Monday, April 20, 2009

Are Taxpayers Paying Mayor Sottile To Run The City Or The CSEA?

Kingston city taxpayers should take solice in knowing that their Mayor is spending his days trying to make sure that the unions internal machine is running fairly. In this tough economy, that is a very good use of his valuable time.

In the most recent CSEA election season, there were union members who were interested in running for office. So far, so good.

Internal union election procedures are structured and precise, so that every person who wants to be involved and run for an office can. The structure is no different from those in place when you are running for a public office.


Follow procedure, properly file your election forms and start campaigning.

Simply put in this particular case, the interested parties that filled out the election form did not write in the proper office that they intended to run for. This negated their opportunity to run for the correct office.

Normally, this would not be a problem and it could be amended. But in a campaign strategy utilizing the element of suprise that backfired, the candidates waited until the end of the last day to file their papers, leaving no time to change their incorrectly completed form.


Now unless you've been hiding under a rock somewhere, you already know that the Mayor of Kingston has no love for the current leadership of the local CSEA, Troy Ashdown and Bart Robbins. No love because they actually do their jobs well and protect the rights the employees of the city.

Now comes the best part. The Mayor is spending his day writing letters to the CSEA in Albany questioning whether this internal union matter has been done fairly and expresses that he is very concerned about it.

He wrote, "Over the past month, I have received a number of complaints from city employees with regard to the election process and procedure. These employees have indicated that the process has not been fair and equal to all."

“They have also expressed their distress with the fact that they feel they are not getting accurate information from their local representatives. I am asking that your organization investigate the concerns of (the union members) with regard to this election and its process.”

Sottile also stated that his “sole concern is that this process be applied fairly and equally for all.”


Isn't strange how the guy who is always against the union and its members now has such a great concern about if they are being treated fairly?

What's next Lance Matteson and March Gallagher outside picketing for higher wages for Ulster residents??

31 comments:

Anonymous said...

The only reason this came about is because the Mayor's ticket did not follow proper procedure and they were not able to run. If the Mayor's flunky ticket would have followed the proper procedure there would be an election but they did not, plain and simple. So of course the flunkies complained that this was not fair, and of course the Mayor is going to defend them by writing to the State, he wanted them to win so he could try to run the union which he knows darn well he has no chance of doing now with Leaders like Troy Ashdown and Bart Robins who actually have some backbone and are not afraid to stand up and fight the front office when they are out of line.

Anonymous said...

That's our Mayor McCheese, this is what our tax dollars go for. He has no business even asking about it. If someone thinks something is not being done right they should have gone to the clinton ave office. Mayor McCheese should have told them that. What McCheese just did was called everyone a cheat. He has a big set of you know what to even say that out of his mouth,that he wants things done fairly. NOW after all the horses are out of the barn he wants to lock the doors. NOW he wants to make sure things are done fairly. YEA MR There are two sides to all stories. Well that Edwards person does not answer to you about the UNION. She did the right thing. I believe the letter said she was making a complaint about your man Cheating Charlie harrassing her on work time. It did not say anything else. Its not that she did not want him to talk to her, it was that she can not talk on company time about it. THOSE ARE THE RULES
McCheese, she did not make up the rules, she followed them. Unlike Cheating Charlie asking people for signatures against union people on company time, oh lets not forget the signing for the Mayor on company time. McCheese you and Charlie got caught and your a lier, abig one at that. I wonder what your families must think about you guys. I feel for your wifes. I know this city is sick of both of you.

Anonymous said...

Who the hell does this "Mayor" think he is.
First he runs the city not the CSEA!
I work for the city of Kingston and I seen the posters up about the Unit, it was up for 18 days.
The Mayor is so smart doesn't he know the difference between Unit and local.
This is called UNION BUSTING! This Mayor is trying to make other people look like they don't know what they were doing, they knew enough not disgrace the Union and themselfs unlike the other slate that don't know how to fill out the paper work right. Thank you for showing us just how Dum you really are. I hope the Union starts legal action soon or their just as bad as he is. I guess the Mayor is above the law. All the Unions should pull together and get rid of this albatross that has been around the necks of the Union and taxpayers

Anonymous said...

Interestingly enough, in a blatant attempt to trap prospective challengers, the only election related notice that Jeane Edwards' committee posted regarding the upcoming union election instructed CSEA members to contact Jim Polacco at a phone number that turned out to be up at Dietz Stadium where Jim works. Does anyone think that was that proper?

