The Appellate Division yesterday dealt a crushing blow the the meglomaniacal mayor of Johnson City and his sycophant Board. The Appellate Division held that the "no lay off" clause in the fire fighter's contract was enforceable through arbitration. Contrary to the Village's position, it was not vague, too long in duration or otherwise contrary to public policy. The court ruled that the Village must honor its commitments like everyone else!
At the moment, this is small comfort to the 6 laid off fire fighters who have been out of work for over 8 months. But if the "no layoff" clause really means what its plain language would imply, they will soon be restored to their positions with back pay. That means that the Village will have wasted a year's worth of pay and benefits (over 500k) when they could have had these fire fighters on the job. In addition, the village has spent over 250k on lawyers in this losing battle.
This did not have to happen this way. The fire fighters offered over 500k in recurring contract savings in return for not laying off the 6 fire fighters. However, as has become commonplace in JC government, the arrogance of power won out. In the end, Mayor Hannon has pursued his personal grievances on the taxpayer's dime.
JC voters will get their chance to fix this in November. Two new Board members can turn the tide and put Hannon in his place.