Public Testimony

The Quadrennial Commission welcomed feedback from New Yorkers, elected officials, and public officials during a 5-week period, in addition to hosting two public hearings (transcripts from those hearings are available here). Below is an archive of the public testimony received in order of submission

Date: 2/3/16 
Comment: Testimony of the 2015 Quadrennial Advisory Commission for the Review of Compensation Levels of Elected Officials Before the New York City Council Committee on Governmental Operations and Committee on Rules, Privileges and Elections 
File: Testimony


Date: 2/19/16 
Comment: Statement of the 2015 Quadrennial Advisory Commission for the Review of Compensation Levels of Elected Officials at the Bill Signing
File: Statement


Date:
12/18/15
Name: Senator Tony Avella
Affiliation: New York State Senate
Comment: Statement of New York State Senator Tony Avella
File:
Statement of Senator Tony Avella RE Compensation

Date: 10/28/2015
Name: Richard Brown
Borough: Queens
Affiliation: District Attorney o/b/o NYC District Attorneys
File: Download


Date: 11/05/2015
Name: Frederick A.O. Schwarz
Borough: Manhattan
Affiliation: Quadrennial Commission Chair
Comment: QAC Chair, in response to District Attorneys' October 28 letter.
File: Download


Date: 11/16/2015
Name: Roxanne Delgado
Borough: Bronx
Affiliation: Individual
Comment: Dear Chair Frederick A. O. (“Fritz”) Schwarz, Jr. I write to express my concern about the inadequacies of the Notices of the Public Hearings. Not due to any fault of the NYC Quadrennial Advisory Commission. In my humble opinion, I believe it is not in the best interest of our "Public Servants" to disseminate information of these hearings. I was aware of the hearings due to the recent "negative headlines bemoaning the chutzpah of the city council and District Attorneys (DAs) seeking a pay hike. Do forgive my redundancy, I send an earlier email to request a public hearing held in the Bronx. Due to the lack of Internet access and/or Internet savvy, many Bronx residents will not be able to post comments on your site nor email their testimonies. Also due to lack of internet access, many of these Bronx resident are NOT aware of your public hearings nor of your website. I myself became aware of your commission and hearing after several Google searches. Several of the news stories on the DAs and city council seeking more money didn’t mention the Quadrennial Advisory Commission or the public hearing dates and location. My concern is the Public will not be heard due to the above 2 factors (lack of accessibility and lack of notice). Also my cynicism expects those who will testify or submit their commits/testimony will be "insiders". Further, I wouldn't be surprise to see "good" government groups who negotiated with the politicians through back door dealings favorable to the politicians seeking pay hike. I speak from first hand experience witnessing the city council overturned term limits in 2008. At the city council chambers, the front rows were fill with those who supported overturning term limits. Many of them were employees of "nonprofit" groups that were either rewarded or pressured to support overturning the will of the people. Many of the public was turned away from the "two-day" hearings because the chamber was filled with these supporters of overturning term limits. Based on this eye-opening experience, I am concern if the public would really have a "true" voice in the commission's public hearings scheduled. I do hope the commission would post notices of the public hearing in local newspapers and broadcast them in local television. Also I think it should be posted not only on your website but also in the Mayor, city council, and DAs websites for transparency.


Date: 11/18/2015
Name: Roxanne Delgado
Borough: Bronx
Affiliation: Individual
Comment: Testimony Attached
File: Download


Date: 11/24/2015
Name: Dick Dadey
Borough: Manhattan
Affiliation: Citizens Union, Executive Director
Comment: Testimony of Dick Dadey, Executive Director of Citizens Union
File: Download


Date: 11/24/2015
Name: Roxanne Delgado
Borough: Bronx
Affiliation: Individual
Comment: Testimony of Dick Dadey, Executive Director of Citizens Union
File: Download


Date: 11/25/2015
Name: Gene Russianoff
Borough: Brooklyn
Affiliation: NYPIRG
Comment:  Since 1986, NYPIRG has testified at every City salary commission appointed, five in all. Like the rest of the city’s government reform community, NYPIRG felt the salary commissions were exactly the right forum for governmental reforms directly related to pay hikes. At the top of our list were: meaningful restrictions on outside earned income; elimination of legislative stipends (lulu’s); and prohibiting increasing salaries during one’s own term of office. All of these reforms have a direct impact on the income of public officials. NYPIRG strongly believes that each of these reforms must be put in place as part of any compensation increase. The Congressional system offers the best model for limiting outside income, the use of lulus is rare in municipal governments and, of course, adds compensation to the Council Members, and, like the state, we believe that increases in compensation must be prospective
File: Download


Date: 11/25/2015
Name: Robert Johnson
Borough: Bronx
Affiliation: District Attorney
Comment:  Letter from Bronx DA Robert T. Johnson
File: Download


Date: 11/29/2015
Name: Gale A. Brewer
Borough: Manhattan
Affiliation: Borough President
Comment:  Testimony of Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer
File: Download


Date: 11/30
Name: Ruben Diaz, Jr.
Borough:
Bronx
Affiliation:
Bronx Borough President
File:
Download


