Pay The People
As a resident of Levittown, with friends living in Massapequa, I was floored by Republican legislative leader Peter Schmitt’s decision to grant himself a sizable pay increase—to the tune of nearly $100,000 [“Schmitt Takes Flak for Big Pay Hike,” Jan. 25]. He and his deputy have awarded themselves these raises during a time when Nassau County is looking to make budget cuts wherever possible, and Long Island families are struggling to make ends meet.
In an interview with News 12, Mr. Schmitt’s hubris was crystal clear when he suggested his predecessor “worked for free” and that he had no intention of doing so. I think we can all agree that with a yearly salary of $67,000, Diane Yatauro (D-Glen Cove) did not work pro bono.
Now before the angry responses come flooding in, yes Yatauro (currently the minority leader) was awarded an increase as well (though many speculate it was done so to offset any backlash Schmitt would have gotten). However, she has gone on record stating she has no desire for the money and is looking into how she can return it to the county. She went further to say that if she’s forced to accept it, she will give it to charity.
Ironically, it was only three years ago when Mr. Schmitt howled at a proposal in the county budget (a proposal that hadn’t even been voted on yet) to increase Tom Suozzi’s salary, the district attorney’s salary and others.
I am equally disappointed in my own Levittown Legislator (and Mr. Schmitt’s fellow Republican) Dennis Dunne, who had no problem voting in favor of his associate’s sizable pay increase.
This is yet one more sign our County Execs—and to some degree, a majority of the GOP—have lost their connection with the middle class.
Dear Mr. Martino:
I’m shocked, apoplectic and saddened, to say the least, about your departure. I, like many of your readers (followers), go back to the original L.I. Press. I, too, am a confirmed newspaper reader going back to the Daily Mirror, Herald Tribune, etc.
I’ve followed Mumay Kempton rigorously, Paul Vitello, Ed Lowe, Breslin and Susan Cheever. When I read the Press I read in this order: “Dry Martino,” Jerry (and the beautiful Judy Licht) Della Femina and the cover story.