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Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Workshop Meeting All Business

Despite town board rules requiring Workshop meetings to be discussions rather than resolution filled agendas, this week's meeting is full of proposed Resolutions.

You can read the agenda here, but most interesting is the proposed Health Insurance resolution for non union employees, including elected officials. Before the public can say anything intelligent about the proposal, they would need a copy of the proposal, something that is rarely provided at town board meetings. Any provision to allow health insurance buyouts for elected and appointed officials should be scrutinized carefully. Equally important, any insertion of language that would provide health insurance to an elected official who somehow manages a disability retirement with just 15 years of service ought to get a resounding NO.

The current union contract for town hall employees that permits insurance buyouts has been poorly administered by Mark Evers and imprudently approved by the prior town board. The language amounts to a golden parachute and the current town board has allowed Evers to interpret the language as he sees fit without any input from town attorneys or approval of payments by the town board.

Any policy should include language that puts the Supervisor back in his place as a single town board member who needs the approval of the entire town board before giving out bonus checks to town employees for health insurance buyouts who were never in the program to begin with.

It has cost the town more than $40,000 to date in questionable payments were handed out unilaterally by the Supervisor without board approval. If the town board does nothing to restrain the Supervisor, he will continue to do as he pleases. Also the board has done nothing we are aware of to recover payments that should not have been made.
Gee, Do you think? Water Contractor Held Accountable
To be sure we are not talking about North Greenbush where the water contractor runs the local Conservative Party which is infested in the Building Department which approves payments without regard for the need for change orders. Instead, were talking about Saratoga County where something similar to Water 14 occurred. No the contractor there didn't take control of the local government running the contract and get them to cave in to a settlement paying another million dollars. They fought him in court and won. Read it here.


Anonymous said...

According to Town Law & NY D.O.S. as long as the workshop is publicly posted and the Board is present, they may take action.

If you check, I'm sure you'll find that the NG Town Board is not the first body to conduct business in this manner. There is no law or rule that says they can't.

The North Greenbush Pipeline said...

Your absolutely right. Town Law allows any types of votes at any and all meetings. BUT, adopted Town Board Rules do not permit workshops to be run like regular meetings.
When Mr. Evers does not want the board to act on something, he throws up road blocks citing the rules. But when he wants an action, he forgets the rules.
When he wants someone fired, he cites Civil Service. When he wants someone hired, he ignores the law and hires without a Board vote.