Niagara Falls Housing Authority board members decided – though public sentiment would side with the two no votes – to grant a remarkable request by former housing chief Stephanie W. Cowart. And that means 18 months of authority-paid dental insurance. Cowart pleaded guilty last month to stealing money from the agency and faces a maximum of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
The authority board voted, 5-2. The acting director said she thought the request had to do with dental work Cowart already received. As reported in The News, the 18 months are retroactive to the official date of her retirement on March 22.
Either way, seems a bad deal for the public left to grin and bear it.
Maybe they never heard of the First Amendment in Louisiana’s Vermilion Parish School District. A teacher attending a meeting there was handcuffed and arrested Monday for having the temerity to question district pay policies. What was she thinking?
Video shows Deyshia Hargrave, a middle school English teacher, being handcuffed and forcibly removed from the meeting on Monday. Hargrave’s offense was to ask why the district superintendent was being given a raise while teachers were getting no increase.
Two female school board members later came to Hargrave’s defense, alleging sex discrimination, but it was worse than that: Her treatment betrayed a lack of respect for the Constitution. Free speech isn’t a that hard a concept to understand.
Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo has been a friend to working people in his successful efforts to raise the state’s minimum wage. But his latest push is one that some of those workers don’t want.
Cuomo is considering eliminating the state’s “tip credit,” an aspect of labor law that allows tipped workers such as bartenders and waiters to be paid less than the minimum wage. He couldn’t do it unilaterally, but his idea is to raise those workers to the standard minimum wage.
The problem is, it would likely do away with tipping. That works in other countries, but many workers here like the system. That should be a tip to Cuomo.