Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Malevolence And Incompetence

“Incompetence - When you earnestly believe you can compensate for a lack of skill by doubling your efforts, there's no end to what you can't do.” - Larry Kersten

Fire Starter has repeatedly detailed the incompetence and malevolence of Dennis Hannon. Whether throwing good money after bad in ill conceived court battles or pursuing all enemies for any percieved slight, hannon has shown himself incapable of wielding the power and responsibility attendant to his position as Mayor. Even the Press & Sun Bulletin, which seems pained to report anything that reflects negatively on Hannon had to notice his childish approach to criticism.

First the malevolence. Recreation Director Chris Hinkey smeared and then replaced by Hannon crony and WBNG assignments editor Scott Gallagher. Dempsey charges times two. Maney charged for speaking out regarding safety issues. The "lowly maintenance man" fired for taking the day off and not being present to clear the snow for Hannon's coronation. Potts run from his position as chief for opposing the K-9 program. Other police retirees smeared by inuendo in the made up controversy over seized money. The only real question on the malevolence front is...who is next.

Now for the incompetence. While pursuing all threats real and perceived, Hannon has totally lost control of Village finances. Hannon has given a blank check to his lawyers to pursue his enemies in the village and failed to budget for upcoming liabilities.

In the last year Hannon has wasted over $250,000 on lawyers to pursue an ill conceived legal strategy. Thus far, Hannon has little to show for his reckless spending. Hannon also hired "patsy" police and fire chiefs costing taxpayers over $130,000 more than if he promoted from within. Hannon's hand picked "Joint Fire Administrator" failed to secure ANY federal funding through the Federal SAFER program costing the village hundreds of thousands of dollars (the City of Binghamton was awarded a SAFER grant of over $900,000).

Hannon has also failed to budget for impending expenses. The police department remains 5 years out-of-contract. Even with minimal raises, there is an unfunded liability in excess of $350,000. There are also the laid off fire fighters who will be owed in excess of $350,000 in retroactive pay and benefits when they are finally returned to work. All the while, Hannon is claiming fiscal prudence and trumpeting the low tax increase for fiscal year 2010-2011. What is becoming ever clearer is that Hannon's "fiscal prudence" is all smoke and mirrors. It is based in a reality known only to Hannon.

A review of the last eighteen months reveals a pattern of conduct which has been fiscally destructive to the Village of Johnson City. Hannon has spent the village beyond its means and ignored looming liabilities. If one were trying to set the stage for a renewed dissolution movement, one could not follow a better path than that traversed by Hannon these last 18 months. Which gives rise to the question: Is Hannon actually pursuing dissolution?

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