Wednesday, July 01, 2009

10% Confusion

For months I've been hearing the rumor that instead of having his salary cut, Mayor Bob Correia writes a check back to the city for the 10% pay cut he said he would take.

Really, I've had people instant message me on the blog about this, I've had people talk to me in person about it. I've read it on the comment section of the Herald News.

I'm amazed that no one in our local media has investigated this. I'm amazed that the Mayor hasn't tried to clear it up. (OK, maybe I'm not really amazed by that...)

You see the problem is, if the Mayor is writing a 10% check back to the city every pay period then the city is technically paying him his normal salary, and he gets to count that higher amount toward his retirement. Some have argued that the Mayor is doing this on purpose to protect his pension. Considering the tough financial situation Fall River finds itself in, this doesn't seem very moral. Others have argued that the Mayor has to do it this way because his salary is dictated by ordinance. But can't ordinances be changed? The problem is nobody has really proven the Mayor is doing this at all.

One thing that is for sure, nobody has offered the rest of the of the city's employees a chance to protect their pension and write out a check for their pay cuts.

Lefty's View: This needs to be cleared up. There is no reason the Mayor should be writing a check back to the city. If the Mayor is writing a check back to the city because of requirements of an ordinance, that ordinance needs to be changed. If he is doing it to protect his retirement, he needs to stop. If this is just a big myth somebody needs to put an end to it.

28 comments:

Anonymous said...

This sound very familiar, didn't joan menard after she was pressured to, agree to a pay cut by making a donation from her paycheck??? Has it been proven if a donation was ever received?
It is also tax deductible.


It sounds like the same loop hole.

Anonymous said...

If the Mayor is receiving his full salary and then is writing a check for 10% of the full amount then he would be paying federal and state income tax on money that he isn't keeping. That doesn't make sense. Where is the proof that he is doing this? Why should he respond to every whackjob that makes an allegation on a blog or the Herald's cesspool of nastiness and negativity?? Let the accuser(s) back up their allegations.

Anonymous said...

What's the Council doing? Are they writing checks back and are they taking a cut? Someone should investigate them too. They're not doing anything to help the situation.

Anonymous said...

The Mayor said he was doing this on the radio last year.

Lefty said...

I agree this should be investigated, and part of the reason I wrote the post was to express my shock and dismay that the local media hasn't looked into it.

I'm not pointing fingers, but I keep hearing the whispers and specualtion. Why would anyone not want that put to rest?

If there is an ordiance that locks the Mayor's pay rate (council too) that should be changed.

Anonymous said...

The mayor is the one saying he is taking a cut- let him prove it.

Taurus3254ja said...

http://www.heraldnews.com/news/local_news/x135739105/Correia-Pay-cut-is-leading-by-example

Anonymous said...

So Mayor is paying money back to city. Confusion over. I'm tired of all the finger pointing at the mayor, council, the weather, etc. etc. How about getting involved and starting to work on making our city better?

I was at the Battleship today with my kids and saw a group of kids in blue shirts who are running a new tour guide program this summer. Betcha won't see the kids in the Herald. Too good a story. Won't sell papers.

This city is whack!!!!!!!!!!

Lefty said...

It's good to see the Herald finally do a story to address this. Congrats to Michael Holtzman.

The Mayor is writing a check back to the city and it seems the reason is because his salary is set by city ordinance.

I still believe a resolution could and should be filed to change that, but I am happy to hear that others were given the same option. I think if you're only making 30k a year the chance to sacrafice for the city but still protect your retirement is an option that many might consider.

I would also agree that there are many under-reported good stories happening in our city. I was unaware of the group at the Battleship today. I must have still be sleeping below deck :)

But, I think the tours are a great idea.

shamrock said...

Anon 12:11 -
You are satified with the answer so we should drop the issue? The mayor is unethically, and perhaps illegally, padding his pension. His claim that he is writing a check back to the city does not remedy the situation so there is no reason to drop the issue.

The youth tour guide story was already covered by the Herald News this week. Read the newspaper before you accuse them of not covering things: http://www.heraldnews.com/news/x737347603/Hoofin-it-for-history

Anonymous said...

The City Treasurer should be able to confirm in about 30 seconds if the reimbursement check is coming from his personal account or campaign funds. Lets hope this is not coming from campaign funds and represented as a personal contribution again, like the first night fireworks.

Anonymous said...

there was an article in the paper about the tours. how about an article on the KIDS who are part of this program. everyone keeps saying that's what we need... bring people to fall river, use the KIDS from the schools ...
and nothing about the KIDS ....

Anonymous said...

That check will (eventually) show up in his campaign contribution report like First Night. You may want to also look at the money funneled through the CDA.

Anonymous said...

Lefty, just because no one has reported it does not mean the local media has not looked into it. Through the course of a week I/We check on dozens of rumors which often turn out to be politically motivated misinformation. Checked into this, found no checks, will keep checking but doesn't look like there is anything to it.
local scribe

Anonymous said...

You looked into what? The mayor has said he will write a check at the end of the year. Also campaign finance reports are not complete yet. So either of course way you will not find a check yet.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps, but... We have long memories...

Anonymous said...

Lefty, just because no one has reported it does not mean the local media has not looked into it. Through the course of a week I/We check on dozens of rumors which often turn out to be politically motivated misinformation. Checked into this, found no checks, will keep checking but doesn't look like there is anything to it.
local scribe

Stop lying. What you do is read the blogs until they get a story for you

RadioFree said...

