Monday, August 22, 2011

End Game Revealed

For your own good is a persuasive argument that will eventually make a man agree to his own destruction. -Janet Frame

The Fire Starter has repeatedly speculated regarding Johnson City Mayor, Dennis Hannon's motivations.  Over the last several years, Hannon has consistently pursued the path of greatest resistance and greatest cost.  No contentious situation has been resolved by agreement.  Every issue has been litigated in court to the enth degree.  Every strategy has been over the top. 

The Fire Starter has postulated that Hannon's seemingly erratic and irrational actions were the product of his machismo and ego.  There certainly seems to be no small amount of that involved.  But this past weekend, Hannon finally laid his cards on the table.  The end game for Hannon has been and will be dissolution of the village.

This endgame may come as a shock to many.  Hannon has repeatedly professed his desire to reform the village and place it on a better financial footing.  Instead, all of his actions have been aimed at creating the financial ruin that will ultimately lead to dissolution.  His mismanagement and malfeasance has now brought the village to a dangerous crossroads.

Looking back over Hannon's reign, it is easy to see the pattern.

  • Endless litigation of contract issues with the fire department.
  • Endless pursuit of Village employees (Fire Chief Michalovic, Police Chief Potts, Fire Marshal Dempsey, Fire Union President Marty Maney, the lowly maintenance man.
  • Replacing the Fire Chief and the Police Chief with vastly overpaid and under worked yes men.
  • Large pay raises for his "friends" and sweetheart deals for political and media allies
  • Replacing the rest of the command structure in the police department with over paid toadies.
  • Refusing the fire fighter's offer to give back the last year of their contract.
  • Refusing the PBA offer that would have settled all outstanding past years for about the same amount of money an arbitrator imposed for just two contract years.
  • The no bid contract to purchase over 100k of fire hydrants, enough to last the village for years.
  • The record setting lawyers fees paid to the Village's lawyers with little or no results. *
Anyone watching closely can see that contrary to the austerity Hannon is claiming, he is spending money like a drunken sailor (with apologies to drunken sailors).  And the money spent yielded little in the way of services to the village.  A tally of the above "misteps" adds up to over 3.5 million dollars.  In just two years!!

Some may dispute our characterization of Hannon's reign.  But the numbers don't lie.  The fire department has gone from about 41 to 25 fire fighters.  The Police department has gone from about 45 to 26 officers.  Yet village spending has continued to rise.  And somehow, this continues to be the fault of the police and fire departments.

Hannon has now revealed his end game.  Having forced the police into an arbitration where the village had no chance of prevailing, the village now faces a large award.  This, to Hannon, should be the final straw.  Hannon now claims that due to this and his other failures of leadership, the only option is to dissolve the village.

Founded in 1892, the nearly 120 year old village has been brought to its knees by Hannon in 2 short years.  What has taken almost 120 years to build, Hannon will try to destroy in less than one term as mayor.

There is a solution.  The common denominator in all of the village's financial woes is Dennis Hannon. Hannon must go.  At the very least, he must not be given any other allies on the village board.  Hannon has had his way for the last two years with disastrous results.  If there is any hope of saving the village, IT MUST STOP NOW!!

* The Fire Starter did not include the multi-million dollar debacle at the Sewage Treatment Plant on this list of horribles. Although this situation took years to develop, there is no denying the fact that Hannon was warned of the problems more than two years prior to its failure. Whether through incompetence or malevolent neglect, Hannon bears the lion share of responsibility for this mess.

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