SIX FIGURE SALARIES FOR THEM – INCREASED FEES FOR US
By Harry Freedman
Remember last year when Joe Saladino was first appointed Oyster Bay Town Supervisor about a year ago? He gathered his staff and they all sat around wearing ethics T-shirts and made promises for more open and transparent government? Quick question. How many of you truly believed that the Republicans would live up to their show and tell theatrics from the campaign?
So here’s what they promised.
- Cut taxes despite being $800,000,000 in debt.
- Appoint an independent inspector general with full power to oversee contracts. FACT- The idea was taken from the democrats and portrayed as if it was their own)
- Complete openness in government.
(Here’s what they have actually done since winning the elections.)
- Gave nearly $735,000 in pay hikes under a personnel resolution that did not show those raises to the public, with some of the raises being given to brand new hires, while claiming the raises were part of an initiative to bring pay equity for female employees. [Source – Newsday]
FACT: Majority of raises went to men: 54 raises for men, 33 for women with average raise of $8620.00 for men, vs. $8150.00 for women.
TACTIC: The numbers don’t lie, but their explanation does. They never previously cared about (gender equity), but as a cover story, it allows them to appear progressive during the #MeToo movement, while continuing to dole out money for bloated salaries the town can’t afford.
- Just hired 5 new employees for $347,000, all of whom are recycled Republicans, including a husband whose wife is already on the town payroll. Also approved 5 more hires, but delayed acting upon them for the moment. FACT – Continued version of their Verizon Policy, also known as the Republican’s FRIENDS AND FAMILY PLAN.
TACTIC- The Republican Party takes care of its own, and by splitting these hires into 2 parts, they spread the sticker shock, making it harder for the public to follow.
- Began defanging Inspector General position so no true independence for oversight of town contracts, while claiming “technical and logistic issues.”
TACTIC – “We won, and the public is so worn out from last year’s campaign, we can do just about anything we did in the past. Nobody’s paying much attention right now.”
- Moved all town Facebook links to one giant Joe Saladino page, then censored and deleted critics from posting. The town site was only restored after public outcry
TACTIC – “He who controls the media controls the mind,” Jim Morrison. Yes, that Jim Morrison.
- Floated train parking fee increase as high as 1000% to cover parking budget deficits. Then offered a 400% increase a few weeks later after initial outcry.
FACT – 400% increase in parking fees would bring in approximately $1,300,000, which is about the same that they are spending on new hires and pay raises. There is no justification for either.
TACTIC – Brilliantly planned. After starting at 1000%, 400% makes it seem like they’re responsive and doing us all a favor.
TACTIC 2 – During the next election cycle, they can again claim they didn’t raise taxes, while creating scary ads that will convince people that the Democrats will raise taxes to, who knows, maybe save the whales. (Okay, a little humor but they will repeat that Democrats are “Tax and Spend,” without disclosing the incredible damage from their continued repetition of real life “Borrow and Waste.”
One additional note on parking: After decades of Republican control, is it possible that that there is additional parking that hasn’t been previously located? There are 41,000 Parking Permits for 6,891 spots. Joe Saladino said he would form a committee to look for more parking. I wish them luck. But I seriously doubt their search will amount to anything but a PR stunt. Because if a committee in 2018 is somehow miraculously able to locate parking that hasn’t been found before, what was the Republican Town Government doing on this chronic long-term issue in the past?
As always, Oyster Bay Republicans have provided very good Government For the Government, But Not the People.