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Thursday, June 24, 2010

Portrait of Greed

It's bad enough that there are more code enforcement personnel in town hall than are needed or justified. There just isn't enough work to justify having three full time people available for code enforcement when one and at most one and a half would suffice in this economy. The same can be said for the clerical staff including a Conservative Party Committeewoman whose hiring was as needed as a screen door in a submarine.

Brunswick has no Fire Marshall, just a Building Inspector and there's enough work to keep him busy so that he's not tinkering with the jobs of other folks in town hall or trying to run concerts or other venues which have nothing to do with his job title.

But what really ought to make one town employee hang his head in shame is having his hand out to readily accept $10 grand in overtime reaped at the expense of another employee's job. Doing a job that's not part of your job description isn't allowed under Civil Service regulations or the Union Contract we have often criticized for the absurd health insurance buy outs given to town hall employees in that bargaining unit.

It's a sad reality, however, that Building Inspector Michael Miner is so anxious to grab 10 grand in apparently unlawful overtime coming out the pockets of a union brother and fellow employee, Jerry Sickles. If he had any decency, he'd have told Lou Desso, Al Spain and company to find someone else to do their dirty work in the highly questionable dismissal of the Youth Director. Taking a third of the guy's salary as overtime for a mere one hour a day in overtime as the highest paid employee in town hall is nothing short of reprehensible. Sickles suffers as Miner lines his pockets with extra cash at Sickles expense.

Now Miner has shown another side of the image of the Mr. Nice Guy he tries to portray at town hall. He's written an email to town board members in which he takes his bat and ball and goes home. He says no more extra volunteer work for him, no help organizing a needless fall celebration with expensive bands paid for with tax dollars during a budget crisis. If he can't have a third of Jerry's Sickel's salary he's apparently not going to do all that extra stuff.

It appears the email is a reaction to a decision by the Supervisor not to approve any of the overtime the board authorized in a 4-1 vote last Friday. There are likely strong legal grounds if that is the case, reasons rooted in Civil Service Law and the Collective Bargaining Agreement with UPSEU. Under that contract the incumbent has to offered the opportunity to work the hours being offered to Building Inspector Miner, hours in which the Job Description of the Youth Director are to be performed.

In addition, Section 75 of the New York State Civil Service Law affords protections to public employees which have been totally ignored by Al Spain, Lou Desso and their board majority. Spain as a Troy Personnel Director who witnessed the firing of 47 City Employees under David Grandeau should know proper procedures were not followed in the Sickel's firing. Those folks won a lot of back pay and reinstatement after a court battle and Spain of all people should know that.

As bad and incompetent as the Sickle's firing was, it's clear it was done not only to get him out of the way, but to reward Mike Miner with a big chunk of his salary. Sickles has two years to go for his pension. We wonder how some folks sleep at night.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

First and foremost, facts need to be corrected. The North Greenbush Commuinity fair is being organized by the North Greenbush Kiwanis. The bands are not being paid for with Tax payer dollars as stated but rather with donations from our local busniesses. As far as Mike Miner's involved 'volunteering" on the committee, his presence has been non-existant so for him to threaten to stop"volunteering" on this truly holds no water as he has done nothing to plan this event in the first place. It is the North Greenbush Kiwanis soley involved with this event.