Congratulations to Niagara County Legislator Pete Smolinski for taking what is likely a difficult position in the discussion on paying Undersheriff Sam Muscarella an extra $5,080 on top of his salary of $87,172. Smolinski, who is Chairman of the county's Community & Safety Committee, opposes a resolution by spendthrift legislator Jason Cafarella to pay Muscarella the bonus for performing duties that are already outlined in his job description.
Let's call this what is is, folks - it's an attempt by Muscarella to bump up his pension. As we know, pensions of employees in the state retirement system, like Muscarella, are calculated using the employee's top three income earning years. The $5,000+ bump in salary will likely equate to another $3,000 a year in Muscarella's pension. For Cafarella to even think of bringing this resolution to the floor for consideration is a huge slap in the face of taxpayers who will foot the bill for Muscarella's pension.
Cafarella is trying to justify this moronic legislation by stating that Muscarella assumed the responsibilities of the Sheriff when Tom Beilein left the post to become the Chairman of the State Commission of Correction. What Cafarella doesn't tell us is that in the event of the Sheriff not fulfilling his term, the Undersheriff assumes those responsibilities. No questions asked, no additional compensation.
If he wanted additional compensation at all, he should have asked for it when the situation first came to light, not a year later. And if he knew then that he wouldn't be getting the extra cash, he could have abdicated his responsibilities or he could have just quit. Bringing this bullshit request to the Legislature now is pure garbage. It's just so sad that Cafarella is willing to make the taxpayers dig deeper to fund what we all know is nothing more than a money grab by Muscarella. Classy, guys....real classy.