Monday, January 9, 2017



   When someone in Cortland told me recently that there was a place where ambitious people could get paid for non-performance, and get two successive annual pay raises to boot, I shook my head in disbelief. 
   "Where?" I said.
   "Right here in Cortland County," he said.
   That someone was a county legislator and ought to know a thing or two. Of course, the job he was talking about was the position of Cortland County legislator.
   "What’s this non-performance gig about?" I asked.
   "Are you really that naive?" he replied. "Did you know that Cortland County has been operating with an $800,000 average annual loss in the landfill and recycling departments for the past several years?"
  "No," I answered.
  "The loss has been admitted publicly every year, and again this month after back to back annual pay raises for legislators. If you want a pay check and a pension and, with the right connections, subsidized health insurance for a part-time position, smile at your neighbors and throw your hat in the ring next year."
   "I'll think about it."
   "Join me," he said with a wily smile. "What we have here in Cortland County is welfare by election."

   $enator $ham’s $hadow.

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