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Marilla supervisor defends salary

Marilla Supervisor John Foss had to defend his salary and medical benefits during a public hearing on the 2008 town budget Thursday.

Waging the verbal assault was former Supervisor Peter Ziccardi.

For the part-time job, Ziccardi said, Foss receives medical benefits totaling $8,000 on top of his salary of $27,000.

Foss defended his pay and benefits, saying he earns every penny.

"If they [board members] do not want to continue giving medical benefits to the next supervisor that takes over Jan. 1, it's up to them," he said.

The next supervisor, George Gertz, will be paid $28,752 a year.

But Ziccardi persisted.

"You ran for position to give something of yourself -- not to collect health benefits," said the ex-supervisor, who called the salary increase "outlandish" when stacked up against towns of a similar size.

He noted the pay has increased by 90 percent since 1994.

Foss defended his record, saying the town's taxes are the lowest in Erie County and its roads the first to be plowed. He also said he has championed the protection of farmland and fought tooth and nail to keep the Marilla Library open.

Foss also lodged a few volleys of his own against Ziccardi, who, he said, didn't know how to do the job, had to step down after five months, was unable to run a meeting and had no fiscal knowledge.

"You didn't even earn your salary then," Foss said. "Thank heaven you resigned."

"I don't apologize for my salary," he added.

"The only ones who get medical benefits besides myself are full-time employees like the town clerk, and highway supervisor and others who work more than 20 hours a week.

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