Pio Costa attacks Schaer for Passaic controversy

Who stole the cookie from the cookie jar?

According to a press release from district 36 Republican Assembly candidate Carmen Pio Costa, it was his opponent, Assemblyman/Passaic City council President Gary Schaer.But Schaer’s campaign said it couldn’t be.

In May, Schaer voted along with the rest of the Passaic City Council to change the amount of years that elected officials need to have worked for in order to receive retirement health benefits, from 25 to 15. That would mean the mayor and council would be eligible to receive the benefits after working 10 years less than the town’s 700 or so employees would have to.

Schaer has since apologized for his vote, which he called an “egregious error,” and yesterday introduced a resolution to the city council undoing the change. It deadlocked by a vote of 3-3.

“He just doesn’t get it,” said Pio Costa, who titled his press release “Schaer gets caught with his hand in the cookie jar – again.”

“Schaer’s conduct in this matter has been nothing short of negligent and incompetent,” said Pio Costa.

Pio Costa went on to criticize Schaer for telling the Herald News that he would not introduce the rescinding resolution again unless one of the three council members who voted no changed their minds.

“Some leadership! He should be out there right now doing everything he can to change their minds,” he said.

But today Schaer called for a special city council session next thursday for the sole purpose of rescinding the resolution.

“Assemblyman and Passaic City Council President Gary Schaer continues to show strong leadership on this issue,” Schaer campaign managerPete Botsolas. “As such, he has called a special session of the Passaic City Council for Thursday, August 16th at 8:45 am.

Pio Costa attacks Schaer for Passaic controversy