Stern vs. Oddo

We had mixed feelings about Henry Stern’s recent, scathing defense of term limits, which asked:

“Why should anyone want to leave the Council, with its six figure salary, including lulus, the lack of any restriction on outside work or income, the ample staffs, the mailing privileges at public expense for self-serving illustrated brochures, and all the privileges and emoluments which come with good pay and light work, which basically consists of intoning ‘Aye’ upon hearing your surname mentioned on a roll call?”

The “good pay and light work” line applies to some legislators more to others, and the combative Republican minority leader in the Council, James Oddo, appears to have taken offense at the characterization.

In a letter Stern posted to his new blog (second item down), Oddo writes:

“What I do find exceedingly offensive is your characterization of the job of City Council as being part time and some sort of day at the beach. You would have your readers believe that all of us have our feet up on the desk – at our law office, of course – and our toughest choice is whether to have Kettle One or Gray Goose for our martinis. I am in my 7th year as Council Member, and during this time I have averaged 60-70 hour workweeks and have given my all to my community….

“I challenge you or any other critic of my performance to try to keep up with my staff and I for a week. You pick the week. Bring your running shoes and pack an energy bar or two. I dare say you would realize Council life, as I live it, is much different from his cushy days at the Parks Department and you would leave muttering to yourself and to your dog, ‘Spot, we are not in The Arsenal anymore.'” Stern vs. Oddo