Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Hannon's Police Gambit

“It is weakness rather than wickedness which renders men unfit to be trusted with unlimited power” - John Adams

It appears that Hannon has found his soul mate in Mayor Ryan. They both have aggressive political agendas that have little to do with economic development or public safety. Both are pursuing power for its own sake rather than for the public well being.

The Johnson City Village Board and the Binghamton City Council will be voting this week on the "sharing" of a police chief. Both municipalities are claiming great savings from this arrangement. However, this deal appears to be much like Johnson City's deal for a shared "Fire Administrator". If there are savings, it appears that they will be Binghamton's.

A quick review of the inter municipal agreement for the "Fire Administrator" is called for. Below is a summary of the agreement Endicott and Johnson City. Had Johnson City promoted through the ranks, it would have cost approximately $30,000. Instead, Mayor Hannon chose to spend over $83,000 to obtain a "yes man" part-time fire administrator. In Mayor Hannon's world, one can't put a price on the acquisition of power (especially when the taxpayer is footing the bill!).

Enter Binghamton Police Chief Joe Zikuski. This is an individual who's entire career has been plagued by personal and financial woes. Whether it is his divorce, dating and marrying a subordinate, or his personal bankruptcies, Chief Zikuski has shown himself unable to manage himself much less a police department. This is the person we will depend on to stand for the rule of law in the face of political pressures from Mayors Hannon and Ryan? Could Mayor Hannon have picked a more personally vulnerable candidate for Chief of the Johnson City Police Department? Mayor Hannon knows weakness when he sees it and Chief Joe Zikuski (much like Joint Fire Administrator Hrustich) fits the bill.

And what of the Johnson City Police Rules and Regulations? They hold that "Financial irresponsibility is contrary to the special public trust granted to all officers of the Department." Failure to be financially responsible is a punishable offense under the Department's Rules. And the reason for this rule is that financial irresponsibility makes officers more vulnerable to graft or political influence in carrying out lawful duties. It now appears clear why Chief Zikuski is the candidate of choice.

Hannon's bullying has also insured that there will be no one left to question his hand picked lackey. Most, if not all of Johnson City's police command structure is retiring to avoid being plagued by Hannon's abusive use of discipline.

Mayors Hannon has repeatedly shown his willingness to abuse his position to attack and destroy all enemies. Does this further consolidation of power serve the public's interest or his own personal schemes. Once Hannon has taken control over the "police power" in Johnson City, is anyone safe?

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