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Broome County Holds Public Hearing About Proposed Pay Raises

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Those who spoke at Friday's public hearing echoed a similar complaint.
"It's a lack of transparency, and it truly is not ethical," Anndrea Starzak, Former Vestal Town Supervisor.
If passed, the law would link raises for non-union officials to raises for those who are a part of the county's largest union, the Civil Service Employees Association or CSEA.
And the issue that residents have with this? Legislators are the ones who vote to approve these union contracts.
"The legislature is a part time position. They should not be deciding their own raise and linking it to the union that represents people that work full time."
Speakers also took issue with where the money for raises would come from--especially during a time when many cuts were made for this upcoming year.
"It just seems as though if we can't afford mental health, we can't afford seniors housing, we can't afford bussing, I don't understand how we can afford raises," Larry Coppola, Endicott resident.

Now even if the resolution is passed, raises wouldn't take effect until 2017.
But Deputy County Executive John Bernardo says it's the concept of the raises in general that had everybody at today's public hearing upset.
"A number of people were disappointed by the fact that raises are being considered at all. I think they're disappointed by how the raises will be granted," said John Bernardo, Deputy County Executive.

According to officials, County Executive Debbie Preston was not at Friday's public hearing due to a family emergency. But, she will have 30 days to either approve or veto the law. And it was evident what some felt the outcome of that decision should be.

"V-E-T-O."
Reporting in Binghamton, Samantha Bleiweis, Fox 40 HD News.