Co. Exec. seeks big raise for colleague

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Erie County's Executive has proposed a hefty raise for one employee and county lawmakers have considered granting it. But the County Comptroller is raising concerns about this big of a raise going to any county worker in these lean times.

Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz is asking the County Legislature to upgrade the job title of a Management Consultant in the Budget Office, a move that would give the employee a $9,000 raise.

The employee is Patricia "Fai" Borowiec who also happens to be the treasurer of Western New York Democrats for Progress, a political group that was founded by Mark Poloncarz. Borowiec also previously worked for Poloncarz when he headed the Comptroller's Office and the proposal amounts of a nearly 17 percent raise.

The Poloncarz administration argues that Borowiec has been doing work over and above her pay grade and even though this promotion would bring her salary up to $64,000, it can be done with leftover money from another part-time position in the Budget Office.

County Executive spokesman Peter Anderson said, "This employee is involved in a lot in the Office of Budget and Management and she's doing a lot of things and she's been doing that for quite awhile and the proposal is seeking to compensate her for that."

But County Comptroller Stefan Mychajliw argued, "It wreaks of politics. It's a slap in the face to hardworking men and women in our unions who haven't had a raise in many years."

Thursday afternoon, the County Legislature sent it back to the Government Affairs Committee without a vote.

Leg. Edward Rath III said, "I don't know if the votes were there. A number of my colleagues are concerned on both sides of the aisle and I think this went back before Committee where we're going to ask the tough questions and we're going to get some answers."

Majority Leader Tom Mazur has no problem supporting it.

"Couple years ago, when Collins did this, I supported a lot of his administrative moves as did the Republicans. Now all of a sudden it seems like, 'Oh this is wrong.' You can't have it both ways," Mazur said.

Members of the Government Affairs Committee would now like the County Executive to appear in person and make a case for this upgrade before the raise is approved.

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