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Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Another Desso Deal Drives Deficit

This week's Town Board agenda has another deficit builder as Lou Desso has made a deal to allow a Utilities Inspector to retire so he can make him a "Double Dipper" and rehire him part time allowing him to collect a state pension and and a town paycheck.

Even worse is the total lack of fiscal discipline the move entails as the town's deficit is being ignored while positions we have not needed for some time continue to add to the fiscal problems we face. If you need a little history, this position was created when Water Distric 14 was started years back. None of the other water districts had the need for such a position as regular code enforcement people did the job. But Water 14 had to go down as the most expensive and mismanaged district in town and perhaps county history. So the Town Board at the time hired Councilman Ashe's neighbor to babysit the contractor. They got so cozy in fact, that many people thought the inspector worked for the contractor and not the town. But that was the sense gained from all the key players involved in the contract which made many folks wonder what might have been going on behind the scenes.

For some time now, Water 14 has been completed but the Utilities Inspector remained on the payroll keeping taxes up and water charges as high as possible paying a needless $45,000 salary. And all that work, the punch list of driveways, lawns and roads left in bad shape that the contractor refused to make right, well a lot of it was paid by taxpayers with highway department workers doing the job because no one in town hall bothered to hold the contractor accountable.

So now, as a new 2011 budget is about to be unveiled, one which hopefully finally acts to eliminate the deficit last reported to the State Comptroller at $171,000, Lou Desso wants to keep a position he should quickly support fading into the sunset. A political favor, a part time reach into the cookie jar for a Utilities Inspector who, like his Building Inspector colleague, has to find work outside his official job description to appear busy. Pass the toilet brush boys and maybe a little overtime with it.

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