From the Daily News:
For a classic study of the “Tale of Two Cities,” Mayor de Blasio should visit the Queens Central Library.
Patrons of that dilapidated two-story building on Merrick Blvd. in Jamaica have faced years of unending construction and diminished services.
But that didn’t stop library President Thomas Galante from spending $140,000 last year to renovate his offices on the building’s second floor. Galante managed this after eliminating nearly 130 library jobs through layoffs and attrition over the past five years.
We paid a visit last week to tour the Central Library renovations, which include:
- A 250-square-foot rooftop deck adjacent to Galante’s office for use as his private smoking area. Built with teak tile, furnished with wrought-iron furniture, and surrounded by two dozen evergreens that shield it from onlookers, the deck’s tab alone was more than $27,000.
- Two new executive conference rooms, one of which looks more like a private lounge area, featuring sparkling wood floors, a half-dozen leather sofas and chairs, a stylish drop ceiling, and a giant flat-screen television. Cost: more than $110,000.
- A paint job for his existing personal bathroom and shower.
All this came courtesy of you, the taxpayer.
And that’s on top of Galante’s eye-popping salary last year of $391,594 — an increase of $12,000 from the previous year.