October 2014 Column - Public asked to weigh-in on recommendation to increase elected officials salaries

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Earlier this year a group of resident volunteers were appointed to the Salary Review Commission to decide if they thought salary increases were warranted for Erie County’s elected officials. Upon conclusion of their review, they have recommended increases for the county executive, sheriff, clerk and comptroller. I have thoroughly reviewed the commission’s report and stand adamantly opposed to the recommended increases.

 

During tough economic times, most workers have gone without pay increases, and many with pay decreases.  Therefore, in good conscience I cannot support raising salaries of elected officials while so many have others have learned to do more with less. I feel that now is not the time to be increasing the salaries of any elected officials and further burdening the taxpayers. 

 

Holding public office is an opportunity to give back to your community, not to take from it.  I’m grateful every day for the opportunity to represent my community; I hope all other elected officials feel the same. 

 

Since the release of the commission’s recommendations I have heard many comments from residents who have an interest in this issue. I know many of you feel very strongly and the Legislature wants to make sure your opinion is heard. There are several opportunities for you to weigh-in on this issue.

  • The Legislature will be hosting an online survey at www.erie.gov/legislature, as well as on each of the Majority Caucus members’ individual pages. My page can be found at www.erie.gov/legislature/district10. Please complete the survey and let the Legislature know your thoughts.
  • A public forum will be held at the Legislature within the next coming weeks. When the time and date are set that information will be announced. If you wish to be notified about the forum, please email me at joseph.lorigo@erie.gov to request that information.
  • You can write to the Clerk of the Legislature at 92 Franklin St., Fourth Floor, Buffalo, NY 14202 and request that your comments be included in the official record.

 

The Legislature will be voting on the recommendations later this year and while I will not support the proposed increases, I want to ensure that you, the taxpayers, are involved in this important process.

 

In another matter, I am partnering with local officials to collect new or used Halloween costumes for kids in need this holiday. My law office, 101 Slade Avenue, Unit 2, West Seneca, as well as NYS Assemblyman Councilman Michael P. Kearns’ District Office, 1074 Union Road, West Seneca, are serving as drop-off locations. Please drop off costumes or accessories that you wish to donate during business hours. This is a great community effort to give all kids a fun Halloween experience.

 

Also, don’t forget that on Tuesday, Oct. 28, I am hosting a flu clinic from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Aurora Town Hall, 300 Gleed Ave., East Aurora, in partnership with Rite-Aid. The clinic is for adults, age 18 and older, and attendees are asked to bring their insurance card. Most insurance plans cover the vaccination in full.

 

If you have any questions, please contact me at 858-8922 or joseph.lorigo@erie.gov