A lot of negative stuff has been written about the governor floating the idea of pay raises for state legislators. The visceral action is predictable and at some level I agree....but then I started to think more.
Do we need to pay elected officials better to attract better candidates for office? I mean, working in the Legislature in Albany is a grind....the travel back and forth, the constant commitments that keep a legislator away from friends and family when they're back in their districts.
And even local office...is $15K a fair wage for county legislators? Are we attracting the best and brightest? Would $30K for this part-time gig attract a whole new class of legislator?
I think I fall on the side of pay more for current officeholders but end the legacy perks (I'm talking to you Sean O'Connor) that jack up the bill on taxpayers long after the "service to the public" has ended.
Nothing is more disgusting then watching some person serve in local government for 30 years part-time and then take a gig with the state for three years to get their high three in and then have a SWEET pension for the rest of their lives.
fyi: 30 years of service gets you 75 percent of your high three years as a pension. So, if I was a county legislature for 30 years making $15K, I got 75 percent of $15K for a pension, not much. But if I can land a $100K patronage job for three years, I know receive a $75K pension for the rest of my life...nice work if you can get it. (Again, I'm looking at you Mr. O'Connor.)
So, pay them more know when their serving the public and when their time is up give them a nice plaque and a gold watch and that's all.