YONKERS, NY – April 18, 2021 — Yonkers City Councilwoman and Westchester County Clerk candidate Shanae Williams today condemned recent moves by the Westchester County Legislature to vote an increase to County Clerk Tim Idoni’s salary by $42,000 per year. County Legislators voted themselves and other county officials substantial pay increases in December of 2019 while simultaneously raising the county sales tax by 1 percent. Legislator salaries increased from $49,200 to $75,000 per year in the adopted 2020 budget, and County Clerk Idoni’s pay was increased from $153,000 to $195,000 per year.
“These pay increases were irresponsible in 2019 and are utterly unacceptable in light of the financial crunch caused by the COVID-19 pandemic immediately after they were enacted,” said Williams. “I do not understand how elected officials can look taxpayers in the eye while raising taxes and simultaneously granting themselves a massive pay raise. The last year has caused countless families and businesses in our county to struggle, and although I have heard the justification for the pay raises, I believe that public servants must be exactly that, and demonstrate leadership by making sacrifices for the public good. There is absolutely no justification for such drastic pay increases to elected officials’ salaries in a single budget cycle, and I believe that Westchester taxpayers deserve better.”
“I am disappointed that none of our county elected officials have considered returning or scaling back these raises in light of the county’s current economic condition,” added Williams. “In the last year, the County accepted over $168 million in federal relief money while continuing to collect an increased sales tax; these pay raises are emblematic of politics as usual where taxpayers pay the price of our politicians’ greed. I believe that this pay increase was partially responsible for County Clerk Idoni’s decision to go back on his promise to not run for a fifth term, giving him an opportunity to substantially pad his already sizeable pension. Our county has many challenges to face, and the compensation of our elected officials certainly isn’t a priority: we deserve better.”
“Westchester County deserves leadership with a servant mentality. As your next County Clerk, I will reject backroom politics and maintain an office that is transparent, taxpayer-friendly, and ethical. I am disappointed by the intimidation tactics used by the party establishment to undermine our campaign and efforts to vilify my candidacy because I am an independent thinker, and because I use every outlet possible to inform and engage with the people. My campaign and service in government is motivated by my genuine desire to deliver meaningful change and reform to our community, not financial gain. I am proud to stand against these irresponsible pay raises and call upon my opponent to explain how his own pay raise was merited and can be justified in light of the county’s current economic situation. I am not in the business of protecting the establishment.”