Thursday, May 20, 2010

Buying Complicity

“Our country is now taking so steady a course as to show by what road it will pass to destruction, to wit: by consolidation (of power) first, and then corruption, its necessary consequence” - Thomas Jefferson

Firestarter read with great interest Mayor Hannon's claims of great savings with the acquisition of part time chief and full time lackey, Joe Zikuski. The press reported these claims unquestioningly. However, The Press & Sun Bulletin's own website gives lie to these claims.

Much like the "Joint Fire Administrator" there are no savings for Johnson City and reduced service for both communities.

Today's Press & Sun Bulletin reports that Johnson City's share of the part time chief is $84,411. Mayor Hannon claims $42,154.00 in savings. No explanation is given for this number. However, one can only assume that it contemplates bringing someone from the outside to replace Chief Potts. Had the Mayor promoted from within, the pay increase would have been no more than $14,000.

Chief Pott's salary is listed by the Press & Sun Bulletin as $85,692.76 for 2009. There are currently several high ranking Johnson City police officers who made between $70-75K per year. Had Mayor Hannon promoted one of these officers, the cost to village taxpayers would have been 11-13k per year in salary. Instead, the village will have a part-time chief at a cost of over $84,000 per year.

A new patrolman would have cost the Village less than 70k in pay and benefits. So Johnson City could have promoted from within, hired a new patrolman and still come out ahead. And they would have a full time chief!

So again, tax payers need to ask themselves: why is this a good deal from Johnson City's perspective? It appears that, much like the Village's deal with Endicott, only Binghamton saves money.

If it is not about saving taxpayers money, it has to be about control. Fire Starter has learned that the remaining high ranking police officials are unwilling to bend to Mayor Hannon's misuse of the police department. They are unwilling to do the Mayor's dirty work. They take their oath to uphold the law and Constitution seriously.

So what exactly has Mayor Hannon bought with $84,000 of taxpayer money?

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