Monday, December 01, 2008


Well, we just had our final Finance and Caucus meeting before the big city budget vote. Aldermen had their final input on several matters and when it was all over, we settled on a 3,6% increase for residential properties within the City of Kingston.

I have to tell you, I’m not that comfortable with some of the changes we made with the programs and the personnel.

One personnel change is liable to have a financial impact in the near future, simply because Council members don’t look at the bigger picture when dealing with personalities and agendas.

But, with so much effort on the part of us Aldermen and the Dept Heads, I will endorse the current Council Budget proposal for 2009.

It started with the Equality in Tax burden shift, which we rescinded a month later, bringing the residential increase back down from its 15% increase to a 9% increase.

I’ve noted the changes in prior posts, but what is striking is the vacuum in leadership in CSEA. Council members as well as those who showed up to advocate on behalf of the affected employees all wondered why the leadership didn’t reach out for compromise with the council. They couldn’t even leave their living rooms tonight to speak !

With all that was revealed as potential cuts, I expected to see Bart and Troy at the Caucus. Would someone please get back to me with the event that occupied their attention? Caucus is when you have the most impact on big legislative issues. If you wait until the Council meeting to speak publicly on something, you’re too late. The numbers are hard to manipulate at that moment.

So, several Full-timers become Part-timers as of January. Times may be tough for the taxpayers, but I still worry about some jobs getting done at the level of quality we’ve come to expect in our mismanaged little city.


Anonymous said...

Why am I not amazed?
Bart and Troy had better things to do. I think a re-run of the Suprano's was on.

If they were worth their title as leaders of the CSEA, they would have gone to bat for their members.

As a result, the Council made parttimmers out of fulltimers. There's noone to blame but the invisible CSEA leadership.

Anonymous said...

Did the union leaders of PBA and IAFF 461 [KPFFA] show up last night?

Anonymous said...

You can blame the council for the cuts, not CSEA leadership. At the last union meeting I attended Bart said that they already had met with the Majority leader and Tom Hoffey. He assured us that Bill and Tom were going to fight for CSEA jobs, Namely Mike Amato, rec leader and Mary JO Wilshire. That Tom and Bill would bring it to the Council Caucus.
I'm sure that tonight they will be there with a few of there friends from the trade unions and although it is probably to late to save those possitions they will have there say.
Mike if you are not comfortable some of the changes speak out tonight or for ever hold your peace.

Anonymous said...

Why would CSEA leadership come see you and waste there time. They spoke out about stock piling of chemicals and you did nothing. A department head takes $14000.00 in unaccounted overtime and you do nothing. This is the good ol boys club at work.

Dee sills was unliked in City Hall and her Department head didn't even stick up for her.

Jeanne Edwards will probably own the City after this latest move of retaliation for her lawsuit. So Mike if you are uncomfotable with it DON'T DO IT.

As for Bart not being there, it was Monday night and for the past 15 years he donates his time to the Immaculate Conception Church running there Bingo.

Mike Madsen said...

10:03 If the Council was eliminating positions within the Police and Fire Dept, their leadership would have been there screaming at us.

Anonymous said...

Wow, the only Alderman who puts any thoughts out there on any issues. How is it that none of the other elected attempt to publish anything online?
Mike, you get all these annonymous comments and you actually publish them for all to see. Are you that faithful to free speach or just stupid?
Over the last two months, the Council has reworked the Mayor's budget down to something resonable. Youve gotten nothing but shit for it. So another two fulls become Parts, my income has been slashed, why not those who work for the city? Be happy we all have the jobs weve still got.

Anonymous said...

I would not trust Reynolds or Hoffay at all they are out for them only and to take the mayor down. What happended to Hoffays plume job in Albany?

Jeremiah said...

I agree with 10:43....

You do a great job putting your ideas and thoughts out there for all to see, question, and understand.

I don't live in the city, however I think that the residents of your ward have excellent representation. You all have had to make some hard choices to protect the tax payers. They may not be the right choices in all cases, but at least you guys are making them and not just running your mouths or doing nothing at all.

The union members in the city should demand a lot more from their union leadership other than quotes in the freeman. Not only should the leadership have been at that meeting but every union member should have as well. If they won't stick up for their people than why should you?

Keep up the good work.

Anonymous said...

I have to ask, why wouldnt any of the other Aldermen even bother to comment on this Blog once in a while?
Former Aldermen Zimbler and Cahill do, but no-one else. Are they afraid to be on the you?
We all know that all representatives have a tough job this year, and some of are expected to dislike the choices made, but thats part of the give and take in politics and city management. Take it or leave it.
I dont see a mad rush of people signing up to run for office next year. Thats because its not fun and you actually have to show up to meetings.
Keep up the fight!

Anonymous said...

There had to be a reason for the few employees to even be considered for the chopping block. What do they do? What is their work load?
Can they be re-instated to full time after the budget is passed?

We all make due with less. Maybe the economy will allow a change back for 2010. Just get in there and pass this budget.

Bart Robins said...


Thaks so much for your support this evening. If CSEA can ever help out let me know. You are a true friend of labor.

Mike Madsen said...

The increase for the residential tax payers is under 4%. We worked like madmen to make it so.

I really thought the Code Enforcer was over burdened at full time. I had to offer the option to the council to make the position whole at one more chance before the final vote. I just know that without the helping hand by the Coce employee, I would end up doing additional volunteer work throughout the city.

Officer Edwards does the work of 3 people as it is. It wasnt for Labor, it was for the work ethic of this one employee and the record of accomplishment she has built that compelled me to act on my own initiative.

But thanks for the offer.

Anonymous said...

Great job last night, but what about this $60.00 pen Gorsline just bought with our money. A little oversight might be in order.