Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Fire Away

Mayor James Sottile e-mailed city aldermen, asking them how they would pay to fill positions left empty by retirements in the fire department if the city abides by the contract with the Kingston Professional Firefighters Association. The contract says positions must be filled.

The union correctly says that the city is required to replace the three firefighters who retired last year. Sottile has said he offered retirement incentives and wanted to save money by leaving the positions unfilled. The union filed a grievance in response.

Sottile filed a lawsuit to prevent the grievance from going to arbitration even though the contract clearly states that they should do so in the event of a dispute.

Last week, a state Supreme Court judge ruled the firefighters had a right to bring the matter to arbitration. Sottile is appealing that ruling.

Sottile is pulling the old bait and switch now and trying to shift the "problem" to lawmakers who have suggested the Mayor does not have a solid court case in the position he has taken refusing to abide by the contract - THAT HE SIGNED.

Alderwoman Jennifer Fuentes of Ward 5 and Common Council Majority Leader Bill Reynolds, D-Ward 7, already have suggested Sottile's case is weak. They both realize and agree that according to the contract authorized by the previous Common Council and signed by the mayor, the Firefighters have every right to seek arbitration.

“Unfortunately, some of our employees in the police and fire departments don’t recognize the seriousness of the economic (situation) that we in the Northeast and the entire country are in,” Alderman Charles Landi said.

Alderwoman Andi Turco-Levin, R-Ward 1, who took office this year, said the latest contracts were negotiated during a time when an economic crisis was looming and she feels that not "enough consideration was given to these issues when contracts were negotiated back in 2007".

Sottile's e-mail demanded that those who think the city should give up its court case give clear ideas on how to pay to fill the three positions.

Sottile wrote, “I am being advised by some members of the council not to appeal the decision and hire three firefighters immediately. I am asking those of you who feel that these positions should be filled please give me some suggestions on how we can pay to fill these positions from the current budget.

“I would be happy to review your suggestions to see if this can be accomplished.”

Here are a couple good, solid ideas: cut some of the fat you have in that front office in your "economic development" department - who haven't economically developed shit but a drug store in 10 years or created any meaningful jobs for our residents and ax a few of the other do nothings you have wearing ties and suits and hire the three Firemen - just like YOU agreed to do when you negotiated the contract. At least they will actually do some work for their taxpayer paychecks.

If you don't like that one - fire whatever attorney you wasted our money on who helped you negotiate that contract. Don't blame the Fireman who came to that table in good faith.

Or better yet "Mayor" .....offer to cut your pay to make up for not thinking ahead or negotiating a better contract with better language in regard to retirement incentives.

Try this in the future Jimmy - think ahead for once and really do your job - and include that flip flopping Landi in this - Blaming the unions for everything when it's you two that constantly screw up is making you both look like asses every time you open your mouths.


Anonymous said...

What gets me here is that Reynolds voted for the 2010 budget knowing full well what was in this budget. The school crossing guards eliminate now back in firefighters eliminated now being suggest to be put back in. If Reynolds did his job on the budget maybe he would understand the finances of the city. He has no clue.

Anonymous said...

Bullhorner, you are on the money with your suggestions to cut some "waste", namely the economic dev. dept. personnel that have not earned thier money. Also, this mayor struggles with honoring union contracts and just plain keeping his word along with sellout alderman Chas. Landi.

Anonymous said...

Alderman Reynolds talks out of both sides of his ass, thats how he makes his living everyday bullshitting for some politician in Albany. LOL. He, along with Landi and Hoffay have enabled the Mayor to pull bonehead moves for years in kingston and now it is costing us big! The legal fees will continue to pile up as the mayor fights with ALL the city unions from one day to the next.

Anonymous said...

I would say that Reynolds was the "previous council" as the quote goes. So he admits to the screwing of the taxpayer in the city??? and he wants to run for Mayor??? well he has all of the qualifications of the previous Mayor.
I guess it is time for a Republican to take over. I am a registered Democrat who is very quickly becoming disallusioned with the current administration.

Anonymous said...

Bullhorner the mayor could also get rid of the one of the 2 asst.superintendents that have the same job duties this will save 100 grand

Anonymous said...

Hey Bullhorner, how would the Mayor or any council members like it if some of the city workers decided that they were no longer going to abide by certain provisions of the contract, like only working three days instead of five days in a work week? Wouldnt go over very well would it? Remember Mayor Sottile it is a two way street, baby.

Anonymous said...

Sottile and Landi have both failed us taxpayers. The unions are not out of touch with the economy in this country, Sottile and Landi are. Economic and community development have done nothing to help this City. Ax both departments.
We only need one asst. superintendent also, cut one of those positions.

All non-aligned employees should start paying 20% for there health insurance. Including the fire chief and his secretary, both non union positions.

Anonymous said...

We also dont need two Senior Treatment Plant Operators, I hear one of them is never in the plant, he is out doing what we pay a sewer foreman and the two asst.superintendants to do. We know they are all part of the FAMILY AND FRIENDS PLAN of this disfunctional administration.

Anonymous said...

I would like to see some of the new council members to become "watch dogs" for the people as well as the workers that are covered under contract. Jen Fuentes, Andi Turco- Levin, and Hayes Clemente are freshmen alderpeople. It takes courage to speak against wrongdoing and poor business and gov't moves within local gov't. I think that we, labor that is, need to pay attention as to how these folks conduct themselves on and off the council floor. Actions speak louder than words. Lets see what happens...

Anonymous said...

I'm Mother Jonesing for some good labor updates Bullhorner. What's been going on? It's too quiet.

Anonymous said...

Sottile is not even an amateur--he isn't even perhaps a NOVICE. He has no clue as to how to run anything much less a city.
BTW--8:51 is Sottile in his inimitable inferiority-complex--hard-won for certain--beating at bushes and coming up short.