Naming Rights for the Department of Social Services BuildingPosted: April 24, 2014
By the Editorial Staff
County Executive Debbie Preston informed the editorial staff of the People’s Press that the naming rights for the Broome County Department of Social Services building would soon be awarded to a consortium of large corporations doing business in this county. (It was recently announced by Ms. Preston that the naming rights for the Broome County Veterans Memorial Arena was awarded to the Maines Corporation in honor of their founding father and veteran, Floyd Maines.)
The businesses given naming rights to the DSS building include Wal-Mart, Mc Donald’s, Burger King, Boscov’s, Kmart, and others that Preston will name at a later date. These companies jumped at the opportunity because they wanted to acknowledge the public financial support given to their employees and their families. This public support, provided by DSS, for the employees comes in the form of financial aid, food stamps, heating fuel assistance and many other programs that allow the workers to live while performing the work assigned by the corporations. Without this public assistance the corporations would have to pay a living wage and report less profit to their owners and stockholders.
The corporations will pay $78,000 a year, in tax deductible dollars, to Broome County annually. While this is more than the $75,000 paid annually by Maines, Ms. Preston thought the consortium could pay considerably more because of the millions in benefits the residents of the county give to the consortiums’ employees. But after having been in direct communication with a member of the Walmart family who explained to her that there were 8,736 hours in a year and that to pay more than $78,000 annually would violate Walmart’s policy of spending no more than $9.00 an hour on any program related to its’ employees well being, Ms. Preston accepted the $78,000. (Walmart sales associates make $9 per hour or $18,000 per year, which is below the poverty level for a family of three. The four members of the Walmart family made a combined $28.9 billion from their investments last year).
A new sign over the DSS offices will announce the company that has the naming rights for that month. Employees for that company would additionally benefit by being able to go to the head of the line during their company’s designated month.
Ms. Preston said that it is a great to honor to have these employers offering sub-par wages: “Without them,” Preston said, “our DSS office would probably see only a fraction of the clients it does today.”