Look who says GOP’s last-minute raises out of line

Virtuoso slams GOP for Peck, Tamburlin raises, as he enjoys pension ala Dyster

Some of us here at the Niagara Falls Reporter had to laugh when we saw the story that Dennis Virtuoso was complaining about pay raises for Niagara County Public Information Officer Christian Peck and Niagara County Legislative Clerk Mary Jo Tamburlin, raises approved at the last minute by the Niagara County GOP–controlled legislature.

County Legislator Dennis Virtuoso is complaining that two GOP appointed county employees Christian Peck and Mary Jo Tamburlin got pay raises.

Tamburlin’s salary will be bumped up to $72,469, and Peck goes up to $69,146. According to Virtuoso, Tamburlin’s salary has been raised $24,000 in the last eight years and Peck’s has gone up $19,000 since 2010.

We had to laugh because when Virtuoso was a public employee at Niagara Falls City Hall (Code Inspection department) his pay under the spendthrift mayor Paul Dyster shot up from around $65,000 in 2008 to more than $95,000 by 2012.

That’s $30,000 in three years.

Virtuoso, of course, was allied with the democrat Dyster and of course he never complained about his own pay raises, nor did he complain as Dyster gave enormous raises to department heads creating for the first time $100,000+ department heads at Niagara Falls City Hall.

Under Mayor Vince Anello, the average department head made about $45,000. Under Dyster it is closer to $90,000.

The Niagara Falls Reporter would find it a lot more credible if Virtuoso, who was one of the few department heads in all of New York State to get overtime benefits, which immensely padded his pension, estimated to be more than $70,000, had chastised Dyster when Dyster was pushing hefty pay raises for his political favorites.

We would be grateful to him if he chastised him now about the inordinate pay department heads make while the city is one of the poorest yet highly taxed in the nation.

Mary Jo Tamburlin got a pay raise from Republicans. It prompted Democrat Dennis Virtuoso to decry the excess while standing mute on his own pay raises by Democrats just a few short years ago.

While Dyster claimed he needed to raise salaries to attract the brightest and best, somehow the brightest and best have not improved the city – ranked number one in crime, poverty, high taxes, and poor governance in the state.  But they have improved their pensions.

Thanks to Dyster’s generosity with taxpayers’ money, Virtuoso’s pension is about the same as the pay he is criticizing Peck and Tamburlin for now getting – about $70,000 per year.

Had Dyster not granted his political ally Virtuoso hefty pay hikes, plus a stipend and mucho overtime during his last years at city hall, Virtuoso would have qualified for a much lower pension, closer to $40,000.

That’s not to say Virtuoso wasn’t a good code enforcement officer, but neither is anyone saying that Peck and Tamburlin aren’t good at their jobs.

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