Palmyra City Council plans to cut city supervisor’s salary | News
PALMYRA — The city council plans to cut the pay of embattled city supervisor Ken Miller, who also chairs the board of supervisors, and set specific working hours following a March 9 incident in which Miller was found at home unconscious and intoxicated after missing a County Meet.
The decision was made at a special meeting Thursday night, said Jim Welch, who serves as acting supervisor while Miller is on furlough until April 12.
Welch said the council is asking city attorney Paul Rubery to draft a local law to allow the council to take a pay cut. State law says his salary can only be reduced at budget time without local law, Welch noted.
“We listen to voters, voters,” Welch said Friday, adding that many residents are unhappy with what happened. “I think we wanted to send the message that this conduct is unacceptable. We cannot force him to resign.
Still, Welch said the action was not to force Miller to resign, “but to get some help.” Miller has a history of alcohol abuse.
Welch did not reveal how much money the city council plans to cut Miller’s salary. According to City Clerk Irene Unterborn, Miller’s salary was $35,844, not including his county earnings as a supervisor and an additional allowance as council chairman. In 2022, supervisors receive $17,598 for county work, while the council chairman receives an additional $23,710.
Council members are asking for specific working hours for Miller to make sure city business is going, Welch said.
Welch said Miller was briefed on the plan.
The March 9 incident began when Miller failed to show up for a meeting with County Administrator Rick House and other officials to review the agenda for next week’s meeting. House asked the Wayne County Sheriff’s Office to check on Miller’s well-being, as they could not reach him by phone.
According to a report from the sheriff’s office obtained by The Times via a Freedom of Information request, deputies were told to contact Palmyra Code Enforcement Officer Pat Sheridan regarding Miller, whose family members admitted to having been drinking the previous night. Unterborn told deputies that Miller apparently slept at Palmyra Town Hall on Canandaigua Road overnight.
That morning at City Hall, Miller asked the code officer for the keys to the code enforcement vehicle because he had to go to a county meeting, according to the report. Deputies reported that Sheridan could not verify that Miller was intoxicated, but that he just appeared “off.”
Miller was later found by his wife, passed out on the kitchen floor of their Maple Avenue home, according to the report. Miller was taken by ambulance to FF Thompson Hospital in Canandaigua for treatment.
Miller lost the use of a county vehicle after a 2020 incident in which he arrived in a vehicle in what witnesses described as intoxicated. The supervisors then agreed to return the vehicle to him.
Welch previously said there were no rules in the city prohibiting the supervisor from using a city-owned vehicle for official business.