Furthermore, no schedule of the election deadlines was ever posted.

Also, despite repeated verbal and written requests made to the election committee and CSEA officials since January for election related materials such as a Candidates Handbook, and a roster of eligible voters no materials were ever provided.

It's too bad that the union leadership chose this path instead of insisting upon an open and fair election. Clearly the motive was to block any prospective candidates from being able to participate in the process, and to deny the membership at large a chance to cast a vote. Obviously, Bart and Troy weren't too confident of their re-election chances if we were actually offered an alternative choice, and were given the chance to cast a ballot.

Lastly, as we have already seen any challengers to Bart and Troy's regime would've been subjected to a smear campaign courtesy of Sam Fratto & Rich Cahill.

Oh well.

Anonymous said...

Taxpayers are paying for all the Mayor's mistakes. He has a big nose and don't know what to do with it. He is a man with rage problems, he really needs help. He shows the people of this City what he is really about all the time. This man has problems i'm telling you. First he is a lier, he does nothing to help people that he does not know. I wonder why his family and friends have not notice that he has issues and needs some real help. I work with Mental Health and he needs help. Someone want to help this man. He is loosing it, big time.

Anonymous said...

I guess the ones that filled their paperwork out last minute and WRONG forgot the importance of the five P's -

Prior planning prevents pisspoor performance.

Anonymous said...

What ever happened to Brian Woltman. Wasn't he suppose to run. He ran his mouth for months about running. Guess nobody wanted to run with him. As for those other front office people, Sills was probably told she could keep her job if she ran. What other promises did Mayor McCheese make? Pay someones back taxes?

Anonymous said...

Maybe he should give his son a CSEA job and fun him for president. Just like when TR Gallo and his brother Shane Gallo ran the union. Close door deals were the norm. Members losing benefits and flunkies getting raises. CSEA was right for throwing out the Thomas/Sottile ticket. The membership would have been devastated in these tough times. As to 7:57 everything was posted all over the City. Times, Dates, deadlines were all visable, how else would charlie know when the deadline was. This is the 4th election I have been here for and it was the most posting I have ever seen. Don't know where you were? But there were no posting in the Mayor's office.

Anonymous said...

Charlie Thomas has been promise his nephew ryan Bradley a job. Not an entry level either. $40,000.00 to start, plus benefits. Some payoff for rigging an election.

Anonymous said...

7:57 Were you under that rock? Postings were all over the City of Kingston. Everything was laid out perfectly. Places that were never posted before got postings.

Back in 2000 the phone numbers of Vanacore, Woltman, and Macdonald were on the election informantion. All had there City phone numbers on them. If you have any questions you pick up your phone and call, NO PROBLEM.

The problem started when Charlie Thomas, with the Mayors approval, started harassing Edwards. Its not her fault that Charlie can't read.

As to the smear campaign comment, it works both ways. Your negative comment made on this blog. So if you can't take the heat, stay out of the kitchen. No skelletons in Robins/Ashdown closets. They air everything on the front page.

Make no mistake about it this was the Mayors ticket. He wanted the same control TR had. With his brother as the rep we lost a lot of benefits, and the only ones to benfit were the ones on TRs good ol boys list.

bullhorner said...

The point here was that the Mayor was interfering in regard the union election process, which is not his place and should not be of the slightest concern for him.

As for candidates running or not running, anybody who can follow the procedures and wants to run, should run.

In this case, people blew their own chances to run by filling the election paperwork out wrong.

Obviously, that bothered the Mayor for some strange reason.

Thats the story Jerry.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone notice that in Ulster County it is the Democrats that give labor and the working people the most problems?

Maybe voting in more Republicans on the local level is the answer around here.

Anonymous said...

I want to begin by saying that I find this to be a blatant attempt at another form of harassment to Ms. Edwards and has nothing to do with the Union affairs. Mr. Sotille has stated in this article:
“Over the past month, I have received a number of complaints from city employees with regard to the election process and procedure,” Sottile wrote to the state union committee. “These employees have indicated that the process has not been fair and equal to all.
“They have also expressed their distress with the fact that they feel they are not getting accurate information from their local representatives,” Sottile wrote. “I am asking that your organization investigate the concerns of (city CSEA members) with regard to this election and its process.”

Sottile added that his “sole concern is that this process be applied fairly and equally for all.”

