Katz Promises a Cut, Opponents Scoff

Here’s Melinda Katz at Baruch’s debate for comptroller candidates last night, saying that if elected, she’d cut her salary by 10 percent.

Her opponents dismissed the proposal.

David Weprin said, “I haven’t seen Melinda Katz cutting her own salary in the City Council, so I don’t see what’s the difference,” noting there have been tough fiscal challenges before the start of the current campaign season. He went on to say, “I think it’s just symbolic. In a $60 billion budget, I don’t think it’s significant.”

John Liu, sounding unimpressed, said, “To the extent that 18,500 is going to make a huge dent, in what the mayor says is going to be a $5 billion deficit, I guess every little bit helps.” When I asked if he’d consider it, Liu said no.

“The salary of the comptroller’s office is set and I would not seek to change it,” said David Yassky. When I asked if he’d cut it, even as a symbolic gesture, Yassky said being comptroller is “a pretty important job for the city and I would accept the salary that is currently set for the comptroller’s office.”

Katz, after the debate, told me, “We’re asking New Yorkers all over the city to deal with the fact that we need to cut agencies and we need to cut services. They’re having trouble making ends meet” and “so, at the very minimum, the least I can do, is take a pay cut.”