Friday, September 24, 2010

Tea Party-backed Carl Paladino is making $5.2M from taxpayers

Hey, Carl, you don't have to become Gov. Paladino to give taxpayers a break and cut the state budget.

You can do it right now.

Just cut the $5,251,415 in rent you collect each year on 28 leases with 17 state agencies.

How about 20%?

That's your target for cutting the budget.

Surely, you can slice that much off your annual take from the Office of Temporary & Disability Assistance ($454,363), the Office of Mental Retardation & Developmental Disabilities ($128,425) and the Office of Children & Family Services ($362,028).

There's also the Office of Vocational & Educational Services for Individuals with Disabilities ($337,606). You scored big using that agency as the anchor tenant needed to develop a shuttered Buffalo department store into a mixed-use complex you grandly named the Belesario.

Turn the disabled into dollars!

Talk about cojones, Carl.

Of course, you know that is not even the half of it.

Most of the agencies, notably including the Department of Transportation ($1,124,299), previously had their Buffalo branches in the Donovan State Office Building, paying no rent at all.

Back in early 2000, who was it but you, Carl, who suggested the state tear down the Donovan building to make room for 1,500 parking spots, at taxpayer expense, of course.

"It's time we started looking at parking as a public service," you were quoted saying.


Others proposed knocking down the building for a retail development, but the big plus for you, Carl, was the same: All those agencies would have to relocate and start paying rent.

Nobody heard you cheering, Carl, when the state talked of saving the taxpayers a bundle by consolidating the Buffalo DOT office with the one in Rochester.

You sure did not cry when DOT instead moved its Buffalo operation into your five-story building on Seneca St. in 2006. That 15-year lease will cost the taxpayers more than $15 million.

The Division of Parole moved from the rent-free Donovan building to a $255,480-a-year space that had sat empty for more than a decade. Guess who had bought that building for $370,000? Guess who will be raking in $2.5 million over the nine-year lease?

Your other tenants include the Department of Environmental Conservation, paying $810,861 a year on a 10-year lease. You have a deal pending with the Workers' Compensation Board ($220,576).

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