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Hardwick shares pay with groups

By Matt Spina
Updated: May 22, 2010, 6:37 am /
Published: May 22, 2010, 12:30 am

An Erie County legislator is donating part of his salary to community groups in his district.

Legislator Kevin R. Hardwick, R-City of Tonawanda, has given $500 to the Tonawanda American Little League and $650 to the Grand Island Senior Center to purchase a sign for the entrance on Whitehaven Road.

Hardwick said he’s making good on his campaign pledge to donate $7,500 of his annual $42,588 salary to community groups in the Tonawandas and Grand Island.

“TALL is a great organization,” said Hardwick, a member of the organization’s Hall of Fame. “I was proud to have coached in the league for 16 years. The league is very deserving of these funds.”

Hardwick is among the county legislators, mostly the Republicans, who say the salary of an Erie County legislator is too high. Legislator John J. Mills of Orchard Park, the Legislature’s Republican leader, donates part of his salary to local charities as well. As the Republican leader, Mills receives an extra $5,000.

“They are considerably higher than what other counties, and even states, pay their representatives,” Hardwick said in a news release of legislative salaries. “But until I get the other leaders to realize a change must be made, I will give back a portion of residents’ money to them by helping deserving community organizations.”

Hardwick donated $500 to the Tonawanda Football Clinic and plans to present $500 to the Tonawanda Post 264, American Legion. He has also pledged $500 to the Grand Island Soccer Club.