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In what can only be interpreted as a public-be-damned attitude, the SUNY board of trustees approved an astonishing salary increase for the presidents of universities within that system. Mindful of the hardship imposed on students and their families by the recent raise in tuition, the trustees relied on the tired rationale that attractive salaries are necessary to keep competent administrators. That reasoning loses credibility when one is reminded that an overcompensated Legislature is largely responsible for the decline of what was once known as the Empire State.

Several months ago, a salary review panel recommended a substantial increase for members of the Erie County hierarchy. At that time, the distinguished body was presiding over a jurisdiction in dire financial circumstances. The specter of higher property taxes and the loss of jobs and services resulted in a chorus of public anger that led to the early demise of that insane pay proposal.

There is a disturbing trend in the private and public sectors today. Some in so-called high-level positions have an inflated opinion of their value to the organization with which they are associated. The past decade is replete with examples of people who believed they were indispensable, only to be informed otherwise.

Thomas L. Trabert Sr.