The Gorilla In The Room

Gorilla.JPGAt the last city council meeting councilman Berry talked about the ‘big gorilla’ in the room. What’s the big gorilla well the police officers and their contract. It’s interesting to note that while the city has a five-year deficit reduction plan that the police get their over time, holiday pay and what ever else they gave up in their letter of understanding with the city last year. Who’s fault is that well the Mayor who did not make sure that they gave it up until the city is out of financial trouble. The council who passed this letter of understanding without seeing how long it was good for. Who’s to say if he’s even the one who did the negotiating in the past his assistant is the one who does that. Councilman Berry pointed out that no one else got their 10% back that the city is still closed one day a week all true. If you haven’t watched the meeting you should he goes on to say that the police get sick days, vacation days, overtime, uniform allowance, personal days rolled into their final compensation package. The Mayor sold the council on the police contract because the city was supposed to see a huge savings in health care never happened the opposite according to what the Mayor said in the Press and Guide.

The budget for 2011-2012 mayor said there was going to be a 2 million dollar surplus not only did the city not have a 2 million dollar surplus the city added 500,000.00 to the deficit. Very simple we lost 2.5 million the surplus that never happened and the 500,000.00 on top of that.

1. How can any of you think just by asking the Mayor if the city is on track with its deficit reduction plan and he say’s we are could you believe that when you have the numbers right in front of your faces?

2. How big does our deficit have to get before you on the council will say NO to the Mayor?

3. Why do you assume that nothing can be done about contracts (councilman Apigian) you said that at the last meeting. Why not vote to have the Mayor go back to them (the police) and ask to extend the letter of understanding?

4. Why do you on the council think the way the Mayor is spending the HO money’s is fine.

5. Why have none of you questioned the Mayor on the cuts he promised even if the HO passed that was at a town hall meeting. You all said more cuts were going to have to be made where are they? Not one of you even ask about this.

6. Why haven’t any of you asked the Mayor why he kept the Eton center in the 2011-2012 budget when he was telling the seniors on the south end of town he was going to close it. Not one of you even made mention of the fact that the Mayor used scare tactics on the seniors in this city.

7. How many failed budgets, over inflated numbers and smoke blown does it take to make you all see?

8. Did you all read the Standard and Poor’s report it states very clearly that it was managements fault (the administration) for the lowering of the city’s rating.

9. How many times does the city have to have our rate lowered from an A+ to an A now to BBB all on this mayors watch.

I’m sorry to say I hope I’m very, very wrong I don’t think so here is who I think will vote yes on the budget. Councilwoman Horvath, Councilman Kosinski,Councilman Apigian Councilman Baron. Those are the ones I think without hesitation will vote yes on the budget based on comments made at recent council meetings, budget meetings, and past history.

I hope councilman Berry who had so much to say about this budget will vote No and councilwoman Hicks Clayton. The for sure No vote will come councilwoman Badalow. Again based on comments made at meetings some questions that have been asked over the past year and past history.

If the numbers for the budget fell short so did the numbers for the deficit reduction plan. They are hand in hand as councilman Berry tried to point out to everyone in the City. You mess with any of it you mess up all of it why is that so hard to see? No the City can’t be on track when the budget added to the deficit. No the City can’t be on track when the new budget proposes 1 million extra to the police department. No the city can’t be on track when one department spends 88,000.00 in two months for fuel. No the city can’t be on track if you listen to councilman Berry and what he was telling all of us. Oh that’s right the Mayor said the city is on track so then of course it must be and he’s been just a beacon of truth over the past 5 years.

I know you haven’t voted on the budget yet, but just hearing some of the comments tells me so much. Please prove me wrong I’ll be the happiest person if proven me wrong. I’ll leave you with this from the Standard&Poor’s report.

We believe the city’s fiances significantly weakened due to management’s overly optimistic budget assumptions and prior failure to make expenditure adjustments. In fiscal 2011, the city drew down its operating reserves by $5.1 million because court revenue came in $1 million under budget, $2 million in accrued sick and vacation leave, and retiree health care benefits had to be paid to police and firefighters under a Deferred Retirement Option Plan (DROP),, and a structural imbalance persisted.

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4 thoughts on “The Gorilla In The Room”

  1. This is not the first time that our council has approved an agreement without reading it first. I questioned an item in the fd’s last contract after the council approved it and that council person had no clue what I was talking about.
    It is my understanding the Pd was the first union to give back to the city and take health care benefit cuts. Unlike other unions they did this voluntary and now the council is going to complain.

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  2. Might want to look at the entire fd contract.. they may have given up 10% for 2 yrs but watch out for the raises / increased ALS $ over the remainder of the contract. WOW.. and look for any past / future raises for pd…….0

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  3. If you remember fd gave up 10% no sweeteners the pd gave up 6% and are getting everything back that they gave up for that 6% no one else is getting back anything right now until the city is back on track as it should be. I’m not just going after pd I’m writing what councilman Berry was pointing out to the voters. I agree shame on them for not reading what they voted on. I think the pd are a reasonable group of men and woman and if asked would continue to help the city. It bothers me that council isn’t insisting the administration ask. The city needs a contract negotiator this Mickey mouse way of doing things needs to end.

    I’m happy you agree we need a new Mayor sorry that you don’t think Councilwoman Badalow would make an excellent Mayor. Just her ideas on cost savings alone for this city let alone all the rest of her ideas have my vote.

    It would be the biggest dis-service to our city to let this man have another 4 years to ruin the city.

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  4. Maybe the city council should read the agreements before the vote on them. The council should have known that the police would be getting holiday pay back after so many years. SHAME ON THE COUNCIL.
    As for the pension and overtime issue I have friends on both the Pd and Fd and it is my understanding that it is all one pension and drop.
    Why do you continue to only attack the police. The Fd also gets overtime, holiday, longevity, EMS pay, uniform allowance and whatever else rolled into pensions.
    I was also told that the Fd goes through more overtime then the Pd. At least with the Pd overtime and the ticket writing issue they are bringing the city in money.
    We may need a new mayor and Badalow is not the answer, but we also need a new council.

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