Tuesday, May 12, 2009


I don't know how the initiative to merge the DPW and Rec. Departments together came to be. I certainly had no prior knowledge of the concept before the story broke in the local papers.

How is that possible you ask? Well, from what I've heard from my colleagues, no-one was consulted from the Council before the press release. Needless to say, a few of us have reservations.

Reading the banter between management and the union leadership, while chatting with the rank & file, I have to urge caution to those who are rushing to make this merger happen. Why?

The Departments were created separately for a reason. The training for operations in the two are different and the job description for either will provide much confusion during the time of transition. I'm not sure how much was developed as a proposal before letting the public know of the concept but so far, from what I hear from our employees, it seems empty.

Additionally, there is the threat of yet another wave of grievances and lawsuits as a result of this internal transfer of personnel. This may constitute a shift of job description without employee consent. Was this not considered? We don't have the money for this nonsense!

In an email to the Council from the CSEA Pres, Bart Robins says: "The Mayor did not involve us with this this move of his, he simply told us he was doing this in the near future and showed us some archaic code where DPW oversees maintenance of the parks. This can still be done without the merger."

The issue of Rec. seasonal help and their subsequent replacement by full-time employees came up. They'll be doing overtime hours with unforseen financial implications. [good greif] I think this may need serious discussion amongst the Council and the Administration to better understand the fast track nature of this merger.

Keep in mind, we have had years of discussion on the subject of how to collect trash and recycling better and yet here we are merging departments in a few months? Is it safe to say I feel apprehension as we step forward on this issue.

As Union leaders and the Mayor dive into this further, I'd like the Council to be more closely involved or maybe other Councilmen are having such discussions and I don't know about it. Wouldn't surprise me.


Anonymous said...

OK, I'm confused. Some of you councilmen have expressed support for the merger already and some have not. I thought it was a little early myself, and yet here you are stating the obvious...A week later, but here none-the-less. Teetsel is in the Mayor's office almost daily and you havent had this conversation with him? Weren't you two close? What happened?

Anonymous said...

The Mayor has more contact with Teetsel than Noble. What's going on here?
Did you hear the Minority speech Teetsel gave last month? Whatever Sottile is looking for in Albany, It will be at the hands of the Republicans. Just look at his track record with Labor.

Anonymous said...

If the merger happens, will Steve and Julie have to take a turn on the back of a packer?

Anonymous said...

I find all this to be a Red Herring. Beyond that even a Sardine Solution to our Labor/Finance Woes. Stated another way the big fish that need to be reeled in are the Police/Fire/Administration salaries and benefits in this town.

No reasonable person opposes a fair shake for wages. However look at your budget. In a city with an average income of 23k let's stretch and say City Employees should be worth twice that?????
but three or four times that????
Wow! Then take a ride around town or a walk into the offices a city hall and check out the real work.

Need I say more???Shreck

Anonymous said...

Mike seems Landi knows about it and so does DiBella, where is Hoffay and Reynolds on this issue?

Mike Madsen said...

Is it just the nature of those who comment on this and other blogs anonymously, or is there a deep current of rudeness in everyone when prompted to think about the issues of the day. I saw what happened on another Blog when the "moderation" was turned off. Not good. Some of the unflattering comments I let through because there are no accusations or foul language. But of the hundreds of viewers who just peruse the Blogs for comment interaction, why not a word to the contrary?
Should I limit the comments to "Author Signatory" only?

Mike Madsen said...

If I recall, the opinions from Landi and DiBella followed the Email plea by CSEA leadership for the Council to reconsider the merger. Then everyone started forming opinions and visiting the Mayors office. If they had been privy to his intentions before the issue was publicised, I was unaware.

Thanks for the question.

Anonymous said...

you are correct, Sir,,

rudeness does seem to be the coin of the realm,,

on many blogs the posters seem to have nasty grudges against certain people & are just rude, rude, rude,,
i hate to say this on yr blog,, but the most vehement of posters are radical Dems with nasty things to say about the GOP. Just plain NASTY !! One likes to call them pugs,, just childish & R U D E !
i applaud you for even mentioning it,,

Anonymous said...

I know of the Blog of which you speak. The un-moderated comments were disgusting. I know the drunken fool that authored a few of those comments and frankly I am ashamed to work with him.

Anonymous said...

Bravo 7:12 AM

Wouldn't we all love to find a job and then make that the last day we did a full day of work.Think the city is bad, check out the county.

Talk to people in retail,construction,human services,sales,nursing.See how much skate time,benefits, paid holidays and super insurance + retirement they get.

Anonymous said...

If parks becomes part of d.p.w.,do the employees of p&r still maintain the parks considering their knowledge of the routine,or,for example,do we have a rec worker cleaning streets while a sewer worker mows the lawn at hutten park, i just don't get it-please fill us in on the pros and cons

Anonymous said...

I certainly don't think anyone needs to be getting paid to do overtime in the current economy - so if that would be a result of this merger I see it as a negative... People need jobs in this city, so whatever gets worked out, folks should keep that fact in mind. In fact, I think (and this is a much larger issue...) folks should consider 30 hour work weeks and single-payer health benefits for all... That would mean more jobs would be available; health care needs would be met for everyone; mothers and/or fathers would have more time with their children (and have to spend less on childcare expenses); and that the folks that are lucky enough to have (and handle) jobs in this fast-paced - but tattered and torn economy" - might" even have time to "breathe."