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Friday, December 9, 2022
Home Government George Cuts Benjamins From Personal Pay

George Cuts Benjamins From Personal Pay

Local Assemblyman George Latimer is down $2,385.

He didn't lose it at an Atlantic City card table - he is giving it back to New York State (that's you and me). Sensitive to the crummy economy, Latimer has elected to take a voluntary 3% pay cut.

Latimer announced that, effective April 1 – the start of the 2010-11 budget year – he would take the voluntary cut, reflected in reducing his take-home check each pay period. Latimer receives only the legislative base salary of $79,500 per year; he holds no additional pay (often called "lu-lus") for committee service or any position. He has also stopped any outside work to avoid perceived conflicts of interests. State legislative pay has been frozen since 1999.

Latimer also announced that two positions in his offices – one part-time post based in Mamaroneck, and one full-time post in Albany – would be eliminated. The part-time post elimination leaves two remaining part-time slots in Mamaroneck; the full-time post in Albany reduces his coverage there from 2 to 1 people.

"Families are sitting at the kitchen table, struggling with their bills. I live with that reality personally, too. But elected officials need to prove they 'get it'. Every one of us in office has to show we're willing to make sacrifices, too", Latimer said.

What do you think of Latimer's personal pay plan? Leave a comment below.

11 COMMENTS

  1. George is not only honest, he’s very smart. Thus he’s completely out of sync with the Albany political leadership and much of the legislature. The question is – come the revolution – and with insolvency it will come – what can George actually DO in that vast northern cesspool to actually protect the interests of his sound shore constituency?

  2. Good for George for doing the right thing to reduce the size of government expenses. It’s a step in the right direction, albeit a small step.
    The next steps to take are to convince his peers in the Assembly to take similar pay cuts, reduce their staff, eliminate the extra pay for committee work or special positions, and fully disclose any outside positions that might create even the appearance of a conflict of interest.
    Once they’ve done that, then he and his fellow public servants can then re-negotiate the contracts for all public sector employees, reducing or eliminating the defined benefits programs, transforming their retirement packages into defined contribution plans like the private sector offers, and eliminating unnecessary or redundant staff. Assuming our legislators have the courage and wisdom to take these steps to improve our state, they can then turn their attention to work on providing us with a balanced budget that is delivered on time, is adhered to, and does not increase year over year more than the rate of inflation. For extra credit, they could target reducing the budget year over year, and overhaul the state budget office so that the taxpayers of New York are provided with honest and simple statements every year on the state of our government.
    For extra extra credit, identify a single man or woman who lives in New York who can 1) keep their pants on while serving as Governor, 2) not abuse their power of office, 3) work to make the state government more efficient without increasing taxes, and 4) look to eliminate corruption and inefficiencies at all levels of government.
    While that many will miss the days of looking to the Governor for comic relief, the rest of us would like to see some responsible and effective adults who are interested in representing our interests and protecting our future.

  3. Excellent post Matt.

    Let me ask – what do taxpayers use to act upon their displeasure? Voting someone out of office doesn’t seem to work – almost every newly elected self professed change agent seems to somehow fall under the sway of the principal bad actors in that foul town. There are not enough George Latimer’s to go around. Voter hope springs eternal – and is eternally dashed.

    Perhaps a voter led tax revolt is the answer. Hold all tax payments addressed to Albany until the state kleptocrats literally crash. Or perhaps we don’t need to lift a finger in the provocation of a crash – we have one being delivered to us by the monkeys up there already.

  4. It is very nice of Mr. Latimer to give back some of his salary but he only makes $80,000. Why do you say he is doing the right thing? Some of my neighbors that make $400,000 a year and are “suffering” – sell your big houses and try to be regular white collar people. Mr. Latimer works very hard. $80,000 is very difficult to live on. I would like to see some of the people in this community that make very generous salaries give some of their wages back – Not likely!!

  5. Honest Citizen –
    News Flash: the difference between George and your neighbors earning $400K is that your neighbors are working in the private sector and George opted to work in the public sector. No doubt he works hard, but he was not forced to run for public office – he volunteered, and campaigned on it. He’s doing the right thing in reducing the government expenses, because the costs of our current government are so high, compared to what we get from government. It is ripe with waste, and has no small amount of corruption within it as well – just look at what’s happening in the governor’s office.
    Your neighbors working in the private sector are entitled to hold on to their property. Why shouldn’t they enjoy the fruits of their labor? One could argue that they should reduce their consumption and live more frugally, but realize that the additional wealth they continue to pursue is the best defense to protect against future increased taxation from the government. This makes them “regular white collar people”. Ask any retired senior if they earned too much in their career, and you’ll always get a negative response. We’re all trying to improve our lot in life – that’s human nature. Plus, I’m sure your neighbors already give up a portion their earned income to a number of charities – and if they don’t, shame on them, but there’s no law that says they have to.
    One could further argue that reducing the size of government will make it more likely that more individuals will have greater opportunities to pursue a better life, free to live without a crushing burden of taxes which all too often get wasted by an inefficient and corrupt bureaucracy.

