To the editor:
I was surprised to read Tom DiMezza's letter to the editor on Tuesday, which purports to list the first-year cost of a county charter. The way it is written suggests the numbers are a done deal. Problem is the numbers are complete made up. Let's take them point by point:
$20,000 per legislator -- What? Supervisors are paid $10,000 now, and under the charter the scope of a legislator's job would be cut in half. Why would we double their pay?
$140,000 for the county executive -- Where does it say that? Several similarly sized counties pay their executives in the range of $69,000-$80,000. Fulton County pays theirs $82,000. Under the charter, the supervisors would set the executive's salary for the first four years. Apparently DiMezza will vote to pay almost double the going rate.
$125,000 for a deputy county executive -- Did DiMezza read the charter? There is no deputy executive position in the charter.
$60,000 for a secretary for the executive -- Seems like a lot to me. More likely, we would just take the $40,000 we currently pay the deputy clerk for the supervisors (a position that won't have much to do under the charter) and a that money for a secretary.
$85,000 for a full-time auditor -- The charter doesn't require an auditor. Under the charter, the legislature can do the audits, like the supervisors do now.
$60,000 purchasing agent -- Huh? The county has a purchasing agent now. He's paid $50,000. Apparently DiMezza wants to raise his pay, too.
$45,000 for a staff person for the purchasing agent -- I think not. The purchasing agent doesn't have a staffer now. Under the charter, his job won't change, so he won't need a staff member.
$100,000 for a community services director -- We have a community service director now, who is paid $30,000. The charter would not result in tripling his salary.
$45,000 for a staff person for the community services director -- Again, we don't have one now and the charter won't change that.
$35,000 for a car for the executive -- What the heck? There is no car in the charter. I advise the readers to call DiMezza and tell him you don't support his plan to buy the executive a BMW 1-Series.
$35,000 for printing -- The budget currently allocates $500 for printing to the entire board of supervisors.
$25,000 for "miscellaneous expenditures -- I don't understand, does DiMezza support giving the executive an expense account now?
It appears the opponents of the charter will resort to any scare tactic they can to stop the voters from enacting a badly needed and positive change in county government.
Don't be fooled.
Town of Amsterdam
A case of fuzzy math
To the editor:
In response to the editorial found in the Amsterdam Recorder on Oct. 30, 2012, written by Supervisor Thomas DiMezza, I must set the record straight. Supervisor DiMezza, I have known you for over 30 years and this is a true case of doing fuzzy math that does not add up. You have done a huge injustice to the proposed Charter and the residents of Montgomery County.
There is a reason why salaries and budget figures were not added to the new charter. The charter commission does not have the power to do so. The only way the new charter form of government will cost the county taxpayers any more money is if you, Supervisor DiMezza, and the other 14 board of supervisors choose to do so. At each and every public meeting it has been made clear that the current board of supervisors will establish salaries under the new charter form of government. It is has also been pointed out that there should be no need to increase support staff as those positions are already established and being used by the current board of supervisors.
So unless you plan to increase the county budget, there is no need for the positions, and the dollar value attached to them in your editorial example, to be created under the new county charter. I encourage voters to read the new charter by going to www.montgomerycountycharter.com. And, get out and vote on Nov. 6.
Mayor James F. Post,
The writer was vice chairman of the charter commission.