Last Thursday's Town Board meeting provided some clues as to just how much discord exists in town hall, the board itself and the now disintegrated coalitions that elected this new majority.
Imagine Reformed Democrats Chairman Lou Cotrona attacking his golden boy Mark Evers for trying to screw taxpayers with a 280% raise for himself? Yet that is exactly what happened at Thursday's meeting. Cotrona and his then Vice Chair Desso, formed the group that eventually was exposed as a takeover coalition against the Democratic Committee after the party leadership divorced Evers and Kern as serious mistakes in endorsements.
Under the theory that the enemy of my enemy is my friend, Cotrona and his allies in the GOP and Conservative parties, including Jim Germano, moved to take over the Democratic Committee. Just two years later, the group was decisively defeated by a reinvigorated Democratic coalition led by Dan Ashley who is again the party chairman.
Now Cotrona realizes what Ashley found out the hard way, that Evers is simply out for Evers and that no one can trust him. We know Joe Styczynski sure doesn't trust him either. Joe blasted Evers at the meeting for the raise telling him he knew it was a part time job when he ran and if he wants to spend 80 hours a week because he can't find a private sector job, that's his problem.
Town Clerk Connolly had her problems last week as well. Her pay raises as Clerk and Registrar are going over like vinegar in coffee. She is often viewed as a meddler trying to run every one's business. Last week in town hall the new Comptroller visited her office inquiring why he was not provided the board agenda before the meeting. They are after all emailed to the town, but apparently not to the Comptroller. He feels he can't do his job when he isn't given all the information to prepare for questions that might come up at meetings per the agenda. Gee, he's right! But Ms. Connolly laughed at his suggestion which the Comptroller did not find amusing.
Later at the Board meeting, the Town Clerk was apparently again taking up the Board's time by, well, talking, and talking, and talking. Joe Styczynski told her off once when he was on the town board, but it did little good breaking her of the habit. Enter the new Comptroller who at the meeting pointed to her in frustration and spoke up to tell her she is not a board member and should stop eating up the board's time. That went over well with the town clerk who managed to lip cync afterwards to the Comptroller informing him "You're an as----e." Hmmm, you should understand this a family blog so we can't print that.
Health Insurance Parachutes
One of the highlights of the meeting was an exchange between Ernie Kern and Katie Connolly over a plan being discussed to give health insurance for life, that's life, for non unionized employees, including elected officials, with 20 years of service. It would be contributory but the town would pay 80% of the premium if approved. Kern apparently made a comment questioning the wisdom of the plan and Connolly made a quip about Kern not wanting to provide health insurance to employees.
Incidentally, General Motors which is on the verge of bankruptcy with its stock trading at under $5.00 a share, announced it was forced to end health insurance for its retirees effective January 2009.
Clerk on Crutches?
One of the provisions that worked its way into the proposal which has not been approved, would allow non bargaining unit employees with just 15 years of service who retire because of a disability, to maintain their health insurance as if they were still employed. That's right, you can interpret that as insurance for life. Oh, those crutches you asked? Are we preparing for a trip to the golden parachute using those new crutches as the first sign of a pending disability retirement?
About the only retirement that may be in the future of the town clerk has little to do with back aches and everything to do with politics because the Democratic Party is unlikely to endorse Ms. Connolly for another term. In fact they will beg the Republicans to take her or maybe her brother Tom of the Independence Party to throw her a lifeline for the next election.