Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Part Time Leadership, Full Time Expense

“Three groups spend other people's money: children, thieves, politicians. All three need supervision.” -Dick Armey

Fire Starter has learned that Dennis Hannon and the Village of Johnson City Board are again entertaining an expensive and foolhardy plan to share an assistant police chief with the City of Binghamton. It will be expensive for all the reasons previously detailed in our posts about the part time "Joint Fire Administrator" and the part time Police Chief. It is foolhardy in that it represents a "fix" to a problem that would not exist but for Hannon's insistence that a part time police chief could manage the Village of Johnson City police department.

First the cost. As previously detailed, the Village of Johnson City is underwriting the cost of the Fire Chief for Endicott and the Police Chief for Binghamton. We have detailed the economics in prior posts.

Wealthy Joint Fire Administrator

Hannon's Police Gambit

The Village of Johnson City is underwriting services in neighboring municipalities to the tune of $50,000 for each "Chief" position. As a result, the Village of Johnson City is paying more money for less work and less supervision.

Now for the foolhardy. Hannon assured residents that these part time leaders could handle the work load of full time chiefs. Apparently, this is not the case. Chief Zikuski apparently is unable to handle the work load and now requires a "part time assistant chief" in Johnson City. Hannon now must admit that they will be paying yet more money for a problem that would not exist had they appointed a full time police chief.

Fire Starter expects that the economics for this new position will be no more favorable than they were for the Chiefs. This is particularly true since the prior moves were based on a lack of need for full time leadership; an assertion that is now clearly repudiated by Hannon himself.  How long will it be before new proposals surface for unnecessary spending on further part-time positions in the fire department to compensate for the shortcomings of the  "part-time" Fire Administrator?

Again, Hannon is placing form over substance in this latest gambit. Any serious consideration of the proposal reveals serious flaws. Rather than admit the failure of the "part-time leader" meme, he has decided to double down on failure.

And as always, Village taxpayers are left to foot-the-bill for Hannon's incompetence.

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