Thursday, October 7, 2010

Improper Leave Time?

"A half-truth is the most cowardly of lies" - Mark Twain

The Press & Sun Bulletin recently ran an article regarding a state comptroller report on Johnson City.  In the report, the comptroller found over-expended accounts and "improper leave time".  The latter finding largely pertained to the fire department and was in no way explained by the story's author.  The story might lead the uninformed to assume that the fire fighters have done something wrong.  Nothing could be further from the truth.

The reality is that the "improper leave time" is what is commonly referred to as "comp time".  Comp time is additional time off granted in lieu of overtime.  In other words, instead of being paid in cash at time and one half for overtime, fire fighters were given additional time off. This allowed the village to avoid overtime costs.

Far from being beneficial to the fire fighters, this took money out of their pockets.  But it allowed the village to maintain essential services at little or no increased cost.  Even though they were not required to do so, Johnson City fire fighters agreed to allow the village to avoid this cost and pay them in "time off".

Mayor Hannon could learn a few lessons from the prior administration.  Hannon has repeatedly wasted money on fruitless, petty legal proceedings rather than seeking mutually agreeable solutions.  His "ham-handed" approach to leadership has cost the village dearly.  It is time to stop the madness and stop the madman.  Hannon must go.

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