Shining bright lights on backroom deals in the NYC body politic.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Lew's Lessening Luv of Lulus

Stupid Stipends?

One of the perks of being the Council Speaker is that you get to decide who gets what. Who gets to chair which committees, who gets to sit in the front row of the Council chambers (in camera view), who gets extra room in their budget for more staff, etc. But perhaps the most ridiculed dispersal the Speaker can make is the salary stipend known in NYC polispeak as a "lulu". The lulu is paid above and beyond the $90,000 salary afforded to each Council Member, and is supposedly based on the committee one chairs.

So let's see how each of the Speaker candidates fared financially over the past 4 years.

Bill de Blasio received an additional $40,000 ($10k/year) as Chair of the Committee on General Welfare

Christine Quinn received an additional $60,000 ($15k/year) as Chair of the Committee on Health

David Weprin received an additional $72,000 ($18k/year) as Chair of the Committee on Finance

Joel Rivera received an additional $84,000 ($21k/year) for his dual role of Majority Leader and Chair of the Committee on State and Federal Legislation

Leroy Comrie received an additional $72,000 ($18k/year) for his dual role as Majority Whip and Chair of the Committee on Rules, privilege and Elections

Melinda Katz received an additional $72,000 ($18k/year) as Chair of the Committee on Land Use

And then there's Lew Fidler who started off receiving $10k/year but over time reduced his take to $8,250/year, putting him at $36,500 for the past 4 years of service as Chair of the Committee on Youth.

Was tax-payer guilt creeping up on Lew? We invite Council Member Fidler to explain...

3 Comments:

Anonymous Shocked 'n Awed said...

Really? This crap is unbelievable.

1:03 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

For one there are too many commitees, for two its easy to see how a council member could become beholden to a Speaker if he/she controls whether or not they will receive a $10-20K/year tax-payer subsidized bonus.

Let's see there, a quick visit to the City Council website reveals that there are 43 standing committees for 51 members. That's more than twice the number in the U.S. House of Representative with 435 members. So 43 x $13,000 (an guestimated average lulu) = $559,000. The city spends more than half a million dollars every single year on these perks! For what? Does committee work not fall under the roles and responsibilities of a council member???

The people of this city, and our elected representatives, should campaign to more efficiently organize the committees into 16 or 17 bodies and we should call for the end of lulu's (or at least standardize them at an equitable level of say $2 or 3,000.

11:37 AM

 
Anonymous sbk said...

The LULU of LEW--After reading these posts I asked Fidler about his 'lesser lulu'. He explained that when the Councilmembers were first elected we were in a fiscal crisis. The Speaker was reducing his lulu from the amount that Vallone got so Fidler volunteered to take a cut in the same percentage from the prior Youth Services Committee Chairperson's lulu amount. So even though the the first budget read that he got 10k, he acually got the $8,250 and has insisted on that amount since then.

12:30 PM

 

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