Niagara Times has learned that former Assemblywoman Francine DelMonte has filed her New York State Retirement System paperwork. DelMonte, who turned 55 this year, will walk away with a nice little pension, courtesy of you and I. With her 10 years in the Assembly and her 20 years working for Joe Pillitiere, DelMonte will be getting at least $60,000 a year, state-tax free, for the rest of her life.
The filing does raise some questions related to DelMonte's future. As we are all painfully aware of, DelMonte has made a complete spectacle of herself since leaving office. Unable to come to terms with the fact that she lost to John Ceretto, DelMonte has been showing up at events, press conferences, meetings and anywhere else she can think of to try to keep herself relevant. She loads her Facebook page with unintelligible ramblings about those who've done her wrong, and still maintains a DelMonte political website. All of this has led many to believe that DelMonte has been attempting to line herself up for a rematch against Ceretto. Her retirement sheds a new light on that prospect.
If DelMonte follows through with the retirement and runs for the Assembly, she will be expecting taxpayers to subsidize her double-dipping. You see, she can retire from the state, get her pension, and still get her full Assembly salary if she wins. I have a feeling residents of the 138th Assembly District would have a huge issue with that. The problem with DelMonte is that she's arrogant enough to think she can overcome the double-dipping in her attempt to regain the seat that she believes she deserves and is owed. Time will tell.
Our advice to DelMonte is to ride off into the sunset with just a little bit of grace and dignity. Frankly, people aren't talking about the way she's meandering her way around Niagara County, they're asking, "What the hell is she doing here?" You had your time, the people have spoken. Get over it.
If DelMonte has any interest in politics, other that her self-serving ambitions, she should spend some time trying to build a Democratic Party. She should try to get her lone Democratic ally left in Niagara County, Paul Dyster, re-elected. Sadly for county Dems, DelMonte has never been about party building. If she did, she'd have withdrawn from the Assembly race after she lost the Primary Election to John Accardo, instead of running a vengeful no-win campaign on the Working Families Party line that split the Dem vote, ensuring a Ceretto win.
Better yet, just take your pension and go. Clearly no one in state government is interested in taking care of DelMonte. There's no job for her at NYPA, USA Niagara Development, ESDC or anywhere else she's been angling to gain employment at over the past eight months. We hear Bradenton has some fine retirement communities. And they have pinochle nights on Mondays.