Wednesday, June 03, 2009


As many of you know already, the Mayor and the Common Council have offered early retirement options to city employees who are eligible. What the Council voted on this past Tuesday night was the approval for the transfers to reflect the restructuring program set up by the Mayors office. Those early retirements are part of the restructuring plan.

The details provided to us, indicate a 70K injection into the city's contingency fu
nd for 2009 with a continual budget savings of over $400K annually. Considering what the budget landscape looks like for 2010, we are going to need every penny.

So what were the changes? Well, several of the positions that have opened up as a result of the early retirement program will be left unfilled. Some others have been made part time and one, the safety officer,
has been made full time.

That one position brings an increase of $14K/year. This gave some arguing points for Bob Senor to give some much desired floor time talking about "sneaking" additional costs into the budget. Then he turned around and voted in favor anyway, citing the overall worth of the restructuring program.

What gave credence to his arguement was the fact that we just downsized a few needed positions in the workforce where we could have
merely increased their duties to cover the needed effort. I could see his point, but the task of managing the departments is really up to the superintendents and the Mayor. Cross your fingers.

Mind you, we are losing police officers and firefighters in this program. The code enforcer, the position I just addressed, has been completely eliminated, with those duties melded into the job of the refuse foreman. I don't know how he's going to do it all.

John Tuey provided all of us Councilmen the details at previous committee meetings and we were all quite aware of the changes before the transfers came before the council meeting.

All I can say is, I truly hope this idea works out. To restructure the workforce over the course of a few months is a tricky task and I'm hoping the needs of the city are met without much fuss or additional funds after it's done.


Anonymous said...

BRAVO- A good step forward. Municipalities have to act like corporate America and tighten their belts. I am not sure if all the right decisions were made, but it is definitely a correct decision to move along. Your election along with those other elected officials have a fiduciary aspect to their job and many times do not cohesively appreciate that fine line.

As for some of those jobs eliminated by anything beyond attrition nor "buyout" that will be a course that the City will have to factor or suffer from.

With that said, I will again request that someone commence the job of "running" a budget so that this singular document is not put together in November. Most of American business' establish a budget in November and December, but provide up to date spending throughout the year. A budget is a document that does get modified during the year, but if done properly does not create surprises. My recommendation as per usual is to sit down now with Mr. Toughy and commence the process today. November is many months away, and much will be changed.
Just my 44 cents worth
Shelly Z

PS- if any of your blog readeers have not made a contribution to the American Cancer Society- Relay for Life- please consider it- The life you save might just be your own

Anonymous said...

What about the retired fireman who now is the janiter at City hall? Is that really fair? From running the building dept to cleaning toilets doesn't make any sense. Is he really going to do his job or is this just a favor?

Anonymous said...

You didn't mention the TWO SKILLED MECHANICS jobs he just created in the DPW at asst.supertendence pay Doesn't sound like he is really trying to save anything, just pad some new pockets.And moving workers from one department to another but making them do the same work doesn't sound like your going to save anything!

Anonymous said...

What is the savings going to been when the overtime increases to cover the requirements of several contracts?

Anonymous said...

I've been to enough of these meetings to say that the current lack of minority input as well as their compliance and conformity forces the majority to dispute issues and artificially create factions within itself, just to offer some form of second opinion.

Anonymous said...

Mike: What about the retired deputy chief getting that job over a city of kingston resident. That Chief doesn't even live in Kingston and a hard working man has to struggle to feed his family. That isn't fair.

Anonymous said...

Mike the mayor is paying the assistant superintendent overtime to hand out paychecks. Why are we doing this?