Link Update

The Organizational Meeting minutes is updated and a link for it can be found on the right of this page. Salary Addendum is attached.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Double Standards, Double Talk and huh? by Michael Cristo

Somedays, even we get tired of writing here, but then others just leave you scratching your head.  Couple of things I just want to throw out there because... well there's a whole lot that just doesn't make sense.

Politics shouldn't be a game where it's right for me and not right for you.  If it's right it's right, if it's wrong it's wrong, period!  I was lambasted during the election and for the better part of last year for, (and I'll repeat the ridiculous term here), being a double dipper.  More from Councilman Malone than any other member of the democratic party, but the party as well, were so outraged and offended by the double dipping practice, that they had Phil Danaher and myself removed from the board by the court.  Hey ya win some ya lose some.

The hypocrisy of opposing an individual, who by the way followed a long standing practice in the County, of holding one paying position at the County and then another at the Town must make one wonder why THIS SAME board, would condone three people, who by the way did not train or plan for a replacement, but three people to retire taking advantage of the retirement incentive, and THEN hiring the very same people back as independent contractors TO DO THE SAME FREAKIN JOB!

Forget about double dipping at different levels of government, this board is actually condoning it in the same position.  Is it me or is this a contradiction of epic proportions?  OK we'll move on, maybe I'm wrong.

How about passing over a long standing town resident who has been an active member of the fire department and a competent guy to appoint three new officers to the police department.  I'm sure that the three officers are qualified, but at least one does not already live in Town.  The individual who got passed over is of outstanding character, would have been a lateral move and has paid taxes in this Town for years.  Surely he should have been at the top of the list... maybe he just has the wrong last name... again, I could be wrong.

Ok, so let's go to the article submitted by the Chief Fiscal Officer of the County this week... Mike Slawson.  Mr. Slawson corrected, in this week's advertiser, Mr. Malone's contention that "Rensselaer County Taxes are among the highest in the State."

Mr. Malone will likely spin this and dismiss it as a mere formality of facts, but Mr. Slawson is very clear about the inaccuracy of Malone's statement, although he doesn't name him.  It's one of those instances where you shouldn't believe the facts, just what you're told by those in office.  That makes sense.  Here is what Mr. Slawson left out of his article, likely for brevity, which I tend to totally disregard:

According to the New York State Association of Counties (NYSAC), just 9 state mandates consume 90% of the county property tax levy across the entire state.These mandated programs include:
Medicaid Child Welfare Temporary Assistance/Safety Net Indigent Defense Early Intervention
Preschool Special Education Probation Youth Detention Pensions

89% of the County taxes are mandated by the State, meaning the State legislature makes us pay for things they didn't think of when they forced the programs on us.  The above 9 programs, according to Mr. Slawson and the report from the NYSAC, make up 90% of your County tax bill.

Mr. Malone likes to cast blame anywhere but within his own party or himself for that matter.  How about his solution to some of the problems that they continue to ignore.  The million dollar pay down the Supervisor notes in his report mostly came from the highly successful and well received property revaluation in Town which had a net gain of over $800,000... yeah it's easy to pay down debt when you're sucking it out of the tax payers.  We didn't have a 25% increase, because we didn't need one... we got it from a number of back door methods.

As for the Deputy Chief position... another head scratcher that I opposed over a year ago.  Not quite sure how adding another level of bureaucracy to an already bureaucratic ladened Town is any kind of solution, especially when you had to raise salaries to do it, both the Chief's and the Deputies, but hey, it's the golden rule right?  Those with the gold rule?  In the meantime, the very people who voters trusted to be a different kind of leader... simply seem to just play follow the leader and any financial or administrative know how is simply viewed as a minor inconvenience.  Maybe I'm wrong.
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