Republican City Commissioner Candidate Al Schmidt says he would take a 10 percent pay cut if elected. He also would not use a city car and questions the auto usage of sitting commissioner Joseph Duda. Schmidt also pledged to reduce his salary by 25 percent in election years, when sitting commissioners have reduced duties because they are on the ballot.
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Schmidt Pledges Personal Pay Cut, Refuses Taxpayer-Paid Car
(NORTHEAST) – Al Schmidt, Republican candidate for City Commissioner, today pledged to take a voluntary 10% pay cut for the duration of his term if elected, and to increase that cut to 25% in election years when Commissioners are not allowed by law to perform all their duties as they are seeking re-election.
“Taxpayers across Philadelphia are hurting and our leaders should set an example,” said Schmidt. “I am happy to join those in city government who have reduced their salaries and to do my part to help our great City.”
While every other elected official and other highly-paid City officials throughout city government have taken voluntary pay cuts to help address the City’s fiscal woes, the three current Commissioners are the only elected officials who have refused to reduce their six-figure, taxpayer-paid salaries.
In addition, the three current Commissioners continue to take their full salary even in election years when they are limited in their activities because they appear on the ballot. Good government advocates in Philadelphia have called on them to change this practice to no avail.
Asked about his pledge to reduce his taxpayer-paid salary by 25% in election years if elected, Schmidt stated, “If you don’t do a full day’s work, you shouldn’t get a full’s day pay. The fact that our current Commissioners are prohibited from performing one hundred percent of their duties but still take one hundred percent of their salary is wrong. I won’t do that.”
Schmidt also pledged that he would not take a city-owned, taxpayer-paid vehicle (and the gas that comes with it), a perk that current City Commissioners Tartaglione and Duda take full advantage of.
In 2010, Duda had the highest gas usage of almost any city employee, using enough fuel to enable him to make the equivalent of 240 round trips to the Jersey Shore every year. Only nineteen employees used more, and they were employees whose jobs require constant travel throughout the day. The City Commissioner position does not require travel and, in fact, only requires the Commissioners to get to and from their office in City Hall. [SOURCE: PhiladelphiaWeekly.com, December 22, 2010 and December 29, 2010]
“The City Commissioners work in offices and, just like every other working person in Philadelphia, they shouldn’t be given a car and gas simply to get to work,” commented Schmidt. “I won’t take this outrageous perk that taxpayers shouldn’t be paying for.”
Concluding his statement, Schmidt said, “We can’t change the way the City Commissioners’ Office works until we change who’s in it. This election is every Philadelphian’s opportunity to start changing how this office works for the better.”
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