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Nov 10, 2011 4:02 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Westhampton Beach Village Police Chief Inks New Contract

Nov 16, 2011 12:48 PM

After almost three years of negotiations that at times included heated exchanges and threats of legal action, the Westhampton Beach Village Board has approved a new contract for its police chief.

Board members also approved new contracts for its Department of Public Works employees and Highway Superintendent John Kearns during a special meeting last week.

Village Board members agreed last Wednesday, November 9, to offer Police Chief Ray Dean a five-and-a-half-year contract, retroactive to January 1, 2009, that awards him, on average, 2-percent annual salary increases. The agreement, which expires on May 31, 2015, includes a $9,000 payment this year that, essentially, covers Chief Dean’s annual 2-percent raises for the last three years.

Chief Dean has been earning $149,624 a year since 2009, when his last contract expired, and will now make $158,624 for 2011-12, according to Westhampton Beach Village Mayor Conrad Teller. He added that the chief will make $161,796 for 2012-13, $165,032 for 2013-14 and $167,507 for 2014-15. A 2-percent increase is reflected across the board until the final year of his contract, when Chief Dean will receive an increase of 1.5 percent.

The contract also states that Chief Dean will work 40 hours a week, a total of 232 days each year, and annually receive 30 vacation days, 22 sick days and five personal days.

“It’s been a sticking point for quite a while,” Mr. Teller said about the ongoing contract negotiations, noting that he is pleased that an accord has been signed.

“I think it’s a fair deal for everyone, and I look forward to moving ahead and doing the work that I do for the department and the village,” Chief Dean said last Thursday afternoon.

The contract was approved 4-1, with the lone dissenting vote cast by Village Trustee Hank Tucker, following a special executive session meeting. In addition to Mr. Teller, board members Toni-Jo Birk, Sue Farrell and Patricia DiBenedetto also approved the contract.

When reached after the vote, Mr. Tucker said he objected to the contract because of certain wording.

“I have a problem with a perpetuity clause, meaning a contract can live on forever,” he said, referring to a stipulation in which the chief can continue collecting a salary even after his current contract expires.

“It had nothing to do with the person,” Mr. Tucker added of his vote. “The question on the table was not whether we should rehire the chief or not.”

Mr. Tucker was part of a former Village Board majority, one that included former Trustees Joan Levan and ex-village police officer Jim Kametler, that refused to offer Chief Dean a new contract. In July 2009, Chief Dean served the village with a notice of claim, usually the precursor to a lawsuit, demanding that his expired contract be validated and that he be paid for hundreds of hours of accumulated sick and compensatory time that the board had been trying to take away. The next month, the board stated that it wanted Chief Dean to sign off on a “letter of agreement,” in lieu of a new contract, that outlined the terms and conditions of his employment. Chief Dean declined the offer, though he later withdrew his notice of claim.

The majority that Mr. Tucker belonged to lost its foothold following the June 2010 elections, when he came up short in his bid to unseat Mr. Teller and Ms. Birk was reelected and Ms. Farrell was elected to the board. Mr. Kametler did not seek reelection that year and Ms. Levan left office this June when her term expired.

The highlights of the three-year agreement inked with the village’s Department of Public Works employees include the creation of a salary schedule that gives them 2-percent salary increases for 2011, 2012 and 2013. Also included were longevity bonuses of $850 per year following the completion of five years of service; that remains in effect until the employee’s 10th year, when he or she will receive an annual bonus of $1,325 per year. Following 20 years of service, employees will receive a $2,120 bonus per year in each succeeding year.

Details of the highway superintendent’s contract were not immediately available since the agreement had not yet been signed off by all parties, according to village officials.

In other negotiation news, Mr. Teller said it appears that the village and the Westhampton Beach Police Benevolent Association (PBA) are heading for arbitration after the two sides were unable to agree on a new contract. The mayor said that, up until a few weeks ago, it appeared as if both sides were nearing an agreement.

“I negotiated what appeared to be a reasonable contract with two members of the PBA,” Mr. Teller said, adding that members of the union’s negotiating committee opposed the plan. “I’m optimistic that it might be passed at a little later date.”

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Why should he get any raise?
By lucy2 (63), Southampton, NY on Nov 10, 11 4:23 PM
1 member liked this comment
Anyone with any public job with healthcare and a defined benefit pension plans are getting raises far and beyond this supposed 1.5%.

I don't understand why they never provide the full amount of actual compensation Mr. Dean is receiving. My only guess is that it will 'shock and awe' the public.

