Saturday, May 16, 2009

Mayor Grinch Out of Control

Everyone knows the story of the Grinch. What is going on now in the City of Kingston is TRULY UNBELIEVABLE.
Jeanne Edwards, an employee of the Department of Public Works who filed a sexual harassment suit against the city last year has been laid off by Mayor James Sottile.

Ms. Edwards received the bad news in a letter on Friday from Kathleen Thomas, executive secretary in the city’s Civil Service Office stating that “Recent changes in the economy have forced us to make some difficult decisions here at the city of Kingston. “Therefore, it is with regret that I inform you that we are eliminating your position as code enforcement officer effective May 29, 2009.”

“I think that this is a disgraceful move coming from a mayor with a disgraceful history regarding his workforce,” said Troy Ashdown, the vice president of the CSEA local that represents city public works employees. “This mayor acts unstable at times, and once again we are seeing that.”

It sure looks like something is terribly wrong. If you have been following the history here - the Mayor tried to cut Edwards to part-time in his budget proposal last January.

The Common Council did the math and realized that the savings to taxpayers from cutting Edwards to part-time would amount to SAVING ONLY PENNIES.

Many residents spoke out in favor of keeping Edwards in a full time time position and in the end the Common Council voted to fund her position at full time in the budget they approved.

If the position was budgeted for - how can the Grinch steal Christmas again after the fact?? Something smells rotten here.

Edwards, Troy Ashdown and other union leaders of the CSEA are calling the action retaliatory and said that they will pursue legal action against Sottile for her being laid off.

Edwards is one of two city employees Sottile has laid off recently. The other was in the Parks and Recreation Department. A common practice in retaliatory layoffs is to combine or bundle the real victim in with another employee or employees.

“I am not looking at names,” Sottile said. “I am looking at positions. The task that she (Edwards) does will be done by somebody else.”

Ashdown said Edwards layoff may add fuel to the sexual harassment suit filed by her and two other women who worked for the Department of Public Works at the time. That is an additional cost that will far exceed the cost of the already budgeted position.

Does this really make any sense?
Oh and well,well,well - Sottile is on vacation this week, golfing in Florida.

According to the Kingston Freeman:

Alderman Thomas Hoffay said on Friday that he was not aware Edwards had been laid off and that he was under the impression the city’s retirement incentive and voluntary furlough programs had eliminated the need for job cuts.

This gives their (union) argument some credibility when it is just one person getting something in the mail,” said Hoffay, D-Ward 2.

Sottile, a fellow Democrat, responded by saying Hoffay “doesn’t understand the finances of the city.

“Unfortunately, all indicators are ... that (what has been done so far) isn’t enough,” the mayor said.

Alderman Michael Madsen, D-Ward 9, described himself as “speechless” when told Edwards had been laid off. Asked if he thought the move was retaliatory, he said: “How could any conscientious person think otherwise?”

Alderwoman Ann Marie DiBella, one of two women on the Common Council, declined to comment about the layoff. “I just as soon stay out of it,” the Ward 5 Democrat said.

That is NOT an acceptable answer.
Her mouth is always going about everything else. Let's hear it now. Speak up, step up and be heard - even if it means you must- God forbid - question the Mayor Grinch.

It is very well known how hard that is for YOU to do.

Where too are the rest of the members of the Common Council on this issue? The people expect an answer. Is this how Ms. Edwards would have been treated if you were in charge? If this involved your own sisters? Wives? Mothers?

Your silence is deafening.


Anonymous said...

What about the women at the jail? Your silence is as deafening as Mike Hein's.... The candidate that YOU endorsed.

Anonymous said...

Hey the Mayor should be brought up on charges for some of the stuff that he does. Its so apparent that he is retaliating against Edwards for this laid off. The money he cost taxpayers for his mistakes startling. When will the council do something? All of labor should cry out on this matter.

Anonymous said...

Lets have a little mayor recap:

1) Throws a drink and fights with a lady in a bar

2) Ignores importance of training his workers and stockpiles dangerous chemicals to boot

3) Protects a Supervisor who allows sexual harrassment to go on

4) Disciplines another female employee who needs air in her flat tire for "stealing" free air.

5) Ignores same Supervisors undocumented use overtime hours and the purchase of 60 dollars pens and other frivilous items.

6) Picks out female employee who filed sexual harrassment complaint as one whose job he will cut to part time in his "budget"

7) Interferes in the union election process by writing complaint letter on City stationary

8) Ignores the contract he negotiated and agreed to and unilaterally decides to abandon full departments.

9) Decides to "cut" the position of the lady who filed sexual harrassment and lay her off with almost no notice

10) Keeps his Common Council in the dark about the layoff.

11) Proves over and over that Democrats are not the worker friendly party that they once were.

12) Goes golfing in Florida while he should be here working

Anonymous said...

bullhorner,this mayor is indeed "unstable"as CSEA rep Ashdown says,so why cant the council put him in check? They need to start showing some courage doing something about this mayor or who needs them? Empty retoric is no longer acceptable,time for action.If not lets move on some of the aldermen this year with no endorsements!

bullhorner said...

9:01 Oh the women at the jail are being laid off in retaliation for filing a sexual harassment lawsuit too?

If so, that is just as wrong. If that is not happening then it is a little different situation.

The City of Kingston story has a few more twists involved in it I would say.

But to be clear, everyone deserves to be treated with dignity and respect at work - no matter who the boss is or who endorsed who.

Anonymous said...

