Thursday, July 24, 2008


During Wednesday’s meeting of Laws & Rules, we discussed the Sexual Harassment case that has plagued the DPW Department and City Hall for months.

The Human Rights director, Tawana Washington, said that the final report was nearly complete. Alderman Charlie Landi jumped in first, asking that the Aldermen get a copy as soon as it is finalized. Hoffay echoed the opinion as did the rest of the Council.

We all feel, as Landi was quoted, that the public should know what we’ve spent all this money on in court. The outcome, should be aired out regardless of the commission’s verdict. However, the Mayor disagrees.

On another note, Tom Hoffay, with some verbal inspiration from me, proposed changes in some language in the “protected class” descriptions.

The original language states in section one; unlawful to discriminate based on sex, right in the first paragraph. That has been changed to: unlawful to discriminate against Gender, Gender Identity, and so on. The word SEX has been relegated to a verb only in this context.

Also added to the long list of “protected class” descriptions is the term, sexual orientation. Although it is included in the New York State statute on non-discrimination, we had it placed front-and-center with the rest.
As you will recal, Gov Pataki signed the SONDA legislation years ago. It has altered the employment landscape here in NY since. The security of employees who are or perceived to be gay/lesbian in the workforce has caused a noticable decrease in employee dismissal and diminished sick time.

I expect to see a better workforce serving in our DPW as a result of the revised Non-Discrimination Policy as well as the harassment course everyone took. Take these tough lessons to heart and be mindful of your co-workers boundries.


Anonymous said...

You've got to destroy that Carvelle shot of our friend Tom. Thanks for all the great posts and your efforts...smitty

Anonymous said...

Alderman Mike- Hi- this is a bombshell in the making. Why in the world is this taking so long. My old Japanese saying- "DAWA"- denial, awareness, withdrawal and finally acceptance- Again- I am not one to pass judgeement without all the facts- but this is taking too long. and smitty it aint really a bad shot of our newest alderman,
take care,

Anonymous said...

Shelly, I'm not positive but I think that whole sequence of denial, anger, bartering, etc.,is from Elizabeth Kubler Ross-On Death and Dying . Might be wrong and it won't be the first time or the last.
Tom loves the attention about his Carvelle look alike picture. More than most he has a GREAT sense of humor!!!smitty

Anonymous said...

Enforcement of existing rules, regulations, laws and policies in Kingston has always been - who you are and who do you know.

Anonymous said...

Kingston thrives on discrimination!

Anonymous said...

Things are acutally moving along at the usual snail's pace...

But I think (in the end) good things ARE coming out of all of this!

After all, this is not just about NOW - it will alter (positively; for our sons and daughters...) how such things are handled in the future, as well.



Anonymous said...

Make a campaign contribution to the Mayor and you are entitled to special treatment.