Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Kingston Mayor Sottile not running for re-election in 2011 - Interview Candidates

The key words for the City of Kingston are "Pay Freeze".  My fellow Kingston taxpayers, let's start asking the potential candidates (Clement Hayes, Rich Cahill, Andi Turco-Levin, Bill Reynolds, Shayne Gallo and others) how they feel about Pay Freezes written into the 3 upcoming 2011 contracts for DPW, Fire and Police.  Please let's post their replies on this blog.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Saugerties Schools Teacher's Contract Negotiation

The key words are Pay Freeze.  That means 2 things.  1)  Zero Percent pay increase 2) Elimination of Step Increases (note-- Local school boards are free to eliminate step increases.) If ever there was an opportunity to get rid of the obnoxious and unfair Step Increases for longevity and coursework, it is NOW.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

What if NYS cities and towns band together for Municipal Bankruptcy

What if Kingston and about 20 other NY State cities, towns, and school districts banned together to request Municipal Bankruptcy? Do you think the unions and elected state officials would take notice then? In other words, all the municipalities and school districts are now held hostage by NYS teacher and municipal unions. We could ban together to break this stranglehold that the unions have on the NYS taxpayers. Mark my word, it will come to that. We cannot go on like we are. The taxpayer suffering with unfunded pensions and unbridled pay increases will escalate. Face reality and take action, since the current union contract conditions point to a very bleak future for our children and grandchildren.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Mark My Word......Bankruptcy is the only answer.

We have to clear out all of the present municipal union and teacher union contracts and start from scratch.  After talking with Mayor Sottile on KCR radio, he admits that it is almost impossible to get rid of "accumulated perks" such as 17 "free" days off in the Kingston Police contract out of union contracts without giving away some other perk. New York State law is so heavily slanted in favor of union leaders and their negotiating position with municipalites and school boards, that there is no chance to correct these problems without a state constitutional convention or with bankruptcy.  We cannot wait for a constitutional convention. Therefore, I know it sounds drastic, but I would like to see a domino effect where one city and town after another files for bankruptcy to begin to process of purging the taxpayers of union contract responsibilities.

Friday, December 3, 2010

In NY, Union Contracts Cannot Start with Clean Slate--We may need Bankruptcy

Recently on the radio, we were discussing the union contract "perks" which have accumulated over the "good" years of past negotiations with school boards and municipalities.  A recent news article revealed that the Kingston Police officers receive 17 extra days off per year.  This is an example of an accumulated "perk" which continues to find itself in each new Kingston Police union contract.  School Boards and municipalities need reform at the state and local level which will allow union contracts to START with a CLEAN SLATE which can get rid of "deadwood" provisions in local contracts  Otherwise, it is inevitalble that there will be state, school and municipal bankruptcies which will FORCE a Clean Slate for our teachers, police, fire and municipal workers.


It is WRONG for the City of Kingston or the Kingston City Schools to call for Pay Increases and Tax Increases. We taxpayers especially in NY State have been taken for FOOLS for so long. The new taxpayer rallying cry should be DON'T INCREASE OUR TAXES TO GIVE UNION WORKERS RAISES. Let's get our local governments back in control with the flexibility they need to balance their budgets without increasing taxes. Our future teacher, police and fire contracts should have tax increase circuit breakers which say that salary increases are allowed for the year only if taxes can be maintained at ZERO INCREASE. Let's debate and discuss future Police, Fire and Teacher contracts in the open with the issue of NO Tax Increases firmly on the table.