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Will The Party Of Alleged Fiscal Restraint Actually Show Fiscal Restraint Tonight?

County legislators will meet tonight in Mayville to discuss, amongst other things on the agenda, pay raises for the county executive, county clerk, sheriff and legislators.

We’ve made a lot of arguments against these pay raises over the past couple of months. The other counties upon which the pay raise recommendations are based are, by and large, more affluent and have larger populations than Chautauqua County while Chautauqua County has higher poverty rates and a lower median household income than many of those counties.

The three countywide office holders already get yearly cost-of-living adjustments that result in higher salaries than were approved by the Republican-led legislature in 2018. We’ve argued that the raises are particularly out of line with what’s happening in the private sector right now, where no one is receiving the 14.3% raise proposed for the county executive, the 26.7% raise proposed for the county clerk, the 10.3% raise proposed for the sheriff or the 63.6% raise proposed for legislators. Every one of the elected officials knew the salary before they ran for office. And, county government is spending more and taxing you more every year, though that fact is hidden by increasing taxable assessment that is keeping tax rates low. But make no mistake, Chautauqua County spends more and taxes you more year after year.

In short, there are a lot of reasons to question this pay raise proposal. But the most important question that should be answered is this – will Republicans, the party of fiscal restraint, actually show fiscal restraint when they vote tonight?

If they don’t, keep it in mind when you vote in November.

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