If there were all these other people why is it that the only person Mr. Sotille has mentioned publically is one of the women involved in a very public lawsuit? You can see by the attached articles that Mr. Sotille has performed many attempts to cause Ms. Edwards great discomfort and has chosen to ignore her requests for help. He has not shown any effort to treat her complaints in a process that is fair and equal to all before. Why now? I’ll tell you why, he has not been successful in forcing Ms. Edwards’s resignation or withdrawal from the lawsuit. So this is just one more step in harassment. As per the article from April 20, 2009 the mayor also said he was contacted by Election Committee Chairwoman Jeanne Edwards, who told him via e-mail that she was being harassed about election matters by another employee. Edwards told the mayor that it was against the rules for union work to be done on city time.
The mayor said he inquired about it. In an e-mail back to Edwards, he hinted at the possibility of unfairness in the union election.
Sottile said it was Edwards who suggested that he contact the state committee about the matter.
“I am just doing what one of the union officers asked me to do,’ Sottile said. “She didn’t want to be talked to, but I needed to get the information and how else am I going to understand what the rules are?”

Ms. Edwards responded as she should have as she knows that union affairs cannot be discussed on city time and that she is not in the position to answer questions regarding the election process. All Ms. Edwards role was as a member of the election committee and not the Chairwoman was to take the names of those being nominated and be sure that the process followed the guidelines to remain legal.

He has once again attempted to degrade Ms. Edwards’s credibility with the union, the public and created her image as one that is a whiny woman with no intelligence. Article after article shows the attempts of the mayor’s office to cause Ms. Edwards great pain. Moving her to a closet over a garage with no ventilation and then using toxic chemicals below her office causing her to pass out and have medical issues. Trying to cut her income to her family by changing her job from one of full time to part time. Come on Mr. Sotille, how do you look at yourself in the mirror. You know what you are doing. The stories go on and on about your wish for “get back” at Ms. Edwards. It is clear from your past actions that you are very selective about who you want to be fair and equal to. And in that same thought it is very clear that Ms. Edwards is not one of those people. You chose to ignore her request along with two other women in the city’s employment regarding sexual harassment when there have clear and concise laws protecting them. But now because the union election has been completed without the results YOU wanted you are suddenly becoming fair and equal??? Give me a break Mayor. Your spoiled rotten disposition is showing.



Daily Freeman article

DPW sex harassment accusers state their case June 07, 2008

“Mayor James Sottile did not return a reporter's calls Friday afternoon. He previously has said personnel issues "should be dealt with by the appropriate boards, such as the sexual harassment committee and the human rights committee," and he reminded the public that "there are two sides to every allegation."
Sussman, however, expressed skepticism at the mayor's remarks, particularly with regard to the sexual harassment panel, because DPW Assistant Superintendent Timothy Williams sits on that committee.
After the women filed their complaints, Sottile ordered all city employees to attend sexual harassment awareness training for the first time.”


Sex harass case shouldn't be played out in press, mayor says

Published: Wednesday, June 11, 2008
KINGSTON - Mayor James Sottile says it's unfortunate that three city workers publicized their allegations of sexual harassment by way of a press conference last week.

"The fact that they have chosen to fight this case in the media speaks volumes of what is taking place here," Sottile said. "... They are playing this out in the press, and that is unfortunate."

"All I had heard is from an attorney who is asking for money, and certainly that is not the (direction) we are going to take," Sottile said. "The only way we are going to give out money is if a jury tells us to, if I have anything to say about it."
The mayor said one of the women did complain to him about a comment allegedly made to her by a male employee. Sottile said he looked into the matter, found it was not of a sexually harassing nature and made the male employee apologize to the woman.
Women who alleged sexual harassment are being moved to other offices

Published: Sunday, June 15, 2008
KINGSTON - Four female employees of the city's Department of Public Works - including two who have alleged they were sexually harassed on the job - are being transferred to different offices.
No male employees are being moved out of the DPW's main office, and Ashdown said one other female, a temporary worker, will remain in the office.

