Opinion: Community economics should be considered, says Massena resident
Monday, November 5, 2018 - 6:12 am


The Massena Town Supervisor says “All union contracts are up to date and salary increases are in effect.” Where are the thousands of balloons to celebrate this auspicious event? Non-contractual employees were also handed raises. I didn’t hear about any negotiations. Of course both parties “negotiate” from the same side of the table.

Massena town supervisor believes that a small tax increase each year is a good idea. No mention of any savings or spending cuts. Just wishful increases in revenues and actual increases in payroll and benefits. highway and fire went up by the increase in the tax levy and it appears much of the $300,000 from the savings account went to everyone’s raise and benefit costs.

Now council member Carbone recommends that the supervisor receive a $3,500 raise (down from $5,000) because of historical inflation and he spends a lot of time there. Is he getting a lot done during that time or does it take him twice the time to do the same job as previous supervisors?

What happens when the next supervisor only spends half the time? Will he or she get paid half? Not likely. Sadly with all five current or retired public union employees on the board this thinking is the norm. The foxes are running the hen house. They just raise taxes and take what they want. To them the most important issues are and have been their own raises and benefits. Their perspective is different than mine. It will eventually bankrupt small communities like ours.

Although I hate to admit it, I agree with Councilman Nicola. Community economics should be considered. The rest of the community does not receive a 2% raise each year because of inflation. Their healthcare benefits, if any, are a fraction of those provided to Town and Village employees.

The tax free healthcare benefits are about $2,000 per month per employee family plan. How does that compare with yours? Could you use an extra $24,000 tax free to pay your premiums? Their careers have protected them from the difficult uncertainties of the private sector.

It appears that this budget is primarily self-serving as is the suggestion of a substantial raise.

One more issue. The arrogance to shut down someone’s comment because it wasn’t positive sets me back. This shows that they don’t care about the people or what they think.

Charlie McGrath