Friday, June 13, 2008

Keepin' It In Da Family

Utica Mayor Dave Roefaro's embarrassing "Friends and Family" plan gets a little attention on today's Observer-Dispatch editorial page:

Shortly after David Roefaro took over as Utica’s mayor in January he began handing out jobs to family and friends, a practice that is certainly not in the best interest of city taxpayers.

Half a year later, things haven’t changed.

They should.

The most recent hire in the buddy system came last week when Roefaro’s urban and economic development commissioner, Robert Sullivan, hired a confidential secretary who also happens to work for him at his downtown restaurant. Sullivan said he hired Ashley Sabis, a part-time waitress at Thornberry’s Restaurant, because he trusts her and he hates “to lose young people who want to stay in the city.”

Both are good reasons to hire a person. But with all due respect to Sabis, it’s become clear that the key qualification necessary to work in city government is to be a friend or family member of the folks in charge.

No one is going to take Mr. Roefaro's campaign slogan of "We're all in this together!" seriously until he starts demonstrating that the city payroll is no longer an all-you-can-eat buffet for his friends and family. Sadly, I doubt we'll see he and his cronies stop gorging themselves at taxpayer expense anytime soon.