Date: 12/3/2015
Name: Roxanne Delgado
Borough: Bronx
Affiliation: Individual
Comment:  Additional comments submitted for inclusion with prior testimonies. Thank you
File: Download


Date: 12/3/2015
Name: John Fleming
Borough: Manhattan
Affiliation: Detective Investigators' Association
Comment:  Letter and attachments from John Fleming, President, Detective Investigators' Association
File: Download


Date: 12/3/2015
Name: Melissa Mark-Viverito
Borough: Manhattan
Affiliation: Speaker, New York City Council
Comment:  Submission and Attachments from NYC Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito
File: Download


Name: Anthony Rivieccio
Borough: Bronx
Affiliation: The financial advisors group
Comment: We  must ensure that our Council Members are full time, conflict-of-interest free and earn a reasonable inflation-adjusted salary. So, what’s fair?

Let’s get started.

1) Amend the New York City Charter to make Council Members Full time
It’s funny! If you ask them, they would tell you they work 12 hours a day with no overtime. That sounds like everyday America! So let’s start treating them as such.

2) No Outside Income
A Daily News review found that 40 of 51 Council members report zero outside income — and most of those who do report outside income only pocket only small sums as adjunct professors or part-time lawyers. So some would tell you that this is not a problem. In my view, a ban on outside income means no conflict of interest. Whether college professors or lawyers, their main focus should be on their full-time responsibilities as Councilpersons.

3) No Bonuses (or lulus)
There is no justifiable reason for an elected City Council member to receive a bonus on top of his/her salary for being a Committee Chair.

4) Playing Ten-year Catch up
In the last decade, Council Members have had no raise. Well, if we apply the federal inflation rate of 2% a year, then salaries should go up 20%. Using an inflated adjusted methodology, Council Members should earn $135,000 today. That might not go over so well when an arbitrator gives rank and file New York City police officers a mere one percent raise.

5) A New Beginning: 2022
Any raise – regardless of how big or small – should only apply to City Council members, who take office Jan. 1, 2022, the first term after the council term limits controversy. That way, you almost ensure total new conflict free membership. We said above that Council members salaries should start at $135,000, year 2015. If we presume inflation for the 7 year difference, at 3%, you are looking at a new inflation adjusted increase of $163,350.

6) Beyond 2022
The next Quadrennial Commission should simply peg Council salary adjustments to the Consumer Price Index (CPI). If inflation adjusted raises are good for both seniors and most city employees, it is most certainly good enough for Council Members.

So there you have it! My proposal offers a 17% salary increase from 2015 to 2021 or a 2.4% annual increase for the next 7 years. Our esteemed Council Members base salary would rise from $112,500 today to $163,350 by 2021. And thereafter, Council salaries would be inflation-adjusted.

Financial Focus: A City Council Pay Raise
November 17, 2015 5:01 PM·
Making Pay Raises Fair to Council Members and The People of New York
by Anthony Rivieccio, PFA, MBA

http://thebronxchronicle.com/2015/11/17/financial-focus-a-city-council-pay-raise/


Date: 12/04/15
Name: Susan Lerner
Borough: Manhattan
Affiliation: Common Cause/NY
Comment: Thank you for the opportunity to submit supplemental comments.
File: Download


Date: 12/04/15
Name: Roxanne Delgado
Borough: Bronx
Affiliation: Individual
Comment: Not even the people on Social Security are receiving any increase. City Council members make over 124k(with lulus) for a part time job. They made this in 2006, which makes them the highest paid since their job is part time, and they receive a pension unlike LA city council. They are not minimal wageworkers that need to have their wages adjusted for CPI to survive like the MAJORITY of the residents of our city. And even further back in 1979, the commission recommended reforms such as abolishing lulus yet NO reforms ever made. WHY do we keep going round and round in circles. TIME for city council to make those reforms first then they can ask for a raise. And next time they should appear in front of the commission to justify more money. And they should sit at the committee meetings and remain till the whole public spoken. It is rude for my CM Vacca to makes false sound bites that a 5-cent on plastic bags is a tax on the poor and then run off before we are heard. This r idiculous increase for more money is a tax on the poor and if they get more money then so will the other unions rightly ask for the same treatment. The city is spending our monies and we in the Bronx are suffering from severe lack of basic services


Date: 12/04/15
Name: Roxanne Delgado
Borough: Bronx
Affiliation: Individual
Comment: Testimony of a member of the public who testified for the first time and was disillusion by the process: All but the chair left the hearing before the public testified. Also the public is objective despite what others suggest. The public has no conflict of interest that may exist even with good government groups that must "work" with the city council. 

https://youtu.be/Ho2qjEeGO5I

“However I am disappointed that so many council members didn’t stay to hear my opinion or the opinion of most everybody. They all left as the minute you started on public opinion.” 

Link of video in city council website Starting at 4:01:20


Date: 12/04/15
Name: Roxanne Delgado
Borough: Bronx
Affiliation: Individual
Comment: https://youtu.be/Ho2qjEeGO5I


Date: 12/03/15
Name: Joy Simmons
Borough: Brooklyn
Comment: I serve as a Staff Member of a New York City Council Member. I am writing to express that Staff Members of City Council Members should receive raises along with Council Members.