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Independence insight

June 20, 2013 - John D'Agostino
The Independence Party played a large role in the downsizing of the Chautauqua County Legislature from 25 to 19 over the last three years.

Now, its county chairman is speaking out against the Salary Review Commission’s proposal regarding raises for elected positions in government. Here are Thom Shagla’s comments, which were received in a recent e-mail. My Publisher’s notebook column on June 21 touches on a portion of this.

"Did you see the prefiled resolutions coming from the Salary Review Commission? They are recommending that the Legislature receive a 33 percent pay increase in basic pay because "they are SAVING money" by the reduction in the size of the legislature ($80,000) and because "they have SAVED over $250,000 over the past five years" on paying legislators health insurance.

"I just want to GAG!

"The Independence Party embarassed them into giving up their health insurance, and with the help of a couple of legislators, pressured them into reducing the size of the Legislature.

"Yeah, they went willingly, just like a bunch of squealing pigs having their food taken away at meal time. What part of saving money makes anyone think that we should take those savings and fatten up the pigs? People are sick and tired of being on the short end of the stick. If you don't like the pay, quit the job.

"It amazes me that the salary review committee could even concieve an idea like this, let alone send it forward when there are people out here who can't even make a living in jobs that they have to take.

"I have personally served on the county's South & Center Chautauqua Lake Sewer District board for over 16 years and Bemus Point school board for 12. I received not one cent. I did it to serve my community.

"When will these people wake up?"


Article Comments



Jun-21-13 9:23 AM

There should be a set payment of 5000 to serve as a legislator and nothing more. If you don't want to serve for that pay then don't. Perhaps this would attract people who want to do the people's work instead of something to do for the money. Also there should be term limits. Two terms and out.


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