Wednesday, September 26, 2012
Bernardo Watch: Throwing Pebbles in the Crystal Cathedral
Interesting piece in today's Freeman about the back-and-forth between Terry Bernardo and Mike Hein. Bernardo accuses Hein of "pay-to-play" because the county executive's campaign received a $3000 contribution from an Albany law firm that is now doing county business. As I said in a previous post, this is chump change and Hein should simply return the contribution.
On the flip side, however, we have the Bernardos, who have managed to pig-out on close to $500,000 of the taxpayers' money. First, you have the $160,000 in tax breaks Skate Time 209 has received, despite the fact that it hasn't produced meaningful employment in Accord. Then you have all the crony appointments Bernardo has made, which to date have cost the taxpayers in the county ANOTHER $250,000-plus. This includes the appointment of Fawn Tantillo at $50k per year, whose only real claim to fame is that she, too, knows how to spend the county's money like a drunken sailor (see: prison), while at the same time rewarding herself with golden-parachute jobs when the voters get sick of her and send her packing. We have Frank Reggero, who has taken a few higher education courses, which somehow makes him qualified to be a budget analyst, also to the tune of $50k-plus (though Reggero, it should be noted, was removed from this position and is now essentially acting Bernardo's personal valet). The list goes on.
Having Bernardo accuse Hein of cronyism is a bit like having a Soviet Commissar lecture Lech Walesa on democracy.
(UPDATE: Typos fixed. Hat-tip to JDM.)