Thursday, January 13, 2011

The Corruption Continues

“It is said that power corrupts, but actually it's more true that power attracts the corruptible". - David Brin

Mayor Hannon of Johnson City has been systematically dismantling the Fire Department and the Police Department ostensibly in the name of economy.  As we have repeatedly pointed out, the cost savings are minimal and the cost to safety are substantial.  We have repeatedly argued that his actions reflect a deeper animus toward the fire department and the real losers have been Village residents. What Fire Starter did not realize was that there have been financial winners within Village government. 

For example, you may recall that Rachelle Gallagher, the Chief Clerk of the Village Court, has done some dirty work for Mayor Hannon.  She utilized court resources to do a background search on a village maintenance man that Hannon wanted to get rid of.  She passed this ill-gotten information to her husband, Scott Gallagher, who is an assignments editor at WBNG and also on the Village payroll as recreation director.  He then tried to use this information and his position at WBNG to smear the maintenance man.

Well apparently doing Hannon's dirty work has its rewards.  And Village residents are paying for them.  While Hannon is laying off fire fighters and not replacing police officers, Rachelle Gallagher has received substantial pay increases.  According to Press Connects data, between 2008 and 2009, Rachelle Gallagher's pay has increased by 27%.  In 2008, Gallagher made $28,652.  In one year, her pay jumped to $36,447.  During this same time frame, civil service employees in similar positions of responsibility received pay raises of approximately 3%.  Is it any wonder that Mayor Hannon receives such unerring positive coverage from WBNG.  It's the best coverage your taxpayer money can buy.

Fire Starter also noted that another Hannon appointee received a substantial pay increase.  The Deputy Village Clerk, Cindy Kennerup,  has also enjoyed a substantial windfall from "his honor".  Between 2007 and 2009, Kennerup's pay has increased 25% with no change in title or increase in responsibility.  What additional "services"  Kennerup is providing is not immediately clear, but it must be something "special".

Again, it must be kept in mind that during this time frame, Hannon has been slashing public safety while rewarding cronies.  It is clear that it is not about cost savings.  It is about punishing enemies and rewarding friends.  And all at your expense.

Stop the corruption.  Speak out.  It is not too late to send the cronies packing and insist on the services you are paying for.

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