Hizzoner cooked up something nice for his entire staff.
Mayor de Blasio doled out raises to 358 of 360 staffers in fiscal year 2016. That came to a total of $2 million, which included a generous $13,000 raise to the executive chef at Gracie Mansion, who now earns $115,000.
Data compiled by the Empire Center also show 56 City Hall staffers — including 35 who got new job titles — received raises of more than 20%.
“(De Blasio) should be spreading the wealth. There are so many families living check to check, and you’re giving employees that already make a nice chunk of change a raise,” said Shaun Williams, 30, a messenger from East New York, Brooklyn.
“You’re supposed to be looking out for us!”
Executive chef Feliberto Estevez’s sweet raise reflected his new duties overseeing big events at Gracie Mansion and elsewhere, City Hall spokesman Freddi Goldstein said.
“His new responsibilities included expanding partnerships with community restaurants and operational and logistics management of all catered events,” Goldstein said.
In 2011, the Daily News highlighted the expense to taxpayers of then-Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s three executive chefs, which cost $245,000 total that year. At that time, Estevez, who could not be reached, earned $97,000.
The raises for City Hall staff overall mirrored raises built into the contract with District Council 37 — a longstanding practice predating the de Blasio administration, Goldstein maintained.
The most common raise for de Blasio employees was 2.5%, the hike given to DC 37 workers in 2015 in their new contract.
“In order to retain skilled staff, we need to offer competitive wages and promote our employees when possible, which of course also results in a raise,” Goldstein said.
Keeping staff has not been easy for de Blasio. Most recently, Police Commissioner Bill Bratton said he will step down to pursue a more lucrative job in the private sector.
And in June, it emerged that Environmental Protection Commissioner Emily Lloyd, Office of Sustainability Director Nilda Mesa and de Blasio’s top lawyer Maya Wiley were all quitting.
De Blasio has said such turnover is normal.
The across-the-board raises come as de Blasio’s approval ratings continue to languish. Only about four in 10 city voters approved of the job he was doing in a Quinnipiac University poll released last week.
He’s also facing multiple investigations into his fund-raising. The upper ranks of the NYPD were also rocked this summer by a bribery scandal.
“What’s so outstanding about what they’re doing? We need some hard evidence and proof to what they’re delivering to us that’s worth $2 million,” said Clarissa Andino, 20, from Pelham Parkway, the Bronx.
Empire Center spokesman Ken Girardin said the nonprofit doesn’t take a position on the raises. “We reserve judgment for the taxpayers,” he said.
© 2016 New York Daily News