2013-01-18 / Letters

Cut Council Perks

Dear Editor:

Constituents have their own New Year’s wish list for New York City Council members in 2013.

The average salary for a New Yorker is $41,000 per year. A NYC Council members base salary is $112,500 plus bonuses, for what is officially designated as a part-time job. Virtually every member receives an additional lulu ranging from $4,000 to $28,000 for chairing Council committees. In exchange, all should show up for work full time. Those holding down a second outside job should either give up their bonus or outside work. Donate one day's salary to your favorite private charity for each day you fail to show up for work.

Include in your district mailings identifying personal attendance records for all full Council and Council committee meetings, legislation you have sponsored and voting record on all Council bills.

Stop passing frivolous legislation that infringes on constituents’ civil and economic liberties, along with naming streets after dead people.

Leave your private car at home instead of using free parking at City Hall. Buy a Metro Card and use public transportation to and from work like millions of New Yorkers do daily.

If running for Borough President or other public office - do not use your current elected position as a steppingstone to run. Resign your Council seat today to avoid any conflicts of interest. This will free you to run for another office full time on your own time and dime.

List any campaign contributions from recipients who receive annual member item funding. Do not accept any "Pay for Play" or other special interest campaign contributions from those doing business with NYC to avoid the appearance of any conflicts of interest.

Do not have taxpayer office funded staff drive you around or ghost write any letters to the editor or guest op-ed articles under your name. Write your own material.

Ordinary New Yorkers can only dream of such plums. We are hardworking, especially municipal employees. They never see such financial rewards, work hours or other perks of office that are readily available to Council members.

LARRY PENNER

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