    TedC – I think you’re right that a voter-led tax revolt is the answer, but unfortunately, it probably will only happen slowly and incrementally. As tax burdens become larger and larger, people figure out ways to avoid them. It may be as simple as under-reporting your income or bartering for an exchange of services, or it may be as complex as some of the tax-reduction strategies cooked up by Wall Street.
    In any case, when the level of taxes and regulation reach some point, any increase in taxes and/or regulation contribute to a collective decrease in wisdom when it comes to making economic decisions. I’m convinced we’ve passed that point a long time ago.

    If you’re proposing to lead a French Revolution style revolt, can we skip the mob rule, civil war, public executions and reign of terror and go straight to a new republic? If so, I’ll be glad to sign up as Admiral of the People’s Revolutionary Navy…

  6. Another excellent post Matt – well thought through.

    Perhaps secession could be the answer. As you may recall, Rye and Post Chester were previously part of Connecticut. What if we brokered a deal with those crazies in Hartford to partition us once again – with our consent overtly granted thru the ballot box – in exchange for a long term contract package of reduced taxes and fees? Heck, we in the Sound Shore are a dream tax base – a place that Albany redistributionists rely on. So what if WE set the terms instead of them?

  7. Real Deal –

    I’d rather help solve the problems we’re facing rather than run away to another state. Besides, if TedC is going to start a revolution, I want in! What about you – any interest in getting a better government?

  8. Matt,

    In a democracy a gov’t is just a reflection of it’s people. I’m not for better government, I’m for better people. In my opinion, the better people will be the generation that is being born now. Right now, the 3 or 4 generations that make up the voting public are totally insane. They are soft and are anything but self-sufficient. They have a feeling of entitlement, as exemplified by Mr. Zahm trying to pave a golden walkway for his kids to walk to school, and they refuse to take responsibility for there own life and complain that the gov’t is the cause of all their problems as exemplified by you and tedc. We have a great country. Considering that 300 mill people have to live together , I think it works extremely well. There are imperfections but, by and large ,your free to do what you want. I’m sick of people continually looking to or complaining about how the gov’t is responsible for their unhappiness. If the gov’t is the cure for your unhappiness then i think your unhappiness is incurable.

  9. Real Deal –

    Our representative government is supposed to work on our behalf, to keep our streets and homes safe, to ensure that public services like snow plowing, street sweeping and garbage collection are done efficiently, to provide appropriate recreational activities for our children and seniors, and to do all this in as cost-efficient and timely a manner as possible. That’s their job, pure and simple. Yes, I’m unhappy that the state government takes a large chunk of money that I’ve earned through hard work. Furthermore, I’m unhappy that they waste so much of it. Yes I’m unhappy that our governor abuses his power, lies to us, doesn’t even try to improve the mess we’re in. I’m unhappy that our legislature can’t function worth a damn. I’m unhappy that they continue to tax and spend and borrow additional money they don’t have. Who, in their right mind, would be happy with their performance?

    You seem to think that if anyone complains, they’re doing so for selfish reasons. Give me a break – how can you expect any improvement if no one complains about the problems facing us? You single out Bob Zahm as an example of someone who believes he’s “entitled”. Bob is not trying to pave a golden walkway for his kids, he’s simply insisting the government uphold their end of the compact between elected officials and the public. Furthermore, Bob is more than self-sufficient, he’s a net contributor to our local social fabric in that he’s volunteering his time and effort to improve the lives of others by serving on the Board of Education. Not only does he take full responsibility for his own life, he takes a very public responsibility for the lives and education of all of our children. What do you do to make this city better, Mr. “Real Deal”?

    You seem to think that “better people” are those who would be willing to fork over more of their hard-earned money, no questions asked, to the people in Albany, and not complain about rampant waste, corruption, and inefficiency that we see on a daily basis. You might believe that’s “better people” from where you sit, but I think most others would agree it would be more appropriate to classify such a group as a league of idiots.

  10. Since we’re on the subject – here’s a quick “state of bankruptcy” report from the road – Santa Monica to be exact. Things were much different out here than last year at this time – streets are dirtier, many more stores vacant and lots of “For Sale” signs on residential and commercial properties. Students I passed at the airport were angry – “not their f__ing fault – what’s with this crap” – I assume going to or coming from one of the big UC demonstrations yesterday. Many more homeless people in Santa Monica than last year – fancy new natural gas powered busses on Wilshire Blvd – almost empty of passengers.

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