Wednesday, November 19, 2008


Once again, the Aldermen get to grill a few department heads for the purpose of cutting taxes.

We had several successful meetings with prior departments, but Tuesday night was the hot seat for the Recreation Dept.

Unfortunately, this is where you’ll come to grips with the fact that they maintain 13 parks and run dozens of senior and youth programs with 10% of the amount of money as the next higher department. It’s pretty sad really.

As we chipped away at the personnel and some of the programs we still don’t know if we will restore Parks Director position that the Mayor had cut from the revised budget, If that position was restored, it would render an increase of $8,000 in the Rec. Budget. What will become of the eliminated Rec. Director? It doesn’t look good. We won’t know until we see the additional cuts that Director Gilfeather plans to offer the Council. The part time environmental educator might have to fill the void in programs this year.

Budget cuts have affected the year round youth programs and diminished the summer programs by several weeks. All of the capital projects have been put off until next year and the suggestion of closing a building and/or smaller park even came up.

Although we asked for cuts, it was noted that with a fraction of the operating funds compared to Police and Fire, we were asking for a much larger percentage in the level of requested cutting. Don’t be surprised if we approach the Fire and Police Departments one more time.


Anonymous said...

Your on the right track!

Anonymous said...

Couldnt Steve Noble handle the bulk of the Rec Leader's job desciption with other staff taking up what he cant get to?

I would say keep MJW and lose the Rec Leader. But dont stop there. Get back to the Fire Department and reduce their overtime.

Anonymous said...

I hear all the special events are out of the budget. Excellent!
Thats where the overtime comes out.
Anyone who wants to have an event, must pay for the estimated services of our Police, Fire and DPW services. End of story.
The Parks Dept always gets the beating during tough times. Lets look at the big three for a change.

Anonymous said...

You should restore the Parks administrator position as well as the recreation leader position as well.

Here's why.

Bart Robins and Troy ashdown know the contract inside and out. They undoubtably will raise the issue of the part time environmental educator working out of title as a recreation leader.
Article 10 section 4D states:

No person shall be employed under any title not appropiate to the duties to be performed and no person shall be assigned to perform the duties of any position unless he or she has been duly appointed or promoted to such position in accordance with the provisions of the Civil Service Law. Any employee assigned temporarily to perform duties of a higher classification, IN AN EMERGENCY SITUATION, shall be compensated at a highe rate of pay.

Laying off a rec leader is not an emergency.

Being how the council and the Mayor has treated CSEA, $200,000.00in job cuts, threats about retirees health insurance, continued violation of there contract any money you save by touching the rec department personel wiil be eaten up in grievance and attorney costs. Look and see how much the city has spent in 08 on the attorney fees sent to Roemer, Wallens and Mineaux. Maybe you should cut that expense, because you have Shayne Gallo on staff and he has a lawyer for CSEA and the PBA.

Leave CSEA alone and concentrate on the fire department. Taht is where the cuts have to come from. One fire fighter is $100,000.00.

Anonymous said...

May I remind you, if the council eliminates the Parks Administrator position, MaryJoe simply gets bumped to a different position at $8,000 less/year. Still employed, still getting full benefits. Nothing to burn down City Hall over.

Anonymous said...

You Alderman and Alderwomen are trying to save your jobs by screwing the tax payers,BUT YOU DONT REALIZE WE WILL REMEMBER IN NOVEMBER!! so keep thinking you can hurt us and get away with it

Mike Madsen said...

Is anyone amazed that I publish some of these comments?
Does the word "Goofball" suffice as a dignified retort?

To 8:36, you really have to settle down and ease up on the caffeine.
Join us at these budget meetings and see what happens in real time rather than cruise the Blogs all night.

For tyhe rest of you, the nine of us will continue to discuss budget issues through the weekend and meet again Monday night at 6pm at City Hall.

Mike Madsen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

These Blogs have become soapboxes for a select group of commenters. I see it on all the local blogs, same old attacks on you and everyone employed by the city.
It gets tired quick.

Stick to your guns and do good work. Its what we do in our homes, its what we expect from you.
Those with axes to grind will always consume the open forum.
Stay warm.

Anonymous said...

Hey Mike there are some real interesting stuff coming up on your blogs. Use it to decrease our taxes. Cahill idea of not replacing the deputy chief is a good one. Why not use it? Sounds like Robins and Ashdown will be writing a lot of grievances. They usually win most of them. The Mayor said the other day that they got there TV back. These guys know how to fight.
In case you haven't figured it out yet I am a CSEA member and know that Robins has won over $50,000.00 for his members who were done wrong by the mayor and gorsline violating the contract.
They're good men and you should have invited them to your meeting and asked thier advice.

Anonymous said...

Is it trye that Mike Amato is getting laid off. Who will run the softball leagues, Biddy Basketball and all the other programs he runs.
Steve Noble is a environmental educator not a rec leader.

Anonymous said...


Based on the Freeman headlines - you guys are tightening the screws - I mean when the holy grail of overtime is mentioned - the ZMayor OKs tapping the fund balance that he defended as necessary?

It seems clear that the contracts negotiated by Sottile during election time - have hamstrung any meaningful cuts - file bankruptcy and the contracts are out.

Anonymous said...

Why the personal attack on the park administrator,did she upset the"nephew" she oversees? $8,000 is nothing in the $36,000,000 budget.

Anonymous said...

The N.Y. State choice will be Robert F. Kennedy Jr. or Patterson or Cuomo.

Anonymous said...

Right on 4:46
She wouldn't let the nature people spend money like a drunken sailor. So they went to Uncle Jimmy.

Anonymous said...

Mike we don't have to attend these meeting. That's what we elected you for. Take the ideas that are on your blog and air them out at a meeting.

Anonymous said...

Mike 3:39 is right on the money, we dont get told to appear on the Senate floor when we have state issues,were asked to call our Senators.So we are asking you to do what we elected you to do,take our suggestions to the council floor.