposed budget for Cohoes increases his salary by that $20,000.
"There are many things in the budget that could be cut, but we're talking about a person that runs the city and has to provide for his family," said Primeau.
But, in order to meet the city budget, they need to cut about $30,000 and Mayor Primeau understands how some would say that pay increase would balance that budget. And some people at the common council meeting Tuesday voiced that thought.
"I just want to know what's going on," said Cohoes resident John Ayotte.
Primeau says if McDonald hadn't taken the cut, the pay would be even more than he is asking.
"History in Cohoes is that the Mayor always made about $1 more than the police chief, so the salary would be about $92,000," he said.
But this budget, with a goal of meeting the cities 1.66 percent tax cap is not set in stone. Primeau says whatever happens; he does this job because he loves it.
"I'm not gonna be here forever, but if you set the salary so low it isn't going to be advantageous for anyone to want to be the Mayor of Cohoes."