To The Editor:
Who should decide if elected officials should receive a raise?
Should the public vote the raise in or should the elected official decide it?
Three major elected officials (County Treasurer, County Clerk and Sheriff) may be receiving a raise if the legislative body votes in favor of those raises.
Let’s look first at what I suggested today.
I said we should look to see what other counties are paying these same positions.
We should look at length of service.
We should look at hours spent actually working.
I also suggested that in order to keep the costs to the taxpayers at a minimum, we should ask each elected official to reduce their budgets by the amount of the raises.
That should be accomplished without cutting any positions.
I was told today that the raise proposals were going to go through the Finance and Personnel Committee as is.
No checking with other counties, no collaborations at all.
Let’s see how they would fare if they used even a few of my suggestions.
Sheriff – 45 years of service in the Sheriff’s Department (length of service), full day worked (actual work hours).
In committee I had suggested reducing his budget to cover the raise that I had suggested so there wouldn’t be any added costs to the taxpayers.
The Sheriff agreed to reduce his costs and agreed to lowering his required number of patrol cars.
He has been elected to more terms in office than I can remember.
Education: high school diploma along with extensive public safety training as well as working his way up through the ranks of the Sheriff’s Department.
County Clerk – 4 years as County Clerk, running un-opposed for his second term, (length of service).
Has maintained employee levels.
Education: Master’s Degree in Public Administration.
County Treasurer -4 years as County Treasurer, on second term (length of service).
He has increased employee count by 2 employees and has increased costs to the taxpayers each year in office (cost to taxpayers).
Let’s not forget the over-payment of sales tax to the towns.
The County Clerk is the past Oswego County Republican Party Chairman. All Republican Legislators will feel a sense of loyalty and vote in favor of giving him a raise.
Then there is the Treasurer. He is the present Oswego County Republican Party Chairman. Any Republican Legislator that wants to keep their position will vote in favor of giving him his raise.
Fearing the loss of their positions, they swept the over-payment of the sales tax to the towns under the rug.
The same fear was present when the Treasurer added 2 employees to the department costing the taxpayers an extra $100,000 since his questionable appointment.
The Sheriff doesn’t have any of his employees or relatives on the Legislature so there doesn’t seem to be any ethics problem here to vote him a raise.
If you feel strongly that the voters should decide who gets a raise, then please come to the Legislative meeting on November 10 at 2 p.m. and speak your mind.
Legislator Frank Castiglia