This piece in the Buffalo News was a pretty innocuous story, covering the county legislature's recent actions on some bonding projects and their appointment to fill a vacancy on the county Industrial Development Agency.
But buried deep down in the article is a reference to the body's vote on the raise of Social Services Commissioner Anthony Restaino.
The piece reads, By a 14-1 vote, the Legislature confirmed the reappointment of Anthony J. Restaino to his third five-year term as social services commissioner. He will receive a 1 percent pay raise for the rest of this year, to $88,573. His salary will rise to $90,344 in 2011; $92,151 in 2012; $93,994 in 2013; $96,814 in 2014; and $99,719 in 2015. The “no” vote came from Legislator Richard A. Marasco, D-Niagara Falls. “I don’t think Mr. Restaino is being paid enough,” he said, noting that the state reimburses the county for 75 percent of the salary.
Ric Marasco voted no because he doesn't think that Restaino makes enough money - and he actually said this publicly. Of course, no one from the idiotic local media was willing to call him out on this outrageous statement, but that's a whole different issue. But rest assured, if it had been a member of the Majority Caucus making that statement, the proverbial shit would have hit the media fan.
Marasco believes that because the state reimburses the county for 75% of Restaino's salary, the legislature should pay him more. Newsflash for the newest legislator from Niagara Falls: those dollars that you so freely are offering up for compensation are....say it with me....taxpayer dollars!
The sickening irony is that Marasco's entire campaign last year was based on the premise that taxes in the county are too high. This despite the fact that, as any educated voter knows, county taxes have gone down for four straight years. His hypocrisy obviously knows no boundaries.
Even more amazing is the fact that Marasco is a teacher. Yes, Marasco is part of the body that has been the single greatest contributor to the state's financial woes. And he has the audacity to stand up on the floor of the legislature's chambers and tell the people of this community that he cannot support the raise because it does not go far enough.
Considering that with his legislature salary, Marasco is now likely earning above $100,000, combined with his health insurance and his pension, all on the backs of the taxpayers, it is unfortunately no surprise that Marasco his such disregard for the sacrifices that we in the private sector are forced to manage each and every day. The fact that he is willing to publicly articulate that disregard is an unequivocal slap in the face to every taxpayer in the county.