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  • Mamaroneck Observer

Barberio Placed on Administrative Leave

By Kathy Savolt -

 

After more than a year of head spinning drama, the Board of Trustees (BOT) apparently had enough.  In an Executive Session on January 30th, the BOT told Village Manager Jerry Barberio to pack up his personal items and leave.  Barberio will be paid until his March 10th retirement.

 

No official statement was made by Village officials, but rumors abounded that Barberio had promised significant raises to some staff, effective in next year’s budget – even putting those promises in writing.  By law, the BOT must pass the annual budget by April 30th and has not even begun the process, so any promises made by Barberio are premature.  Right around this time last year (late January 2023), Barberio requested and received approval from the BOT for mid-year salary adjustments totaling over $212,000 for a few employees, some as large as 38%.  See HERE. These mid-year raises were highly unusual and unprecedented.

 

These 2023 salary adjustments coincided with the news that Barberio had taken a second job in New Jersey, a position he reportedly held until July 2023.  See HERE.

 

On February 27, 2023, Barberio sent an email to the BOT, Village staff and several members of the community, announcing he will not pursue a contract renewal and will leave when the contract expired in January 2024.  This email blamed the BOT for stalling his negotiations even with eleven months remaining on the contract.  Barberio specifically called out Trustee Nora Lucas in what many thought was a political move as Lucas was up for re-election and a primary was near.  See email HERE.

 

This led to a hastily called, “emergency” meeting of the BOT on March 3, 2023 during which Barberio got a raise just two months after already receiving a 4% 2023 pay increase.  The second raise, effective immediately and part of a new four-year contract (See Article HERE), raised his salary to $235,200, an additional 4%.  See HERE.

 

This action led to even more controversy when the BOT did not vote in public on the contract as apparently required by New York State law.  See HERE.  It wasn’t until four months later, after a lawsuit was filed, that the BOT ultimately cast a 4-1 vote in public at the July 10th BOT meeting with Lucas voting no.  See HERE.

 

After a relatively quiet summer, things heated up again in October when Barberio gave a scathing account of his perception of the Town of Mamaroneck’s handling of the Waverly Avenue Bridge project.   This move effectively scuttled the start of the project by demanding exorbitant reimbursement for police overtime to direct traffic during construction.  See HERE.

 

Shortly thereafter, Barberio announced his retirement at the end of June 2024, a time frame he quickly changed to “whenever any lawsuit with his name on it is settled,” an amorphous time frame that could be years.  See HERE.

 

By January 4th, 2024 Barberio had set a fixed retirement date of April 5th in writing (See HERE) but that changed two weeks later when he announced it would be March 10th. 

 

Barberio’s contract (paragraph 3) calls for payment of an “employment security fund” as well as accrued vacation and sick leave.  This provision, established in his original contract, called for an initial payment of three months gross compensation (salary plus benefits) and additional annual contributions on his hiring anniversary of the amount equal to 1.5 months of gross compensation.  Barberio was hired in January 2019 and could be eligible to receive five years of annual contributions to this fund.  It is not clear if Barberio’s actions will cause him to forfeit this payout and the total is also not clear as it has not been included in any budget.  Using salary amounts alone, the payout would be over $175,000.



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