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NYRA Officials Getting Big Pay

Saratoga Race Course Opening Weekend
Mario Tama, Getty Images

A recent inquiry by the state Franchise Oversight Board and its chariman, Budget Director Robert Megna, was made regarding the New York Racing Association and their payroll.  Apparently, their top six officers received a nearly $2.25 million total in pay along with some pay increases.  Intersting, isn’t it?  Wasn’t New York racing in danger of not being around last summer due to financial problems?  Well, I hate to say it, but this might be why.

NYRA issued pay increases to those same six officers ranging from 2.4 percent to 7.7 percent.  For example, the president of the association, Charles Hayward, typically gets paid around $460,000.  He received a 3.2 percent increase adding another $15,000 to his pay.  Funny part ……………………………………………………………………………….  — he has claimed to be underpaid. 

The highest percentage raise was awarded to NYRA’s Chief Financial Officer, ELlen McLain.  Her 7.7 percent raise brought her salary to $350,000.  I clearly see a problem with this.  How can a public organization like this claim dire straits when they are paying their top people so much money?  Where is all this money towards their salaries coming from if there is not enough revenue? 

Another interseting tid-bit, the salary increases were granted less than three years after state taxpayers helped get NYRA out of contention for bankruptcy.  I’m glad my tax money is going towards such a great cause.  Granted I love the track, but I think there are jobs and people who work those jobs that deserve to keep their position and income more than these NYRA officers. 

Here’s a list of what the other four NYRA officers made, with their percentage increase to the right, according to the Times Union:

Chief Information Officer, Thomas Till (5.7%): $275,000

Human Resources VIce President, David Smuckler (3.9%): $265,000

Chief Operating Officer, Hal Handel (3.4%): $455,000

General Counsel, Partcik Keho (2.4%): $423,000

What do you think of all this information?

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