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Friday, June 25, 2010

Desso Moves to Circumvent Supervisor's Authority

Click above to hear Town Board Meeting of 6/24/10
It appears Lou Desso and company have plans to ask the Rensselaer County Civil Service Commission for a little favor and they're afraid that the Town Supervisor would not cooperate with the request.

That's the likely reason for a surprise add on resolution that designated Al Spain, who was absent from the meeting, as a co designed with the Supervisor as a liaison with the Civil Service Commission. That means that Spain would be authorized to make official requests for the town and its so poorly worded, one might construe that Spain could make requests without the knowledge or consent of the Supervisor who is currently the only sitting board member who can legally sign forms and requests to the Commission.

It's clear the move has something to do with the Board's illegal vote to terminate the Youth Director which violated both the union contract and Civil Service Law. Rather than eliminate the job of Youth Director, a majority of the board turned around and attempted to have a Building Inspector do some of the terminated employees official duties per his officially approved job description and pay him ten grand in overtime from the Youth Director's salary.

Before a person in an approved job title such as Building Inspector could legally perform the duties of a different job title, the Civil Service Commission would have to act to redo the duties of the Building Inspector's Job description. Building Inspector is a title available county wide, in every town, so imagine the absurdity of asking to change a code enforcement title for which there is a test, to incorporate totally unrelated duties of another county wide title, that of Youth Director. Maybe next Desso, Spain and company will try and combine some of the duties of a Police Officer's job description with those of a Sanitation Engineer! Hey, they can call it a "Cop Cleaner"! Go for it Lou and Al!

So we wait for this little drama to play out as the Supervisor's authority is attacked with a resolution deliberately vague which could find Al Spain making official communications with the Commission without the knowledge of the Supervisor. North Greenbush would be the only town in the county with such a circumvention of authority which arguably requires a Permissive Referendum because it diminishes the authority of an elected officer.

It's one thing to designate an alternate to communicate with the Commission in the Supervisor's absence but it's quite another to try and push the Supervisor aside and try to make official requests to the Commission without the knowledge or consent of the chief executive officer.

Laws never mattered much to Lou Desso so this move should come as no surprise. He ran for a second elective office and violated the law by holding two offices after he was elected. A Court booted him from the board until his fellow Republicans changed the law to circumvent the courts and create a legal way for Desso to join the "Double Dippers".

Incidentally, you have to listen as Desso shows his contempt and ignorance by pretending not to hear a question form nemesis CB Smith. Desso thinks like a little kid who pouts when in the presence of someone he dislikes. He pretends not to have heard a question and when asked says he wasn't listening. What a joke!

Stay tuned as the gang goes for a new job title for Mike Miner, "Youthful Building Inspector"!

Al Spain:A Look Back

We were reminded by some of the folks who used to work for the City of Troy with Spain when David Grandeau illegally fired some 47 employees. Spain wasn't one of them. He survived the mass firings by helping Grandeau and even earned extra scorn by having his mother come in to volunteer to do some of the work performed by the fired employees.

The union representing the employees filed a grievance and went to court. Like the North Greenbush Town Board's firing of the Youth Director, the former City Manager didn't get it right. Perhaps he was listening to Personnel Director Spain and perhaps he just didn't care about the law, but all 47 employees won in court and were either reinstated with back pay or opted for a large financial settlement. When the town's Youth Director finishes pressing the buttons, we're betting the omelet will look just right on the faces of Spain and Desso who drove this train and like Grandeau, tried to use the money from the illegally fired employee to hire someone else to do similar jobs. You'd think Al Spain would have learned after his experience in Troy. Lucky for the Youth Director he didn't pay attention.

