Here’s how I would solve the raise issue

Posted: June 5, 2012 in Social & Economic Dynamics
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While reading opinions here and here on the reported reversal of opinion by the Common Council on the proposed raise for Corporation Counsel Gerry DeCusati, I thought of an easy and fair way to give him that 15K raise without increasing the budget at all. If indeed, DeCusatis was single-handedly responsible for balancing this years budget and no members of the budget committee (which includes the Mayor, Council Members, and Controller) had any valuable input whatsoever in the process, then it seems only reasonable that a total of 15K should be CUT from everyone’s compensation and be given to DeCusatis.

The budget process is one of the most important tasks given to our elected officials. If none of them were able to perform this adequately, then all of their salaries should be reduced, because they have not done the job they were elected and paid by the taxpayers to do.

It does seem like there is more to this story than is being told to the public and I do wish someone would start spilling. It’s hard to believe the common council members are just going to sit back and accept the label of “clueless” and do a 180 turn on their position of giving DeCusatis a hefty raise without any explanation.

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Comments
  1. robert purtell says:

    Wow! welcome back Rumple Stiltskin, I had given up on you.
    I really have no comment on your post, just glad that you are back commenting.

  2. Tim Becker says:

    Well, the amount of spare time, mental energy and motivation to write comes and goes for me. It’s happened before, it will happen again no doubt. Thanks for reading!

    • Barbara S. Wheeler says:

      Tim,
      Excellent timing!! What do you think about the increase for Gerry’s secretary of $10,000?? I hope this is discarded during these extreme economic times.
      Great suggestions above-The job of the Corperation Council is to advise on legal matters and only do His budget. So this is out of the scope of his job spec. Let those whom job it is can pay the difference. Comparing-Here’s an FYI-The county pays $10,000 to the Budget officer who advise and oversee’s the $90+ million budget. (Very real numbers) Maybe the extra $5,000 can be explained. Either way, I’m glad the job was done, and will be looking forward to the Public Hearing 🙂

      • Tim Becker says:

        Actually, the money isn’t the main issue. The issue is that the Mayor has built her case for giving him a raise by saying the Common Council and the Controller were basically inept at handling the budget and only GD knew what to do with it. That’s the larger issue!

  3. diane says:

    Tim,

    The budget, thru no fault of the controllers own, came in months late. All along I was concerned that as a result there would be a push to get it thru ASAP. After two/three sessions, GD took control and put forth a budget. At that meeting last week the mayor stated to the council she did not want to go thru the budget line by line, but just direct questions to the dept heads when they showed up. That is what was done. Only 5th Ward Alderman Leggeiro questioned the line by line and only he brought up the difficult points: DG’s salary,, the economic director, and money for a grant writer. All of a sudden there was magic in the room and everyone was praising GD’s work. No one is disputing that the numbers were more or less balanced, but at what cost. Until tonight there are still no firm numbers for the water, sewer and golf funds.

    My concern is last year GD and the former controller did the same thing, plugging in numbers to balance the budget. In all the previous budgets GD has also had a say. GD was hired to be a corp counsel for the city to advise the mayor and council in legal matters. Yet with the mayor’s knowledge he is running the city. There is not a dept he does not have his hand in one way or another. Where does it stop? I am very disappointed in two members of the council for not supporting their counterpart on the council. I have to wonder, too, why have they changed their minds? Has there been some pressure put on them to do this or else? Nothing would surprise me in this administration. It is extremely back biting and the mayor will do what she has to to get what she wants. (She clearly worked with Mike Chiara to get Karl Baia out of office)

    I want to see the controller go thru and verify all the numbers, to the best of his ability. But he has to be given all the info to do that. He certainly cannot prepare a budget if he does not have the complete picture.

    By the way Tim, the council could have come up with things during the discussion had they not been told not to go line by line. Only when things are not discussed are they not brought forth. This council must stand up and act like the city leaders they were elected to be. If they wish to turn their responsibilities over to others, then they should resign and let someone takeover that wants to do the job. This city did not elect GD mayor nor controller and yet they are acquiessing to his points right or wrong on an all too frequent basis.

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