You see, we learned recently that local shutterbug Dominick Totino has an $85,000-per-year contract with the Borough President's office to take photos of a smiling Helen Marshall at fancy society events and cutting ribbons and signing bills and all types of professional duties. That's right - $85,000 per year! (Now we know why Totino is always smiling.)
That's a lot of dough. Now, it's not unusual for local elected officials to take photos of themselves for their own publicity purposes. Our inbox is flooded daily with unsolicited shots of politicians in various acts of public service. It's just that most of them have a member of their staff take the photo (it's pretty easy now with digital cameras, after all), and while we can't speak for all of them out there, we're pretty sure that staff member taking the photo ain't getting paid $85,000 a year. What's more, they probably do lots of other things - such as dealing with constituents – in addition to their duty to faithfully cpature on the good work their boss does for posterity.
But hey, if that's how Helen Marshall wants to spend her money, then by golly that's how she should spend her money. Of course, you could make the argument that it's actually taxpayer money that goes into the bank account of Totino in exchange for uttering “Say cheese!” a few times a week, to which we would counter, “hey, that money came out of the borough president's discretionary funds.”
You know what that means? It means that while it is taxpayer money, she can do what ever the hell she wants with it! You see, she spends them at her “discretion,” and if she thinks lots of pretty photos of herself are what's best for you and the rest of the borough, then you are just going to have to trust that she knows what's best for you!
Which is why we now owe you, dear goslings, an apology. We had no idea that all of those photos we were receiving from Marshall's office were costing you so much money. Hey, you paid for them, you've got a right to see them.
Actually, we're not entirely sure that Totino actually took these particular shots, the photo credit in the email just said “Office of the borough President,” but considering each one probably cost you more than a few hundred dollars, we're not taking any chances!