Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Hannon's Psychosis

Projection - attributing your own unacceptable impulses to someone else. The impulses are still judged unacceptable but they belong to someone else, not you.- Dr. Sigmund Freud

"Looks like what drives me crazy
Don't have no effect on you--
But I'm gonna keep on at it
Till it drives you crazy, too."

Langston Hughes

Fire Starter read with incredulity the article last week in the Press & Sun Bulletin regarding the misuse of the Johnson City Police Department at the hands of Mayor Dennis Hannon and his over paid and under worked Joint Police Chief Zikuski.  We previously detailed this hair brained shared services scheme concocted by Hannon and his cronies.  We previously revealed that Johnson City is clearly getting the short end of this shared services deal.  Now that the Johnson City PBA has decided to push back at this foolhardy arrangement, Hannon has come out swinging.  It seems that the Village police now recognize that Hannon is putting village employees at risk.

Most striking was Hannon's accusation that the members of the  Johnson City Police department have a "to hell with public safety and to hell with the people" attitude.  This level of psychological projection would make Sigmund Freud's head spin.  In reality, it is Hannon who has cut public safety to unsafe levels in order to feather the nests of friends and allies in the hope of spring boarding himself to higher office.  In the end, truth wins out.  When faced with the facts, Hannon reacts with lies and threats.

We previously outlined the fact that Johnson City Detectectives were regularly detailed to Binghamton to participate in their investigations.  Although this may have helped Binghamton, Johnson City investigations have fallen by the wayside.

Fire Starter has also reliably been informed that Hannon and Zikuskihave issued a standing order that if additional assistance is needed in Johnson City, they are only to call on Binghamton.  In the twisted logic of the insane, the more Johnson City is able to use Binghamton resources, the more it will seem that this scheme is working.  In the meantime, officers and citizens are placed in greater danger.  They must wait for Binghamton to arrive rather than getting assistance from a closer agency such as the State Police or Sheriff's Department.  In other words, Hannon and Zikuski are willing to place Village residents and police officers at risk to create statistics that ostensibly support their crazy ideas.  But in Hannon's twisted reality, it is the PBA that is saying "to hell with public safety".

In the meantime, Hannon keeps kicking various fiscal issues down the road with he hope that they will either go away or he will be on to his next office before the chickens come home to roost.  And all the while, the Village is allowed to fall apart, piece by piece.  It seems ever clearer than ever that it has been Hannon's goal from the beginning to dissolve the Village.  What failed at the ballot box will be accomplished through a thousand cuts of neglect and incompetence. And all to satisfy Hannon's ego and aspirations.  But it is the PBA that is the problem. Only in the world of the insane.

And now Hannon sets up his threat.  Hannon asks the rhetorical question "why do we even have a Village police department".  Well is commonly understood that we have a police department to protect citizens against criminals and mentally deranged people.  So it seems that in challenging your foolhardy plans, the PBA is at the very least protecting us from an inhabitant of at least one of these groups.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Hannon's Fuzzy Math

“In politics stupidity is not a handicap.” - Napoleon Bonaparte

The Fire Starter was fascinated by Mayor Hannon's
mathematical prowess.  He magically transformed a 1.72% tax hike into a 3.6%  tax hike.  All without even changing a comma.  What was even more fascinating was his explanation of the error.  Hannon claims to have misread the budget summary.  In order to increase revenue 1.72%, the taxes need to be raised 3.6%.  This is due to decreased taxable property largely due to Hannon's inept handling of economic development.  Instead of pursuing enemies real and imagined and playing policeman while "patrolling" the Village, Hannon should be focusing on economic development.  Unfortunately, his priorities lie elsewhere.

In addition, a review of the budget reveals that it is a wish list rather than a serious budgetary document.  The Johnson City Police remain without a contract and are five years behind.  Although they are likely to receive at least two years of retroactive raises, this was not budgeted for.  The laid off fire fighters could be ordered rehired and re-payed several years of back pay.  But this was not budgeted for.  These are substantial liabilities that are not reflected in the budget.  One can imagine that Hannon will blame any shortfall on the police or the firemen should these unbudgeted liabilities become realities.

But Hannon has not shown himself to have a great facility with numbers.  He claimed that manpower reductions in the fire department would not effect service.  However, since the first of the year, the Floral Avenue fire station has been CLOSED over 13 times. This substantially increased response times to the southside of Johnson City. 

