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Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Union Approves "Desso's Deal"

The town hall union which first came into being thanks to a resolution recognizing the bargaining unit passed by the former board majority of Paul Tazbir and Robert Ashe in the final month of their reign has unanimously approved the latest version of a contract that has been at best a fleecing of taxpayers. Yes Mr. Desso, your former running mate let the mouse in the door as a final gotcha before he left office in 2005. He even tied up a room in town hall so they union could meet.

Democrats have been slamming the union for some time after it was learned, post passage by the successive town board which quickly divided into two factions of Evers and Kern verses Fennelly, Mihalko and Michaels, that it contained absurd insurance buyouts. Evers led the negotiations with the union and on the night the contract was finally approved, refused to allow the public to see or hear its contents before forcing a vote. As a result no one knows to this day if what was approved was actually the document Evers signed and bound the town to. Many former council members believe the document in front of them is not the one Evers signed which contained the absurd health insurance buy out provisions that have cost the town $40,000 a year. Evers was sucking up to the employees in town hall at the time of the vote before they too ditched him, like the current Democratic Party did soon after he was elected. Desso, incidentally ran with Evers as his running mate when he ran for the board in 2007 with Republicans running the so called Democratic Party in town which endorsed the GOP slate. That history aside, there is no excuse for this contract ever being approved anymore than there is an excuse for the resolution which recognized the union in the first place.

Now Lou Desso claims to be the new Henry Kissinger of North Greenbush. He somehow took the place of the Supervisor in negotiating a new contract which the union, after screwing the town with another round of buyout payments in June without a whimper from the town board, approved unanimously. It's pretty obviously they voted down the contract before June because they wanted to screw the town out of the next scheduled round of buyouts and yep, they did just that! No worry about a financial crisis with these folks.

We can't wait to read the fruit of Desso's negotiating skills done behind the back of the Supervisor and with one of the folks in town hall whom he just voted to approve an extra 10 grand in overtime the town can't afford in a time of fiscal crisis. Desso says he had no tools to force the union into relinquishing the buy out provisions. He apparently has not heard of the threat of job eliminations as a negotiating tool, but then again, many of these folks are his political allies and we presume the deficit will just have to grow as a result of maintaining a Building Department staff that is overblown and bloated.

For a contract to be successful, a number of things need to be included. First the buy out provisions need to be amended, reduced in size of the maximum payment permitted and amending the ability to qualify for the payments. No one should be allowed eligibility without first being in the insurance program as an eligible recipient. No one should be allowed to double dip, that is folks like Bill Miller and John Harkin should not be eligible for a buy out when they already receive full public funded health insurance from other employers.

Second, a time clock must be utilized in town hall. The notion of a staff coming and going as they please without supervision or some type of control is bad business and hopefully this will be corrected.

Also, we believe that managers should not be part of the bargaining unit. That means the Assessor and head of the Building Department should not be allowed in this union, the same union whose members they are supposed to supervise day to day.

Hopefully we we see some of these issues addressed in the new contract which is likely to be on the agenda this Thursday night for board consideration.

Tom Connolly receives a Broadside from his Party

You have to read this great analysis of Tom Connolly by Independence Party official Frank Morano. He quit the party in disgust this week but not before framing the $100,000 a year NY Senate employee to a tee. You can read the story here from the Daily News. His quote, a gem, "but alas the Independence Party has become the Incumbent Dependence Party, a tool for influence peddlers like Tom Connolly to cater to the state’s most powerful leaders"
We couldn't have said it better.

Germano jumps ship in petition fight

Yesterday we reported that the leader of the Republican backed insurgents attempting to primary and take control of the town Democratic Committee, jumped ship and signed a declination of his primary office of Committeeman in ED 5. Germano was none to happy at the Board of Elections casting aspersions on his Democratic adversaries and claiming, falsely, they were after his family.

With the captain of the ship in the first lifeboat, the rest of the crew is being left to answer charges of petition fraud on their own. The matter is likely to head to court where many will be subpoenaed to answer charges contained in sworn affidavits to be filed at the Board of Elections later this week. It should be quite a show.

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