Spano's proposed pay raises cause stir
A plan by Westchester County Executive Andrew Spano to give pay raises to his top advisors is being criticized in light of the economic downturn.
County Legislator George Oros (R-Cortlandt) says he agrees with taxpayers who say that the proposed salary increases are a mistake.
"I think it's an insult to the taxpayers of Westchester at a time when people are facing cutbacks, layoffs and cuts to their family budgets," he says.
Supporters of the increases say the issue is being misunderstood. They say the raises were originally planned for both 2008 and 2009, and that the vote was delayed last year because of unsettled union contracts. They say Spano decided against the second year of raises next year because of the sagging economy.
"[Spano is] very concerned about taxes and families facing foreclosure, heating, losing jobs - that's why he eliminated raises in 2009," says Susan Tolchin, chief advisor to the county executive.
The plan, which has so far fallen along party lines within the Westchester Board of Legislators, would be retroactive to January.