Pay increases today for many city workers
July 1 has special meaning in City Hall. It's the start of a new fiscal year. That means raises for many city employees, including 2 percent pay hikes for blue and white -collar union workers as well as many political appointees under contract agreements approved over the past year or so. Political appointee raises are tied to the white-collar contract.
And that's not all. Common Council members will also see a boost in their pay checks. Today is the day the higher stipends lawmakers voted for themselves go into effect.
It's also when Fillmore Councilman Dave Franczyk, a bit of an outsider for awhile, is brought back into the fold, and gets a committee assignment - and therefore a $6,000 stipend. Franczyk will likely remain a bit of an outsider, but generally, his appointment is a reflection of the fact that Council members all seem to get along, even when they disagree. Council President Darius Pridgen is making Franczyk chair of the Legislation Committee.
And outside City Hall
July 1 is also the day city pools open for the summer.
Prayers for Juan
Chantel Duncan, a neighbor of young Juan Rodriguez and his family, says in an interview with my colleague Harold McNeil what so many are thinking: "It's unreal. It's just crazy. Who would do something like this? .. .To a kid."
The 11-year-old heard gunshots, opened the door to make sure his siblings safely came in from outside, then got shot in the head. He remains hospitalized.
A lawyer's perspective
I stopped by the Eric Schneiderman press conference Thursday, when the AG - accompanied by lots of other law enforcement - talked about the Steve Pigeon/Judge Michalek corruption case. Schneiderman, the state's top lawyer, talked of how offended he is - and everyone should be - at the idea of our justice system being compromised.
Here's a link to the press conference, provided by my colleague Qina Liu: https://soundcloud.com/qinaliu/ag-schneiderman
And here the props - in case you haven't yet seen them - Schneiderman's office brought to illustrate the case against the two men.
City Hallways Poll - is the tower too big?
On this last day of our City Hallways poll on the 23-story tower planned for the Outer Harbor, we find out that activists filed a lawsuit challenging the project, and calling for more environmental studies.
Meanwhile, City Hallways wonders what you think of the tower.
As always, only one vote per person please.
Results to be announced next week.
Today's Calendar Items
Niagara Councilman Dave Rivera will be unveiling the new Lance Diamond Way trail blazer sign this afternoon at the corner of Elmwood and West Utica. The sign gets unveiled today, Rivera's office staff said, because July 4 was the lounge singer's favorite holiday.