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Saturday, June 19, 2010

Desso's 10G Pay Off to Conservative Threat

Click above to hear the board meeting of yesterday afternoon.
The special meeting of the Town Board held at 4 PM Friday June 18th had just two resolutions and one confirmed what we first reported. Specifically that Lou Desso, Al Spain and their majority intended to fire the Youth Director and spread the salary around to pay off the Conservative Committeeman in the Building Department who knocked off Mark Evers in a Conservative Primary last year. The last thing Desso wants is to see him do the same thing now as Desso is circulating a petition for that nomination in the fall town board race.

The resolution is at best illegal and politically a "Waterloo" for Desso since it strips away any justification for the firing of Youth Director Jerry Sickels as a cost saving maneuver. The resolution allows Miner, who holds a Civil Service Job Description as a Building Inspector, to be paid overtime at some $33.00 an hour based on his current salary of $46,000 annually. The financially irresponsible and outrageous move finds Desso and company choosing the highest paid employee in town hall and paying him overtime to do job duties contained in the title of the Youth Director. Imagine setting up a deal where you take the highest paid employee in town hall and pay him overtime to grab one third of the salary of the man they just fired and all he needs to do is add one hour a day to his schedule to grab $10 grand for a year! Sickels working 5 hours a week part time would have cost the town only $3,700 a year and he likely would not be eligible for benefits.

This is an obvious violation of Civil Service regulations which found this agency prohibiting similar efforts over the past several years, once when Miner's own job title duties were in the view of Civil Service, being co-opted by the town boards attempt to create a Building Director's title to supervise Miner and his co workers. That time Miner and his union fought the town board and Civil Service rejected the new job title despite the title itself being created in Town Law as a permitted action by any town board.

Civil Service did not approve this move and will likely be unable to given its clear violation of and intrusion into the job title of Youth Director. Add to that a union contract which prevents the town board from reassigning the duties of a protected position under the contract and Lou Desso, Al Spain and company have set themselves up for an embarrassing fall.

The law requires the town board to first offer these Youth Director duties and hours to the person they fired. Had they done this, the town would have saved a great deal of money since Sickles was paid only $30,000 annually which breaks down to an hourly rate of only $14.42. That's a big savings over paying Miner overtime at $33.00 an hour and it leaves the board looking likely a bunch of fools.

One of the other big questions created is how the town supervisor who was visibly upset by the move, can legally certify a payroll which includes clearly illegal overtime earned in violation of Civil Service Law and a union contract? Desso and company may have opened the door to a lawsuit from the union and have handed town Democrats a beautifully crafted campaign issue for Desso's opponent in the fall, someone, were told, who will come as a shock to him.

Yes, it looks like the pigs are back at the public trough in North Greenbush with Desso, Spain and company filling the feed box with scarce public funds. Smile boys!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

So, between the $6,300 extra the board has so thoughtfully given to Mike Miner and the $21,000 it cost the Town to buy out Mr. Sickles time on the books, where is the Town saving any money by cutting the Youth Department all together? The residents of this town should be outraged! Why would the Town board sit on the sidelines as Lou and Al ruin a good mans life just to put our town further into debt??? Political favors, makes perfect sense.