Pension Bill Adds to Deficit Woes

Today's Troy Record has an article explaining how the town's large deficit is about to more than double because of a screw up in paperwork that caused several police officer not to be enrolled in the pension system at the time they were hired. You can read the story here.The town is going to fix an error that affects the retirement and pensions of numerous police officers. The costs will require an expenditure of $21, 700 annually and a one time catch up payment of $221,000 due by February 1, 2011.
The payment would require a 17% tax hike if the town continues to fail to make job cuts
long discussed here.Of course the town's $171,000 deficit, if left to tax hikes alone to
erase would require a tax hike of 13%. One solution to the big numbers: Pay a
Building Inspector $10,000 a year in needless and over priced overtime to do some of the
the fired Youth Director's job duties. This solution was proudly created by Lou
Desso, Al Spain and their majority of 4.

Here's the Assembly bill:


S. 6967--A A. 10054--A
Cal. No. 788

S E N A T E - A S S E M B L Y

March 1, 2010

IN SENATE -- Introduced by Sen. McDONALD -- read twice and ordered
printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Civil
Service and Pensions -- reported favorably from said committee and
committed to the Committee on Finance -- reported favorably from said
committee, ordered to first and second report, amended on second
report, ordered to a third reading, and to be reprinted as amended,
retaining its place in the order of third reading

IN ASSEMBLY -- Introduced by M. of A. CANESTRARI -- read once and
referred to the Committee on Governmental Employees -- reported and
referred to the Committee on Ways and Means -- committee discharged,
bill amended, ordered reprinted as amended and recommitted to said

AN ACT to authorize the town of North Greenbush to offer an optional
twenty year retirement plan to certain police officers employed by
such town


1 Section 1. Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary,
2 the town of North Greenbush, a participating employer in the New York
3 state and local police and fire retirement system, which previously
4 elected to offer the optional twenty year retirement plan, established
5 pursuant to section 384-d of the retirement and social security law, to
6 police officers employed by such town, is hereby authorized to make
7 participation in such plan available to Kate Anslow, Joseph Farrell,
8 Lisa Giddings-Fumarola, Michael Merola, Randy Pastore, Douglas Pinzer
9 and Clifford Ruschmeyer, police officers employed by the town of North
10 Greenbush, who, for reasons not ascribable to their own negligence,
11 failed to make a timely application to participate in such optional
12 twenty year retirement plan. The town of North Greenbush may so elect by
13 filing with the state comptroller, on or before December 31, 2010, a
14 resolution of its local legislative body together with certification
15 that such police officers did not bar themselves from participation in
16 such retirement plan as a result of their own negligence. Thereafter,

EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
[ ] is old law to be omitted.
S. 6967--A 2 A. 10054--A

1 such police officers may elect to be covered by the provisions of
2 section 384-d of the retirement and social security law, and shall be
3 entitled to the full rights and benefits associated with coverage under
4 such section, by filing a request to that effect with the state comp-
5 troller on or before June 30, 2011.
6 S 2. All past service costs associated with implementing the
7 provisions of this act shall be borne by the town of North Greenbush.
8 S 3. This act shall take effect immediately.
FISCAL NOTE.--Pursuant to Legislative Law, Section 50:
This bill will allow the Town of North Greenbush to reopen the
provisions of Section 384-d of the Retirement and Social Security Law
for police officers Kate Anslow, Joseph Farrell, Lisa Giddings-Fumarola,
Michael Merola, Randy Pastore, Douglas Pinzer and Clifford Ruschmeyer.
If this legislation is enacted during the 2010 legislative session, we
anticipate that there will be an increase of approximately $21,700 in
the annual contributions of the Town of North Greenbush for the fiscal
year ending March 31, 2011.
In addition to the annual contributions discussed above, there will be
an immediate past service cost of approximately $221,000, which would be
borne by the Town of North Greenbush as a one-time payment. This esti-
mate is based on the assumption that payment will be made on February 1,
This estimate, dated June 9, 2010 and intended for use only during the
2010 Legislative Session, is Fiscal Note No. 2010-172, prepared by the
Actuary for the New York State and Local Police and Fire Retirement

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