On Tuesday morning, the Sag Harbor Village Board of Trustees, accompanied by its attorney, met behind closed doors with Sag Harbor Police Benevolent Association (PBA) President Patrick Milazzo and the PBA’s labor attorney as the two entities attempt to negotiate a new police contract for the Sag Harbor Village Police force. Members of the force have been working without a contract for over a year now.
Negotiations between the village and PBA have been noticeably strained over the last six months, with Sag Harbor Village Mayor Brian Gilbride even exploring having an outside police agency provide police services in the village in the wake of the growing cost of the department. Much of the increases stem from not just salaries, but rising health care and pension costs.
Currently, Sag Harbor Village uses about $2 million of its annual $8 million budget to pay for the Sag Harbor Village Police Department, before benefits are factored into the equation. The annual average compensation for officers in the department is $183,884, with the average base salary coming in around $104,000.
While Mayor Gilbride has backed off the idea of bringing another department into Sag Harbor to run police services, either partially or completely, he continues to state the village board must devise a way to ensure it can afford to have a police department.
On Tuesday, following the meeting, Mayor Gilbride said Milazzo made another proposal to the village that is not public information as it is a part of an ongoing contract negotiation. He did allow the proposal was lower than the 4.5 percent salary increase requested when the PBA first began negotiations with the village, but declined to elaborate.
“We gave our attorney some direction and expect to hear from him in a week to 10 days,” said Gilbride. “I expect we will make a counter proposal, but I am one of four people on this board so it is premature to even say that with certainty.”