Here are my two thoughts:

1) Doesn't this also inflate the mayor's pension? Once he starts collecting -- it will be at the higher rate -- and taxpayers will continuing giving him a soft kiss in the mail every month based upon that salary.

2) Is this check written back to the city considered a donation? And if so -- is it tax deductible? I would imagine a guy like Boss Correia could use all the deductions he can get -- and $11,000 grand or so ain't bad.

Keri

Anonymous said...

and

if it is not a payroll deduction will he actually pay it and the end of the year?

Will he pay it out of campaign finances ?

Lefty said...

Keri,

You've nailed it.

This certainly inflates the Mayor's pension because the his pay cut is really a donation, and that donation would be eligible for a tax deduction.

The problem is his salary is set by ordinance. So I have no problems with him writing checks back to the city in the short term, but I find it frustrating that he has not pushed for a resolution to change the ordinance.

I conclude from the HN article that all city employees were offered this option which sounds great but would seem to be a logistical nightmare. Bob should push to change the ordinance, and if he doesn't one of our concilors should introduce the resolution to do it.

Of course with 3 running for that very office why would they want to do anything to hurt their chance at a nice cushy salary?

And Local Scribe,

I imagine the local media does chase down all sorts of tips and rumors, but when one like this gains so much word of mouth that local pols and candidates are repearting it shouldn't the local media investigate it, and report what the truth is?

Anonymous said...

From Local Scribe:
Knowing something and proving it are two different things.
Anonymously, you can say anything about anyone and it is hard to face your accuser in this way and hard to hold it agasint them if it is discredited. When you put your name on something, you have to have the evidence in hand. Yes it can inflate pension which is the real story behind the story but if there are no checks showing that the mayor is still making the full amount and the alleged payback has not taken place yet to bolster the pension size, then what you have is the inability to prove something you suspect is true until, you have it in your hands. Running something that is not provable leaves you open for further criticism and lack of credibility and is like crying wolf in the journalistic sense.
Just FYI, I enjoy the site, the comments and the awareness, just wanted to explain what is often misunderstood.

Lefty said...

LS,

I would absolutely have no issue saying to anyone the things that I have written about them here. I try my best to be reasonable and fair and open minded.

I'm a little confused, it would seem the facts are pretty straight forward and easily verifiable. How tough can it be to ask the Mayor's office if his pay has been cut by 10% or if he is writing checks back to the city? If he is writing checks back to the city I have to think that that could be verified.

I don't think this is an anonymous issue at all. Dion or Moran could easily have written an opinion column about this and not lost any credibility. I think it's all about how you say it. I was very careful to say that there was no proof, just the rumors that I kept hearing over and over.

I appreciate your readership and your input and hope you'll continue to comment.

Feel free to send me an email sometime. aviewfrombattleshipcove@gmail.com

Anonymous said...

Brilliance from the Sterile Loser


A major dropoff in the industry over the last few years caused a steady decrease it the building’s labor force, according to Maureen McDonough, spokesman for Anderson Windows, the parent company of Silver Line.

A steady decrease "it" the labor force?
And, it's "Andersen," not "Anderson."

Lisa Strattan...worst editor in the world.


Maybe Local Scribe should clean her own house before talking about journalism.

Lefty said...

Anon,

Unless you have some inside info I don't, I'm not sure if Local Scribe is employed by the Herald and I have no idea if LS is a man or a woman.

The Herald is frequently criticized for grammatical and spelling mistakes. I suppose the criticism is fair, we expect more from a professional news source. Still, the Newspaper industry as a whole is undergoing terrific change as it tries to find ways to be viable and profitable. Most people I talk to agree that the paper has improved greatly over the last year or so, specifically in regards to content.

Anonymous said...

Lefty,
Odd tho that Local Scribe, initials LS defends the Sterile and explains in a condescending way, how "reporters" do their jobs.
Anyone at the Snooze with the initials LS?
Hmmmm. Not too tough.
Yeah newspapers are in trouble, though I don't know how that excuses constant bad spelling, poor writing, biased stories.
Oh wait a minute, that's WHY newspapers are in trouble, because their bad product and arrogance has made them irrelevant.

Anonymous said...

ironic:

Mayor Lambert commended FROED and the Greater Fall River Development Corporation for their efforts, stressing that “these two organizations were instrumental in bringing this deal together.” He went on to praise the City Council members who supported a tax incentive package for the company. “Make no mistake, without these incentives, Silver Line and hundreds of new job opportunities would not be here.” And in another tribute to Fall River’s vaunted workforce, he concluded by stating, “A company of Silver Line’s caliber certainly deserves the high-quality workforce that has been a hallmark of our community.”

Kenneth Fiola, Jr., Esq., FROED’s Executive Vice President, pointed out that despite national trends to the contrary, Fall River continues to enjoy a thriving manufacturing sector even as the service sector flourishes. He referenced the pending expansions of Blount Seafood Corporation and American Dryer Corporation, respectively, as two recent examples. “We’re committed to a diversified economy, one that provides employment opportunities across a wide range of industries. The Silver Line project represents a sound investment in Fall River’s economic future, and in the short term, it will help us maintain the momentum that has helped shape the city into one of the premier business locations in New England.”

Lefty said...

I plan on blogging on Silver Line shortly, but needless to say this didn't live up to the promise.

Anonymous said...

that was in 2003, how many years of tax saving did they receive, must have been time to pay taxes or get out of town.