Had to laugh when I saw the headline: NYRA plans to offer a $550,000 package to new CEO; that considering the fuss over Charlie Hayward's salary, variously reported to be a base of $460,000 to "at least $475,000" (from the chronic NYRA-critic Jim Odato). Then I saw it's more nuanced than that - $300,000 in base and another $250,000 in incentives; structured in a way to keep the hypocrisy shaded by.....well, more hypocrisy.
This package is despite the fact that a search firm hired by the compensation committee advised that the CEO job likely would be worth $600,000 to $1.1 million in annual compensation; an explicit acknowledgment that Hayward not only wasn't making too much, but that he was significantly underpaid.
Well, anyway, good luck with that. I have it on good authority that the search is focused on three people. And though I can't tell you who they are, I can tell you that none of them are named David Paterson, John Sabini, Marshall Cassidy, Hazel Dukes, Richard Dutrow, Isiah Thomas, Fred Armisen, Bobby Valentine, Scott Brown, Mitt Romney, Tagg Romney, or Barclay Tagg. And that they are all white men. Wo, big surprise there.
Additionally at yesterday's board meeting, David Grening of the Form reports:
..Board member Bobby Flay said he was asked by Breeders' Cup officials to ask the NYRA board about its "appetite" to host the 2014 Breeders' Cup at Belmont Park.I'd be curious to know how the conversation at Breeders Cup went, when they decided which shadowy back channel to go through to get an answer to a very straightforward and logical question. "Oooo, lets ask Bobby Flay what's cooking." Maybe someone should send them the name of the chairman of the board?
NYTHA president Rick Violette was amongst the board members opposed to hosting a non-Lasix Breeders Cup.
"Horsemen would certainly have an issue with banning Lasix....Our fundamental position is most, if not all, horses bleed. Lasix is an effective agent in controlling it, if not stopping it."And that surely brings us in an ironic full circle. When NYRA hosted its first Breeders Cup, at Aqueduct in 1985, Lasix was still banned in New York. Now people are opposed to the BC being here if it is banned at the event.
And outgoing president/COO Ellen McClain told the board that NYRA needs to operate off track wagering facilities in NYC (I prefer not to use the term 'OTB'.) While NYRA does, and has always, had the right to operate up to eight facilities, Ms. McClain said that "We'd like to be in 40 restaurants in three years. We think we can do that and do it well." I'm sure they can.
But here, our friend irony strikes again. Because, if I'm not mistaken, it was, in part, Charlie Hayward's desire to move forward with a similar restaurant plan which made him hesitant to acknowledge that NYRA could (and should) have returned the takeout to the level below the temporary 1% increase; the snafu (under his mistaken belief that NYRA had the option rather than the obligation to do so) that caused his ouster and this whole mess of a NYRA board in the first place.