KINGSTON, NY - Ulster County Executive Jen Metzger has signed a Local Law passed by the County Legislature to provide salary increases to County elected officials including the County Legislators, Clerk, Sheriff, Comptroller, and Executive. County Executive Metzger announced today that she will donate the increase in the Executive’s salary to the SUNY Ulster President’s Challenge Scholarship fund, which assists at-risk college-bound high school students with a two-year, tuition-free, community college education upon their graduation from high school and enrollment at SUNY Ulster.
“I’m not in public service for the money," said Ulster County Executive Jen Metzger. "I do this work because I want Ulster County to become a sustainable, resilient, thriving community that leaves no one behind, and donating my raise to support a good community college education for our high school students contributes to this broader goal."
County Executive Metzger will be required by law to collect the additional portion of the Executive’s salary and pay taxes on that income. County Executive Metzger has committed to donating the after-tax value of the raise to sponsor a student through the President’s Challenge Scholarship (PCS) fund at a level of $7,200. Any remaining funds will be donated to the PCS General Fund, which helps create additional educational and experiential programming for all students enrolled in the PCS program.
Like County Executive Metzger, SUNY Ulster President Dr. Alison Buckley is serving in her first year leading the college. Dr. Buckley is a lifelong advocate for removing barriers to college education and is also a personal donor to the PCS, sponsoring a student in the program with her husband Dr. Mark Evans.
“We are honored and grateful for County Executive Metzger’s support of student scholarships and the President’s Challenge Scholarship program at SUNY Ulster,” said Alison Buckley, Ed.D., 7th President, SUNY Ulster. “Her gift will remove obstacles to make the dream of college a reality for families here in Ulster County, including having a long-lasting impact for generations to come. Thank you to County Executive Metzger for all she is doing to serve the residents of Ulster County and to all of our Ulster Community College Foundation donors who comprise our amazing community supporting the power of public higher education. We cannot allow a price tag to be the barrier to a college degree.”
Lorraine Salmon, Executive Director of the Ulster Community College Foundation said, “Thank you to County Executive Metzger for changing a life through our President’s Challenge Scholarship program. Her gifts to this program are intended to support a scholarship for a student and student experiences for some of the nearly 300 high school students who, as of June 2023, will have been awarded scholarships for this program since its inception.”
The PCS program has set a goal of providing scholarships to 50 students in 2023. Director Salmon said that County Executive Metzger’s pledge marks the 45th sponsorship this year, and she is hopeful that this donation will spur other local leaders to become donors and help the fund reach, and even exceed, its goal. Anyone interested in becoming a donor can contact Director Salmon at 845-687-5093 or SalmonL[at]sunyulster[dot]edu.
The Ulster County Legislature passed Local Law Number 13 (LL13) of 2022 at the body’s February 14, 2023 meeting. The law was prompted by the work of the Ulster County Periodic Compensation Review Committee, a committee required and established by the Ulster County Charter, which reviews the salaries of all elected officials of the County of Ulster at least every other year.
According to the language of LL13, “the most recent Periodic Compensation Review Committee was constituted, as the Charter requires, by multiple appointing authorities, and met several times to conduct a thorough review. In furtherance of its duties, the Committee held a public hearing on March 14, 2022. At the close of the Committee's review process, the Committee filed a Recommendation Report on March 24, 2022.” The new salary levels are reflective of the recommendations made by the Periodic Compensation Review Committee in their 2022 report.
Local Law 13 will be effective for 2023, and will increase salaries as follows:
Title Current Annual Salary New Annual Salary
Members of the County Legislature $ 14,000 $ 16,000
Chairman of the County Legislature $ 23,500 $ 26,000
Majority Leader of the County Legislature $ 16,000 $ 18,000
Minority Leader of the County Legislature $ 16,000 $ 18,000
County Executive $133,570 $148,572
County Comptroller $101,720 $116,709
County Clerk $101,720 $116,709
County Sheriff $101,712 $116,709
County Executive Metzger supports the pay raises for other county officials, who in some cases have not received increases in salary for more than a decade.
“I understand that some of our County officials have not received pay raises in over a decade, including our incredibly hardworking County Clerk, Nina Postupack, who hasn’t received a raise since 2009,” said Ulster County Executive Jen Metzger."