That’s what it was all about. All this talk of a coalition being built in order to bring about reform? It’s all about jobs. J-O-B-S JOBS. Who’s in and who’s out so far?
Kevin Hosey: Majority Communications Director: A person I consider to be one of the best and brightest people in local politics. I will sorely miss popping in his office from time to time to shoot the breeze, and I hope he lands somewhere good, lucrative, and quickly.
Jeremy Rosen: Former Bob Reynolds staffer: Senior Administrative Clerk
Rosemary Sullivan: Former Kathy Konst staffer: Senior Administrative Clerk
Michelle Novak: Senior Administrative Clerk
Cherrie Bagarozzo: Receptionist
Dorothy Furtney: Senior Policy Analyst
Don Pryzbl: P/T Budget Analyst
Patrick Sanders: P/T Budget Analyst
All of the above are Democrats. The sole departing Republican is Emily Trimper: Senior Administrative Clerk
Bobby Graber: Clerk of the Legislature. Gets to stay, but with a very significant pay cut.
John Calvin Davis: Chief of Staff: pay increase to $75,000 – he will make more than the Legislature’s Clerk, which is unprecedented. Associated with Grassroots.
Paul Henderson: Administrative Clerk, Grassroots member
James Gambino: Senior Administrative Clerk, Graber’s right-hand-man
Andy Kulyk: P/T Senior Administrative CLerk, hours reduced, not an ECDC sycophant
We don’t yet have the complete figures on how many Republican staffers are being added to the county payroll, but estimates are that four new jobs will be created, all around $40 – 75k, and the Republican Chief of Staff goes from the low $40k to almost $70k.
Brian Fiume will be that minority Chief of Staff, moving over from Collins’ office, where he served as the intergovernmental affairs officer. He gets a big raise in the move.
Scott Kroll stays on, getting a hefty raise to the mid-$50k range.
It’s also been reported that although the Republican legislators will be closing their useless and unused district offices, those offices’ staffers will stay on the county payroll, moving downtown.
The “Democrats” have added jobs as follows:
1. Sandy Rosenswie is the chairwoman of the Erie County Independence Party. She has Tony Orsini’s old job, and she had previously been on former Erie County Legislator Cindy Locklear’s payroll while Orsini was chair. This is the first time anyone knows of that a county party chair has also been on the county payroll. Rosenswie is, of course, a close family friend of Pigeon’s, as well as a political ally of his. Rosenswie was apparently brought in by Christina Bove.
2. Sheila Meegan is a West Seneca Councilmember who received unreported campaign funding from Steve Pigeon – donations that ultimately led to former A.D.A. Mark Sacha’s ouster because he made too much noise about it.
3. Rebecca Brooks was Barbara Miller-Williams’ district office staffer. She’s coming downtown full-time.
4. Diana Cihak was the local organizer of the Obama presidential campaign and headed up Citizen Action of NY’s local office. Was not on good terms with ECDC, so defected in 2009 to Maurice Garner’s Grassroots – Garner got Cihak this job.
No, I am not so naive as to believe that this is some sort of unprecedented turn of events – that good people lose their jobs and other people take them. What is glaring here is the fact that the incoming staffers are getting big bumps in pay over their predecessors’, and the ones “lucky” enough to hold over are, with a couple of exceptions, getting their pay and/or hours slashed. The idea that the county chair of the dirtiest piece of shit excuse for a political party gets a county job is mindbogglingly horrible. That is the very epitome of bad government, and anyone associated with this should be ashamed. The Independence Party, which is now controlled locally and statewide by Steve Pigeon’s maneuvering and Tom Golisano’s money, is a blight on politics in New York State. It is the same grouping of people that brings us such good-government luminaries as Pedro Espada and Hiram Monserrate – the downstate versions of Tim Kennedy, Barbara Miller-Williams, and Christina Bove.
So, I’ll let both Maria Whyte and Barbara Miller-Williams in on a new definition of “reform”, since they were both keen on defining that term on Thursday: reform in Erie County means finding jobs for your well-connected friends and giving them big-ass raises, and in some cases creating brand new jobs out of whole cloth.
I’m so happy that Chris Collins is also pleased to provide these people with their new, higher-paying positions, complete with dreaded legacy costs. Did Collins run on the raises-for-new-patronage-hires platform? If not, he should make that a centerpiece in his doomed-to-fail gubernatorial run, or maybe in his re-election bid to become County Executive again in 2011.
No one’s running county government like a business. Instead, Chris Collins and Steve Pigeon have taken to running county government like a feudal manor. And we’re the serfs whose labor helps pay for the high life the Lords and Vassals enjoy.