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Dechene raise goes through with little controversy

December 11, 2012
By JESSICA COLLIER - Staff Writer (jcollier@adirondackdailyenterprise.com) , Adirondack Daily Enterprise

TUPPER LAKE - No one spoke at a hearing on town Highway Superintendent Bill Dechene's salary Monday night.

They didn't have to. The town board voted unanimously to give Dechene a 2 percent raise from $48,932 to $49,911, putting him in the same boat as the rest of the town employees.

Everyone who works for the town, besides the town board, was given a raise in the final version of the town's 2013 budget except for Dechene.

Three board members said at the November meeting that they didn't know Dechene was left out of the salary increases. Town Supervisor Roger Amell apparently took the action somewhat unilaterally, telling the Enterprise at the time that Dechene wasn't doing the job of a working superintendent and needed to be more hands-on.

At a November hearing on the budget, the town hall was packed with Dechene's friends, family and current and former co-workers who came to support him. Randy Bedore even called for Amell to resign over the situation.

Dechene beat Amell by a nearly 2-to-1 ratio in an election for his position in 2010 - Amell was supervisor at the time but wanted to switch jobs - and faced a similar issue with his salary directly after that election.

On Monday, Amell said the local law giving Dechene his raise is subject to permissive referendum, which requires a 45-day time lapse before it goes into effect. The raise will be back-dated to Jan. 1 once it goes through, though, Amell said.

Despite no one speaking, again more than a dozen of Dechene's friends, family members and current and former co-workers showed up to to the Monday hearing to support him.

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Contact Jessica Collier at 891-2600 ext. 26 or jcollier@adirondackdailyenterprise.com.

 
 

 

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