GLOVERSVILLE — The Gloversville Common Council voted 7-0 Tuesday to make permanent the appointment of Gloversville Police Chief Mike Garavelli with a new contract that spells out his salary and other job requirements through 2026.
Garavelli was appointed interim police chief in December, after serving essentially as acting chief since October 2022. He said he was humbled and grateful for the honor bestowed upon by the council. He said his focus as chief will be to rebuild the Gloversville Police Department.
Currently the GPD has 31 of the 35 police officers budgeted for in the city’s 2023 budget. In 2022, amid retirements, officer retention problems and other difficulties, the department at times was forced to assign its command officers to do patrol work.
“We had a tough 2022,” Garavelli acknowledged.
During his report to the council, Garavelli said the department is set to regain its New York state accreditation certificate on March 9. He said the department currently has one recruit in the police academy, although another recent recruit is now in the process of resigning after about 10 weeks of field training.
“But, on a positive note, we’re looking at three lateral transfers (from other law enforcement agencies), so we may be closer to fully staffed as we go on,” he said. “That’s open a lot of doors for us, in terms of what we do on the street on a daily basis, instead of always being reactive, we can become proactive.”
Garavelli’s contract differs in some important ways from his predecessor former GPD Chief Anthony “Tony” Clay. Clay was the city’s highest paid department head in 2022 with a salary of $103,851, but his salary was actually lower than the police captain salaries, governed by the city’s police union contract.
Clay’s term of office was indefinite, however, his salary was subject to an annual performance review from the common council.
Garavelli’s four-year deal includes a set salary increase schedule:
• 2023 — $110,713
• 2024 — $113,626
• 2025 — $116,968
• 2026 — $120,478
Mayor Vince DeSantis said it makes sense for the city to offer a new contract for the police chief. He said in recent prior years the city had decided to offer a very similar appointment and pay structure to multiple department heads, and he thinks the practice has outworn its usefulness, particularly since it would have required Garavelli to take a pay cut to become police chief.
The city’s other department heads all issued public congratulations to Garavelli after his appointment, including Fire Chief Tom Groff.
“Congratulations Mike, and I hope we can continue the cooperation we’ve had in the past, it’s always been a great asset for everybody, and I look forward to working with you,” Groff said.