Tuesday, February 23, 2010

DIFFERENCES in Government (fed, state,county, town, teachers) & Private Wages are destroying the lifestyle and future of Ulster County ------------ Therefore, future Ulster County Government Contracts must limit salary increases.

Below is a table (2008) which shows the results of past and present government contracts. Look at the SPREAD between private and government wages. In Ulster, the private salary average is low and falling relative to surrounding counties and relative to government workers including teachers. This is the downward SPIRAL that Ulster is now into. What does this table show us? It shows that the Ulster private job quality has been decimated since IBM left the area. It also shows that since IBM left, Ulster’s Government contracts and wages HAVE NOT taken into account the private worker's ability to pay. What is this doing to Ulster County? It is destroying our lifestyle and the prospects for our kid’s future here.

What should we do?

We must DEMAND that new Government contracts (county, town, city, teachers) have little or no salary increases to bring Ulster County’s SPREAD below in line with surrounding counties.

COUNTY    GOVT. Wages      PRIVATE Wages       SPREAD          RATIO

Ulster            49148                      31814                      17334                1.54

Dutchess      51018                      45270                        5748                1.12

Greene          45321                      29822                      15499                1.52

(Above data from  http://www.labor.ny.gov/stats/lsqcew.shtm)

Tuesday, February 9, 2010


The mayor and the Kingston Paid Firefighters Union are making my point that we should convert one of Kingston's three paid fire stations to Volunteer. This can be done if the mayor and council were serious about this conversion. If the new, improved Volunteer Fire Station got proper funding, this volunteer station could be as good as the Town of Ulster's famous Ulster Hose Volunteer Station on Albany Avenue near the Town of Ulster Library. We should accomplish this converting of one fire station to volunteer before the Mayor and firefighter's union sit down to negotiate the 2011 contract. This will allow the Mayor to have more clout with the powerful firefighter's union.


Correct me if I am wrong, but I did not read or hear about teachers and support people forgoing their raises and automatic step increases for 2010 and 2011. Most of the other suggestions are smokescreens and "feel good" suggestions which obscure the reality of this CRISIS which has the potential of destroying our local school district via massive layoffs. The Teacher's Union leaders will allow the school district to go over the cliff before cooperating will a serious effort to SAVE OUR SCHOOLS.

What person or event will put a stop to these OUT OF CONTROL union contracts and their salary increases. Leaders who are HONEST will work to repeal the laws which allow union contracts grow out of control in NY STATE. The DISMANTLING of our local school districts via teacher and support layoffs combined with a hopeless BANKRUPTCY situation is the WHAT could stop this insanity. WE THE PEOPLE should keep up the pressure on School Superintendents and School Boards by refusing to accept silly nonsense which is used to justify any salary increases in this EMERGENCY situation. Also, we need SCHOOL VOUCHERS which will allow parents to have their children attend any school with a government voucher of $5000. In other words, the school tax money goes to the parents via a voucher, and parents choose their schools by giving them the voucher. With vouchers, we will have school competition, which will make them better, more efficient and cheaper. Our young teachers will have several schools where they can look for work, instead of dealing with one local Human Resource department. It SOUNDS GOOD doesn't it. Let's try it. Tell Kevin Cahill, Larkin and Bonasic that you want School vouchers.

Thursday, February 4, 2010


I am asking for suggestions and help with the following project. It is related to several important city issues, such as the Kingston Paid Firefighters lawsuit against the city over the City's right not to fill 3 firefighter vacancy, new pension options for future city union contracts, the partial re-assessment of City properties, the City Equalization rate and how it makes our school taxes go up, the County-City SAFETYNET welfare debate, city funding for Kingston Public Access TV, and others.  We want the Common Council aldermen to be more opinionated and proactive and open with the city residents. I would like to use my ULSTERTAX.BLOGSPOT.COM where the alderman's positions on issues could be polled on a regular basis?  For example, can we collaborate to email the aldermen periodically and post the results of the poll including any non-responses.

Most of us city residents have to work 30, 40, 50 hours per week and cannot afford to attend council meetings. The Freeman articles are good but in no way poll all of the alderman on issues, especially before the voting occurs.  If you have any comments or ideas, please post them here.  Thanks.