Police probe Kingston feces incident

Published: Tuesday, June 17, 2008
KINGSTON - A female city worker who has filed sexual harassment complaints recently found her work gloves smeared inside with feces, according to a union official and e-mails sent to Mayor James Sottile.
The incident is being viewed by officials with the Civil Service Employees Association as a retaliatory strike against Jeanne Edwards, a code enforcement officer who has filed sexual harassment complaints against male employees of the Department of Public Works.
Change to part-time status is retaliation, city worker says

Published: Tuesday, December 2, 2008
KINGSTON — A city worker who has filed a sexual harassment lawsuit believes that city officials, including Mayor James Sottile and members of the Common Council, are retaliating against her by switching her job from full-time to part-time.

Union leader Troy Ashdown, vice president of the Civil Service Employees Association, and her attorney, Michael Sussman, also believe the job status of Jeanne Edwards, who is a trash code enforcement officer, is being changed to retaliate against her for filing the sexual harassment lawsuit.

Hands off, union tells Sottile

Published: Monday, April 20, 2009
“Over the past month, I have received a number of complaints from city employees with regard to the election process and procedure,” Sottile wrote to the state union committee. “These employees have indicated that the process has not been fair and equal to all.

“They have also expressed their distress with the fact that they feel they are not getting accurate information from their local representatives,” Sottile wrote. “I am asking that your organization investigate the concerns of (city CSEA members) with regard to this election and its process.”

Sottile added that his “sole concern is that this process be applied fairly and equally for all.”

The mayor also said he was contacted by Election Committee Chairwoman Jeanne Edwards, who told him via e-mail that she was being harassed about election matters by another employee.

Anonymous said...

The Mayor shot himself in the foot again. He had been working well with the CSEA leadership. Now all the changes he wants to make at DPW will meet stiff resistance, and there will be labor unrest again. Great for the Freeman they'll sell a lot of papers.

Anonymous said...

CSEA ITS TIME TOO GET RID OF THEM ALL THEY REALLY CARE ABOUT IS YOUR HARD EARNED MONEY FOR THIER DUES ITS TIME FOR NEW LEADERSHIP IN THE CITY OF KINGSTON WHAT HAS THE UNION DONE TO HELP THE TAX PAYER BESIDES TAKE TAKE TAKE TRY HELPING YOUR BROTHERS NOT SEEING HOW MUCH YOU CAN DRAIN THE TAX DOLLAR WITH YOUR 3% RAISES

Anonymous said...

10:01 You're right. The tide seems to be shifting. Unions could once count on democrats for their support. That doesn't seem to be the case anymore. From the Governor to small town Mayor's like Sottile have fought the unions tooth and nail. Maybe it is time to look for the republicans for support.

No one ever got laid off in Ulster County under republican rule, but as soon as the democrats took over they started laying people off.

Democrats in Kingston all supported layoffs this year and will so again. Ronald Reagan may have been right"VOTE REPUBLICAN FOR A CHANGE".

Anonymous said...

The Taylor Law has been in effect since Septenber 1, 1967. Its a Public Employees Fair Employment Act, commonly know as the Tayloy Law. The Mayor broke that law(state law), and the Federal Law of Sexual Harrassment. These are two laws that the Mayor broke and nothing is getting done about it. Now the question is are the leaders of the CSEA going to do the right thing with this man or not? Does not the public see this man for what he really is? I know the woman of DPW know what he is all about! Where is the backbone now? Why aren't the Local leaders stepping in to do something. If he gets away with this then everyone is up for grabs. Its easy for everyone of us to write something and put it anonymous, but who will take the first step to call him to the mat. Stand up Union and make this man accountable to us and the law!

Anonymous said...

The paper work clearly said

*Fill out properly depending on the position you are running for*

You did not do that! This is easy, simple, and if you needed help why did you not ask for it.

How and why did Charlie Thomas even get mixed up with all this. Its everyone else that is going to get in troblem. If Charlie had questions he goes by the CSEA building all the time at least 10 times a day. Something is not adding up here. I think the Mayor and Charile of the sea are trying to make everyone else look bad so they can point fingers and not take the razzing they have coming for filling paper work out wrong. Its smell like fish that is rotten!

bullhorner said...

5:38 - The sexual harrassment case has yet to be decided so technically the Federal law in that regard has not been deemed to be broken yet by anyone and I believe that the Mayor was only in charge of the person accused of "breaking the federal law" - just to set the record straight as far as I know.

4:10 - So you are saying that the CSEA needs new leadership because they do a good job representing their people?

That's a new one.

And remember any terms of employemnt and all raises are negotiated, developed and agreed upon by labor AND management.

Anonymous said...

