Friday, November 18, 2011

JC Loses

Pyrrhic victory - n. a victory achieved at too large a cost

It appears that Hannon has received his pound of flesh from the Village of Johnson City Fire Department.  The Press & Sun Bulletin is reporting that the layoff of 6 fire fighters that occurred over two years ago will stand.  The two and one half year ordeal went to the state's highest court and it ruled that the layoffs were legal.  It appears that Hannon has won...and the Village has lost.

Hannon made it his goal form the outset to attack Village employees in general and the fire department in particular.  Hannon's "bully" style has led to multiple legal law suits, arbitrations and disciplines and in the end, nearly one million dollars in legal bills for a little over two years.  Yes, he reduced the size of the fire department.  But he spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to do it while rejecting nearly $600,000 in union givebacks that would have funded those positions in perpetuity.  But Hannon's ego and desire to be the "king" outweighed all reason.

Further evidence of Hannon's vendetta can be found in the Village's refusal of the federal SAFER grant.  this grant would have maintained all six fire fighter positions at little or no cost to the village for two years.  If at the end of two years, the village was unable to fund the positions, they had no further obligation under the grant.  Contrary to Hannon's misinformation, there were no "strings attached".

The Village now has large legal bills and fewer first responders.  The south side fire station is closed as often as not.  Effective response times have grown due to short staffing.  What were once minor fires have become major incidents costing life and property.  Village residents paid for the service but are not receiving what they paid for. 

Yes, Hannon won this battle.  But at a significant cost to taxpayers both in dollars and service.  Hannon won...but Village residents have lost.

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