Hon. Simcha Felder
Enforces Oral Rule
"A funny thing happened to me on the way to the studio.." That was the way radio comedians began their routines fifty or sixty years ago. That stock opener was resurrected in 1962 in the title of a Broadway play, "A funny thing happened on the way to the Forum". The play was set in ancient Rome. It was directed by George Abbott, who died at 107, and produced by Harold Prince, who is now a young 79. Well, a funny thing happened to me at the City Council recently (Dec 5). A hearing had been scheduled by the Government Operations Committee of the Council on the subject of Council Members' lulus and outside employment.
The hearing was held to keep a commitment made at the Council meeting on November 15, 2006, thirteen months ago, when they increased their own salaries by 25 percent (to a minimum of $112,500, with over eight-ninths of the body receiving additional stipends, ranging from $4,000 to $28,500, for leadership roles or the burden of chairing committees or subcommittees). The raises were retroactive to November 1.
Requiring some time to prepare a written statement for the hearing (which I learned about that morning from Citizens Union), being familiar with how long hearings take and the way they are supposed to be conducted, and having to travel from our midtown office, I arrived at the hearing at about 11 a.m.