Niagara Falls Rejects Pay Cuts For Council And Mayor

They'll turn to the unions and city departments to save money

Richard Root
January 18, 2018 - 4:18 am
Niagara Falls City Hall

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Niagara Falls, NY (WBEN) - The Niagara Falls City Council voted down a proposal to cut the salaries of the council and mayor last night by a vote of three to two. Chair Andy Touma says they'll look for savings via the unions and city departments instead.

The proposal was put forth by newly elected Councilman Chris Voccio.  He proposed cutting the council's salary, and the salary of the mayor, by ten percent.  The results would have been modest reduction in the budget, less than 1%, but Voccio told WGRZ the city needs leadership.

"You can call it symbolism, you can call it leadership," Voccio explained, "but there's something to be said about the concept of self-sacrifice."

Council Chair Andrew Touma didn't agree, voting against the proposal, and characterized it as a political stunt.

"We don't want to compromise the positions with a cut, when we have to factor in the job that we do, and we have to factor in future council members and mayors down the road," Touma said.

The other vote in favor of the pay cuts came from Councilman Kenny Tompkins.

“It’s not a matter that it’s a lot of money, you’re only talking 13 to 14,000 dollars total," Tompkins said, "but it’s a matter of showing lets lead by example. How can we ask the others to sacrifice something if we’re not willing to sacrifice ourselves?"

The council did pass another cost-cutting resolution that tasked the Dyster administration with reducing expenses by 5% for each of the next two years. That vote was unanimous.

Mayor Paul Dyster did not comment on the outcome of the vote.

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