The pig Mayor is at it again, wasting our tax dollars. Doesn't he have something better to do with his time. Ashdown and Robins have been beating on him since he barely won in 2007. I would like to see how much of our tax dollars went for attorneys fees.

Anonymous said...

538 yes you are right the mayor was in charge of the person accused of breaking the federal law. but lets not forget he also supported that person and attacked the victims in this case who he is also in charge of. check out the new article from 1025AM. i guess this is a fair treatment ha. ( how much is this mistake going to cost the tax payers of Kingston)

By the way there has never been any training in this area till the women of dpw made their complaint. Why is that did the mayor think he was above the federal law? Could that be why there was no training or did he just thing he could do as he pleases no matter what laws are in effect?

538 the mayor is the head of the city so he over sees all division and all the employees. Not just his good old boy club. So Ms Edward and the other women are also under his charge . So what does he only protect the men who break the law as he does? Or does he fairly and openly represent all employees? Ha nothing fair and openly about him except a liquor bottle.

This mayor is a joke he breaks the law he swore to up hold. It's no wonder why the da's office hasn't step in yet. Where are you da's office laws are being broken and nothing is being done? Where are you??

Now this mayor has down grade to breaking state labor law. Boy will this man stop at nothing or will he continue to run Kingston City threw the gutter for all to see?

Our tax dollars are going to have to pay for this mess as well. Come on people this mayor is way past having to go, get him the h--- out. he just keeps breaking the law of our country, state, county , and city. we can't afford a mayor like this.

Anonymous said...

This is a slap in all of labors face. He is trying to control the union leadership in Kingston. I hope all of labor comes out against him. LETS SHOW OUR UNION SOLIDARITY BY BOYCOTTING HIS BOAT RIDE. Then maybe he will get the message and leave labor alone.

Anonymous said...

Sottile must be defeated in 2011. I hear Cahill is running again. Let's unite behind him and send Sottile packing.

Anonymous said...

My Father always told me to vote Democrat, because they are for the working man. This will be the first year that I wont take his advice. Just look what the Democrats in Kingston have done to the working mang and you'll know why I feel this way.

Anonymous said...

As Kingston goes so does the county. Boycott the Mayors boat ride and the rest of the politians will get the idea. CSEA runs 2 boat rides a year for their members. Its a great time and free to CSEA employees.

Anonymous said...

I also think we need to boycott all the alderman funraisers. That will shake them up a little bit. Whats the shot of that happening.

Anonymous said...

I AGREE 3:19 - FROM THE ANTI-UNION DEMOCRATICALLY APPOINTED IDA BOARD, TO THE MAYOR OF KINGSTON TO THE DEMO STIFFS ON THE CITY COUNCIL AND THE ULSTER LEGISLATURE....LOCALLY IT DOES SEEM THAT ITS TIME FOR LABOR TO SERIUOSLY THINK ABOUT SUPPORTING MORE REPUBLICANS.

MOST OF THE DEMS AINT WORTH A SHIT FOR THE WORKING MAN OR THE UNIONS IN GENERAL - THE MAJORITY OF DEMS HAVE LOST THEIR MINDS AROUND HERE.

NOVEMBER CAN'T GET HERE QUICK ENOUGH!

Anonymous said...

You guys are right! The members of the Kingston CSEA unit should never be allowed to ever cast a ballot to elect our union leadership. Bart and Troy should simply be appointed for life, and be able to continue to steal as much of our union dues for their own personal use.

bullhorner said...

Until someone else besides them can check the right box on an election form, that just might be the case.

The only thing that stopped the other members from running was their own stupid mistakes on what is really a very simple form as I see it.

Unfortunately, they have no one to blame but themselves.

Anonymous said...

3:19 & 5:34 You guys are right. One of the first things the dems did when they took control of the legislature, with CSEA help, was change there health insurance and lay people off. WE WILL REMEMBER IN NOVEMBER.

Anonymous said...

Why are the Democrats allowing Sottile to do this? His incompetence is costing all of us. Our children will have to play in the street this year. On hot summer days fire hydrants will be opened to keep cool.

If the Democratic lead council cannot control him then a republican lead council should be given a chance.

Remember next time you vote that the Democrats in control of council sat on there hands and did nothing to stop his wasteful spending.

Tens of thousands of dollars went to a law firm in Albany defending his incompetence. How much more are we to endure under democratic rule in Kingston.