Medical call responses have also been greatly hindered as a result of staffing cuts.  Since the first of the year, the Johnson City has lacked sufficient personnel to respond to over 100 medical calls ranging from mid priority to life threatening situations.  Citizens facing a battle for their life have been left to wait for the response of more remote responders.

Perhaps the most shocking aspect of Hannon's budget is the apparent budgeted pay increase of approximately 5% for Joint Fire Administrator Hrustich.  He is already the third or fourth highest paid civil servant in Broome County.  He makes 25% more than the chief of the Binghamton Fire Department who commands twice as many firefighters.  Yet Hannon feels the need to shore up his chief toady (or is that toady Chief?).  All at the expense of Johnson City residents.

At a time when Hannon is laying off fire fighters, there seems to be no shortage of funds for his hatchet men and "friends".  Big raises for the part time Joint Fire Administrator who is already overpaid. Big raises for Hannon's office staff, and big raises for the lawyers. 

The purpose of government is to provide services, not reward friends and allies.  Hannon has long since lost sight of this.  And we are left waiting for emergency services.

Monday, April 11, 2011

The Report

The Fire Starter had a glimmer of hope that the report regarding King John the Impotent was not nearly as bad as described.  Unfortunately, the police report speaks for itself.  He did accost the young man and follow him home like some latter day Inspector Clouseau.  He identified himself as the mayor several times in an attempt to use his position to intimidate citizens.  He claimed to "own all of this".  He did attempt to use his position as mayor to settle his petty score.  When that failed, he called "his" police department to settle the score for him.

Fortunately, the police understood that the incident was caused by an overheated adolescent using poor judgement and then having a tantrum.  And there also was a teenager and his parents involved.

The money quote from the police report is the last line: "ALL PARTIES MADE AWARE IT IS NOT THE CASE THAT ELECTED OFFICIALS MAY DO WHATEVER THEY WISH". 

Would that King John the Vainglorious could take these words to heart.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

King John the Feckless

feckless\ FEK-lis \ , adjective; 1. Ineffective; having no real worth or purpose. 2. Worthless; irresponsible; generally incompetent and ineffectual.

In the past, Fire Starter has pointed out Endicott Mayor John Bertoni's less than diligent execution of his mayoral duties.  Whether it is leaving Village board meetings to go to card games or extended absences from the Village, King John the Witless has shown that his work ethic leaves much to be desired.  What Fire Starter was unaware of was the fact that Bertoni has been doubling as a crime fighter.  A bloviating mayor by day and a crusader for justice by night.

Fire Starter has reliably learned that the mayor caught a serial offender red handed.  While patrolling the Oak Hill area of the village, the mayor viewed a culprit committing his evil deed.   Fueled with the righteous indignation of the just, our hero sprung into action.

Who was this evildoer? And what was his offense?  He was a teenage skateboarder who was skateboarding in the street.  Fortunately for Village residents, Bertoni was on the job.  He immediately identified himself as the sovereign of Endicott and demanded that the offender remove himself from the street.  The youth, obviously unimpressed, made a face and told Bertoni that he didn't really care who he was.

Well, skateboarding in the street was bad enough.  But now youth had gone too far.  He had insulted the crown and this must not stand.  So our hero followed the youth home and confronted the youth's parents.  He again identified himself as the the Mayor of Endicott.  When the youth's parents were likewise unimpressed, he clarified that "he owns the Village".  They responded by clarifying that THEY owned their home and he should remove himself from their property.

Well the offenses continued to pile up.  Skateboarding, disrespect from the youth, and disrespect from the youth's parents.  This was obviously beyond Bertoni's capabilities.  So he just let it drop there...or that's what any normal adult would do (of course, most normal adults would have avoided the whole situation rather than escalate it into a confrontation).  Instead, King John the Spiteful sought to prove that he "owned the Village" by calling the police department.  Officers responded and took a report (Fire Starter will provide the report if it becomes available).  No arrests were made but consideration was given to sending Bertoni for a psychiatric evaluation.

As silly as this incident appears to be, it reveals a serious flaw in Bertoni's character.  Being Mayor is not about flaunting your title and bullying residents.  It is about SERVING the public; not self serving. It is about providing services, not providing jobs to friends and family.  And it is about being first among equals, not lording your title and power over residents and employees.

King John the Feckless and his imperious ways will catch up to him.  It is up to the voters to send a loud and clear message in November.  We hope he hears it.