Is 9:01 trying to play the old bait and switch? Obviously someone who has a problem with the unions.

Is that you Mr. Grinch?

Anonymous said...

The Mayor has really put us all in a very bad position as taxpayers. Any "savings" that he is mistakenly believing will occur will be eaten up by the large settlement Ms. Edwards is sure to get for this latest misguided blunder.

Enough is enough with this guy.

Anonymous said...

Enough is enough and it's time for a change!!

Rich Cahill in 2011 !!!

Anonymous said...

Lets hope the voters clean this rubbish out of city hall in the next election. From the Mayor right on down to the ones who stand there, say nothing and watch him perform his acts of utter stupidity at our expense.

Anonymous said...

9:23 You forgot that he let Gorsline cash out 190 sick days when he could only have 150. That's about $10,000.00. When will this stop, Sottile and company just keeps ripping off the taxpayers and the council lets him get away with it.

Anonymous said...

I don't understand why he laid her off when the Council had her salary included back in the budget, can anyone explain that part?

Anonymous said...

So maybe we ought to start holding interviews for a new mayor - NOW. Seriously, let's put an ad in the paper:
Desperately seeking candidate for Mayor of the City of Kingston. Need not be a member of MENSA, but must crack the triple digits on any reliable IQ test. Candidate must have a basic understanding of contract law, a respect for workers' rights, and support a diverse constituency that is struggling to get by under the draconian policies of current city leadership. Interviews will be held at the July CLC meeting. Labor will conduct the interviews because they were the only people who have consistently called the incumbent mayor a nincompoop for several years now and took a lot of flak for it. Apparently, they are a great judge of character. Liars, belligerent personalities, and those prone to bar fights need not apply. Women and Minorities are encouraged to apply. We are an equal opportunity employer.
- The Citizens of Kingston,NY

Anonymous said...

Where is Bill Reynolds? He is the majority leader and he is remaining silent on all these union issues. When he comes in for CLC endorsement we will ask him why.

Anonymous said...

As a teamster assigned to the CLC I remember Bill Reynolds and Jen Ringwood coming in touting themselves as "UNION FRIENDLY DEMOCRATS". Ringwood is gone now by where the hell is Reynolds. He took our endorsement and now that our CSEA brothers and sisters need him he's no where to be found. Typical politician lip service only.

Anonymous said...

It is a shame that this has happened. There is so much good that labor and management can do when they work together for everyones benefit.

The City of Kingston needs that to happen soon followed by the entire County.

Anonymous said...

Hey Bullhorner,
I also was at the CLC interveiws
two years ago when Bill Reynolds came in for our indorsement. This guy is all talk and no action he is full of shit! Who cares if Working Families Party endorses him or not lets make a statement and kick him in the ass! He is the democrats leader in kingston. Let make an example of him. We don't care if he wins he just doesnt get our support this year.

Anonymous said...

hey Bullhorner, I'm hearing that Alderman Charles Landi thinks he's on "good terms" with labor especially CSEA just because he was involved with his union 100 years ago in the Shwangunk Prison once upon a time. He's been retired for years and has forgotten all about what is best for labor. Here is a true story: They liked him so much during his tenureship at the prison some of the prisoners stuffed him in an industrial dryer and were going to kill him! And he was only maintenance for crying out loud!This guy went to CSEA for an endorsement last year with his corny "credentials" which got a big laugh after he left. That's why they only gave him half of the contributions they gave the other candidates they supported. Doubtful he gets any thing from them this year. CLC needs to take a long look on whether to help him out too........

bullhorner said...

Labor understands that candidates can't do everything for everybody but doing nothing for anybody isn't an option.

If standing up for working people is a lot to ask of a candidate, that candidate shouldn't expect us to stand up for them.

Anonymous said...

Here's some good news; the CSEA's Statewide Election Committee has sustained the protest of the challengers in the Unit 8951 Election.

The SEC found that the rejection of the challangers application was a matter of form over substance.

Therefore, the dues paying members of the city's CSEA unit will have the chance to cast their ballots afterall.

Anytime democracy is upheld its a good thing.

Anonymous said...

3:52 You're right there is a lot of good that would come out of meetings by labor /management. But this Mayor wont have it. He is the King and what he says goes. Its a shame that the council wont stand up to him. Reynolds and company should all go this year.

Anonymous said...

Why would the Unions support any of the current Alderman?

Anonymous said...

Madsen has at least spoken up and supported working people so why wouldnt we support him??

It was he who spoke up first to save the peoples jobs when it was evident that there was no savings to the taxpayers by cutting those jobs.

Anonymous said...

Madsen should be rewarded by labor for his pro working family stance. No other alderman has lifted one finger to help out CSEA of any other labor organization in Kingston. Kudos Mike keep up the good work.

Anonymous said...

Going into City Hall in the City of Kingston is like going into a shark tank. I always ask my friend at city hall how are the sharks doing. I think everyone needs a little lexpro in some of those officeses. Wow if you don't agree with them they think that you are after them. I have never met so many women against each other in my life. This is a fight between who can kiss who's ass the fastes. Unreal the way a bunch of these so called ladies act. Most need some classes on how to act like a servent of the public and each other. Wow this is nuts. There is a woman there her name is Paula and she is rude, not personable at all, and just needs to take a chill pill. Not everyone is out to get you my dear, sometimes you just need to be sercure in your woman hood, and take a breath.

Anonymous said...

are you shut down????

Anonymous said...

Busy, working on something else??