To The Editor:
Political payoffs take on different faces. This one is the face that promises future benefits during a hiring process by some elected officials.
During the hiring of the Director of the Oswego County Land Bank (A private non-profit formed in 2015) the promise of a state retirement package was promised to the candidate if they accepted the position.
This was going to be accomplished through a bill being presented at the state level.
That bill was not passed and that should be a very good indicator the path of actions any county should take.
Oswego County Land Bank is a very good asset for all municipalities in Oswego County.
The Land Bank takes properties that have become eyesores to the community do to being taken for back taxes.
The city of Fulton has benefited from its partnership with the Land Bank and so has the city of Oswego and other municipalities.
The only problem is the fact that the board of directors of the Land Bank is asking the county to make the director an employee of the county for the express purpose that the director will be entitled to a state retirement package.
A director of a private non-profit a county employee, no way, it’s a no-brainer.
“We are always screaming about the state putting pressure on our tax dollars with unfunded mandates but we turn around and put pressure on state dollars by adding more people to cover with an ever-strained pension fund.”
The county would not have any control over this employee.
The costs are advertised as being covered by the Land Bank. They list FICA, State and Federal taxes and other fringe benefits agreed upon between the county and the Land Bank Board of Directors. (Notice if you will that they don’t list what those other fringe benefits are).
What other benefits?
They claim “no local share costs,” because it’s not in the tax levy.
I would like to know how many local residents don’t pay any state taxes?
Everyone will be paying for this retirement package. Just because it’s not in the levy don’t think we aren’t paying for it.
“It’s a Pandora’s Box that will certainly set precedent with similar entities statewide and locally.”
I will not be voting in favor of this appointment.
If the state says no, we should follow the same path.
I will always be a champion for the Land Bank, but not for this resolution.
I feel that if the Land Bank wants to give the director a pension, it should setup a 401K matching or otherwise and a medical benefits package.
This is a private non-profit and for that reason the director should not become part of the state retirement process.
Let’s not blemish an excellent private non-profit by asking the taxpayers of this state to pay for a retirement package for the director.
A political payoff.
Frank Castiglia Jr.
Oswego County Legislator 25th District