Rotterdam politicians spar over salaries
In response to Rotterdam Town Board Member Gerard Parisi calling for state and county politicians to either cut the number of elected officials or reduce their pay and benefit packages in half, Town Supervisor Francis Del Gallo is asking why the local politician hasn't donated any of his town board salary yet.
In a June 22 release, Parisi said, Service as a representative of the people should be just that, public service. It should not be a way to line the pockets of elected officials.
In response, Del Gallo said, "I agree that it should be about public service, so let's see Gerard Parisi put his money where his mouth is for once."
Parisi's position on the Town Board has an annual salary of $10,000. Del Gallo earns an annual salary of $15,000. Del Gallo said he has already donated his entire salary back to Rotterdam.
"He [Parisi] is the one that sent an e-mail around about him running and giving back half of their pay in politics," said Del Gallo. "What's good for one is good for the other."
Parisi said he was only addressing the "out of control" spending in county and state and never took a position asking anyone to donate any money. Parisi said the press release he sent out was in regards to his Assembly bid and not related to Rotterdam.
"The Town of Rotterdam is not the big problem," said Parisi. "I don't think Rotterdam's pay is out of control."
Del Gallo pointed out a bill by Parisi, who was formerly the town attorney, in late December 2009 where the town was billed for more than $13,000 in out-of-contract legal services and the services were not dated. He stated the New York State Comptroller's Office Financial Management Guide requires invoices submitted to towns for services to include sufficient information to survive an audit by the state.
"Without dates, there is no way of knowing when the services occurred or if they were duplicated," said Del Gallo in a statement.
In response, Parisi said there is no requirement to date the services, and if someone read the bill they would be able to see any duplicate services.
Parisi also said it was inappropriate for Del Gallo to release a press release with Town of Rotterdam letterhead and using town resources to address the matter since this subject isn't town business.
Del Gallo did not comment on those accusations.