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“I’m not sure they’re even legal.”

That’s Oakfield Legislator Ray Cianfrini.

He was the first county lawmaker to question the EDC bonuses.

Over a five-year period from 2005 to 2010, New York State chided the EDC for handing out more than $344,000 in bonuses to top EDC employees.

Cinafrini says it’s just wrong.

“I don’t think that we should be paying bonuses to public employees," he said. "They may argue they’re not a public employee, yet they still participate in the New York State employees’ retirement system.”

During a county budget discussion last night, Cianfrini questions that if there is enough money for bonuses, why should taxpayers subsidize the EDC at all?
 
Legislator Frank Ferrando agrees with Cianfrini but suggested a compromise that may help calm concerns that if the county eliminates its subsidy it may send a bad signal to prospective new businesses.
 
“If they need the money from the county, let them come to us, make a case, and we’ll support them," he said. "Because if they don’t need the money, the county certainly does.”
 
Legislators Marianne Clattenburg and Annie Lawrence also questioned the EDC bonuses.
 
Legislature Chair Mary Pat Hancock continued her defense of the EDC and the bonuses. She and other lawmakers cited the recent new businesses in the Ag-park as proof of the value of the EDC.
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