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Thursday, February 23, 2012

The 50% Solution

About all you can say after watching the Town Board and Supervisor Spain's handling of the painfully brief meeting of February 23rd is that they are truly a sorry bunch of campers, incapable, it seems, of getting out of the rain with an empty tent pitched right in front of them.

First the stolidity of the business side of the meeting. After appointing, (imposing) two Secretaries to the Town Justices, (plural) at a prior meeting without ever bothering to allow the judges to interview their so called secretaries, the senior justice apparently rejected one of Lou Desso's nominees.

That prevented the appointee from working in the courts for both judges. Lou's 50% solution: Pay her the same salary to do half the work since she cannot work for one of two judges who refused to approve her appointment. Taxpayers take it on the chin for Lou Desso's GOP Majority and court's are prevented from functioning as a unit because the Town Board trys an end around the appointment process requiring judicial approval of court employees.

You'll love the appointment resolution as well. It reads "Laura Senecal is hereby appointed as and assigned to Justice Megan Malone as her part time Secretary to Town Justice until 12/31/2012 to be paid per budget". Obviously Judge Sabo, the senior justice in the court, will be deprived of the services of a part time court employee whom he apparently refused to authorize. His disapproval is understandable, especially since he was never permitted to even interview the politically connected appointee. Rather, the Board is attempting to impose their choices on the elected senior justice. Also, it's very clear that should the politically appointed judge who replaced former Town Justice Raymond Elliott, be defeated in November, this appointee's job will immediately end as her benefactor will no longer be in office.

Imagine if Desso, Spain and their cast of happy campers on the town board had bothered to do the right thing, politically and financially, by appointing a single part time employee who was acceptable to BOTH judges. That employee could actually earn her entire salary by processing the paperwork and collecting the fines of BOTH judges! Just think, a fiscally sound and common sense approach to the spending of taxpayer dollars! But no, not in North Greenbush. Lou Desso has to have his appointees on the payroll in the courts even those who are supposedly the secretaries to an elected judge who is never allowed to interview his secretary!

Now to the fun part of the meeting. It came as public comment was taking place and former Councilman Ernie Kern asked a couple of questions. Behold, Al Spain answered the questions. Next up to the microphone comes Charlie Smith who follows up with another question and what does Spain do? He refuses to answer the question because he says the Board is here to listen to public comments not answer questions. But duhh, Al, you just answered two questions from Mr. Kern. It's raining cats and dogs now so have the brains to get under the tent. But not Al Spain, he sits there attempting to justify his refusal to answer questions after answering questions seconds earlier.

How bad did he look? Let's just say boy scouts have more sensibilities than were on display last night and I don't even have to point to the more advanced scouts but rather, a Cub Scout would have shown more reasoning power and common sense than demonstrated during these painfully long five minutes.

But don't take our word for it. It's time to sit back and enjoy the show as only Al Spain, smiling Lou Desso and their Happy Campers could provide. Another North Greenbush "You Tube Moment" is born with "The 50% Solution". Half the work, all the pay and half the brains needed to run a meeting and the practical business solutions needed for a functional local government.

We might add that someone should do a little growing up and try to act with some semblance of professionalism.

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