To The Reader's Forum:
Chautauqua County and much of NY has been economically stagnant, even depressed, for the past 40 years. Ordinary citizens in our area are still in considerable economic difficulty. After finally lowering property tax rates, our overgrown county government couldn't resist several increases (from $8.18 to $9.15 since 2010), even in the midst of the worst national economic mess in several generations. The County Executive repeatedly called for raising the already lofty sales tax to help the budget. I strongly agree that it is "ludicrous," as The Post-Journal put it June 16, for county officials to get big pay raises.
We see the same kind of arrogant, out-of-touch, and spend without regard to tomorrow mentality at the national level with the IRS, Obama Administration, Congress, Post Office, etc. It's even more shocking when we see this approach locally. It should be rejected by all citizens regardless of political ideology. We need common sense, a return to something at least remotely resembling the thinking of our Founding Fathers and even that of our grandparents!
If the pay they are getting isn't adequate, let these folks return to the private sector. I remember not receiving a pay increase for three consecutive years and I was making a fraction of what these county officials are getting. And it wasn't simply made up to me later. Our small county does not need to pay its executive a salary of over $100,000, esp. in these lean times. The current $85,000 is appropriate, and maybe a small increase. But a $24,000 jump? How is it that high "public service" salaries are never enough?
Frankly, only government folks would come up with insanity like this, and in the meantime they have been literally bankrupting our cities, counties, states, and nation for many years.
Many county and state officials ought to have their salaries and benefits cut.
The proposal for the County Clerk was a $15,000 raise a sum which exceeds what my mother and a lot of our seniors make in one year on Social Security! And imagine a part time job where you can get a $3,000 raise, as was suggested for the County Legislators.
This is all ridiculous and a slap in the face to taxpayers. The common people have a lot more wisdom about the situation our county is in; those on the Salary Review Commission should immediately resign. Government is about the only place you can live in a dreamworld and not only survive, but often get recklessness and stupidity imposed on others.
Randall S. Braley,