2013-08-16 / Letters

Quinn Is The Wrong Choice

Dear Editor:

I could not agree more with "Quinn Should Not Be Elected" (Editorial -- August 9th). NYC Council Speaker Christine Quinn has been using the power of her office to assist her mayoral ambitions. The lines are blurred between her current job and the job she seeks. She has engaged in a nonstop series of press conferences, news releases, letters to the editor, and guest columns in newspapers, at taxpayers’ expense.

Quinn should have avoided the appearance of any conflict of interest by resigning as Speaker. She could have ended the charade and been honest enough to run full time for mayor on her own time and dime. Hard-working municipal civil servants work full time. They can’t campaign part time during the day, like Quinn. They would have to either take a leave of absence or quit their day job.

In January, 2010, Speaker Quinn announced her appointments of various council committee chairpersons. Councilmembers loyal to their respective county organizations were rewarded with salary increases or lulus, ranging from $4,000 to $28,000 to chair these committees, which were renewed every year. The average salary for a New Yorker is $41,000 per year. Councilmembers have a base salary of $112,500, plus bonuses, for a part-time job.

There is a clear appearance of a serious conflict of interest with Quinn running for mayor. She recently rewarded those loyal councilmembers with lulus when issuing the remaining 50 percent balance in July 2013.

This conflict of interest was worse with new municipal budget adopted in July. Who knows how much Quinn has “steered” several hundred million dollars-worth of member-item, porkbarrel projects she controls to the same loyal councilmembers and recipients of earmarks, who by coincidence are supporting her in the Democratic primary? All of these lulus and member item, pork-barrel projects are paid by your hard-earned tax dollars.

Just like past Speakers Miller and Vallone, Speaker Quinn believes she is qualified to become mayor. On Primary Day, voters may tell Quinn “no thanks,” just like they did for Miller and Vallone.

LARRY PENNER

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