Published February 5, 2011
When Youngstown City Prosecutor Jay Macejko sent out a press advisory to this writer and others announcing his press conference Friday aimed at Mahoning County Prosecutor Paul Gains, he used his official City of Youngstown Law Department/Office of the Prosecutor stationary. On the letterhead is listed Mayor Jay Williams.
Use of official government property suggests that Macejko had the permission and support of his boss, the mayor, to publicly criticize Gains for granting exorbitant and average pay raises to some of his employees.
Thus the question: Has Williams thrown political caution to the wind and decided to go after another elected official for his spending decisions? If he has, the mayor had better be prepared to have his own hiring and staff compensation decisions put under the microscope. For instance, his administrative assistant, Jason Whitehead, is making quite a huge salary because he is also serving as head of the park and recreation department. The salary might be justified, but in a city that’s on its financial knees and has a population that is largely on fixed income — Social Security or welfare — any government salary over $45,000 (the median income for a family of four) is exorbitant. By the way, the mayor pulls in more than $100,000.
It’s one thing for those in the private sector to question the salaries, benefits and raises of public employees (as this writer has done for many years), but it’s quite another for one public official to question the spending practices of his peers.
There aren’t any angels in the public sector.
If Mayor Williams did not give his prosecutor permission to go after Gains, then Macejko’s misuse of government property does become an issue.
We need to hear from Hizzoner.