This is not to single Mr. Dean out, but for an apples to apples comparison to someone in the private sector, you need to add $30k for medical and dental benefits and 40k or so for his ...more
By C Law (354), Water Mill on Nov 11, 11 3:47 PM
After all the bad pub in this department he gets a raise? Unbelievable
By GoldenBoy (351), EastEnd on Nov 10, 11 4:55 PM
It's probably unfair to put the blame on him for the "bad pub." He can run the Department and set standards of professionalism, and to the best of his ability under the CSEA rules and regs, get rid of the bad apples -- something he seems to have done. reasonably well.

But he can't control the "bad pub" since most of it comes from anonymous commenters here who are all too happy to say anything they like, the bulk of which has proven to be unsubstantiated.

But now that he has his ...more
By Frank Wheeler (1826), Northampton on Nov 10, 11 5:58 PM
Well deserved contract for a job well done. Hopefully he remains chief for the next 20 years.
By EastEnd68 (888), Westhampton on Nov 10, 11 5:49 PM
1 member liked this comment
As the article says, Kametler is gone, Levan is gone, and the phantom lawyer that gave erroneous advice to the “troika” (and we all know who he is) is gone but Hank Tucker lives on and continues to carry out his vendetta against Ray Dean. Go back into the press articles from 2009 and earlier, basically Ray Dean was ordered and threatened by the Troika and their phantom counsel to break the law. Ray held steady, upheld the law and weathered the storm with the leadership of Mayor Teller ...more
By jimmyk24 (13), east quogue on Nov 10, 11 9:47 PM
1 member liked this comment
YOU HAVE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME. This Police Chief is not even seen around town. We are STUCK with him until 2015? The only time I see him is when he is in the paper for his mis-management of the Police Dept. Another ineffective entitlement seeker we will be paying for for many, many years. WAKE UP MAYOR.
WAKE UP Trustees who perpetuate this disgrace to the village.
By realistic (472), westhampton on Nov 11, 11 12:13 AM
1 member liked this comment
Well "realistic” you don't see the chief around town? I have run into him first thing in the morning down at Goldberg’s bagels, went into the Village's clerk’s office the other day and saw him there, he is at every Trustee meeting and work session and he can be found on weekend’s patrolling the Village streets! Where do you live, Queens? Next time you roll through the Village just open your eyes, he is there all the time.
By gusbeme (33), southampton on Nov 11, 11 4:20 PM
2 members liked this comment
Thank you gus-it is true that Ray is very visible in town.
By EastEnd68 (888), Westhampton on Nov 11, 11 4:47 PM
Must be in disguise. Tell me where he will be patrolling this weekend and I will look for him. i guess hes also not using his Village provided car since thats sitting in the Village Hall lot.
By realistic (472), westhampton on Nov 11, 11 5:59 PM
Oh, now your being silly Hank...oh I mean realistic, when the Chief's car is parked in the lot you can visit him working hard in his office, after all he does administrate the 17 person police department. The village provided car does not sit in the lot which only shows you are commenting based on erroneous information you received from your discredited sources…is our favorite judge’s lawman sitting with you again? Remember, this is not Steubenville Ohio, and we are not sitting in ...more
By gusbeme (33), southampton on Nov 11, 11 8:30 PM
1 member liked this comment
Maybe all the private carters should get together, and we can see just how much they're "worth". Would that be legal? Nah, most likely not.

Can't raise prices during a recession, anyway. Well, at least you shouldn't.

NYC wasn't pretty during the strike, and you can probably rake in 50k a year with OT. SO, what we are to say, is that the chief of police, is worth a bit more than triple what a particularly dirty job is in a "ritzy town"? Does that include benefits, and pension ...more
Nov 11, 11 11:10 PM appended by Mr. Z
For reference, I'd probably be cool with 125k, and benefits. If you manage it right, why should you need a pension? Use it for charity during retirement?
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on Nov 11, 11 11:10 PM
Interesting...Looks like Westhampton Beach got a deal-didnt Southampton Village just hire their NEW chief for $275k? Does Mr. Tucker have an issue with the Triborough Amendment (aka "perpetuity") for all employees who have contracts or just Chief Dean? I think he has made that pretty clear here
By southfork11960 (14), Southampton on Nov 12, 11 5:43 PM
Sorry, make that $175k for Southampton Village
By southfork11960 (14), Southampton on Nov 12, 11 5:44 PM
Do away with the silos. Integrate all the police departments into a town police force with precincts instead. Seems like a better way to rationalize costs, and do away with "chief" salaries, and open up the system for promotions and lateral mobility.
By Toma Noku (616), uptown on Nov 12, 11 6:18 PM
1 member liked this comment