|Angelo Torres lives in his car. Photo by Geoffrey Croft|
But even if you wonder how someone can hit rock bottom while raking in a salary, however small, plus enviable fringe benefits, paid vacations, sick pay, the chance to earn overtime pay and a retirement pension, consider this: De Blasio, man of the people, is moving heaven and earth to boost the bottom lines of himself and his closest political allies.
In keeping with his penchant for creating new layers of government bureaucracy to find solutions for questionable problems, de Blasio announced this month that he has formed a three-member advisory commission to determine whether all city officials who are elected deserve to get the potentially fat pay raises they’ve been denied for the last eight years.
I’m not crying for city brass. The 51 members of the useless City Council each earns $112,500 annually, plus “lulus” — most get stipends between $5,000 and $20,000 annually for heading committees and subcommittees. Public Advocate Letitia James rakes in $165,000 a year, essentially for finding ways to make cops miserable. And does anyone know what the five borough presidents do to justify their $160,000-apiece annual pay?
And then there’s the mayor.
He gets paid $225,000 a year and lives rent-free with his family in Gracie Mansion, where a 12-person staff cooks, cleans and tends the yard, plus cops are on call to drive him around. (De Blasio’s spokesman said he’d decline a pay hike now, but the mayor opened the door to sharing in the wealth if he’s re-elected in 2017.)
But where is the committee to determine whether peons like [park worker Angelo] Torres deserve monstrous pay hikes?
DC 37 locals represent a total of 121,000 workers, and some full-timers earn as little as $24,000 a year.