Thursday, December 1, 2011

Hannon Staying On?

"Stupidity combined with arrogance and a huge ego will get you a long way." -Chris Lowe

Johnson City Mayor Hannon recently announced that he is reconsidering his decision to resign.  He sites "the political winds changing" in the village as a reason for reconsidering resignation.  When asked point blank if he is opening the door to reversing his decision, he said "maybe a crack".  However, reviewing all of the circumstances in the village and the recent elections, one must consider the "crack" to be in Hannon's head.

It is entirely unclear what has changed in the political environment.  Hannon's only dissolution ally, John Sullivan, was soundly defeated in Novembers election.  Hannon is losing a dim witted supporter in Trustee Ron Davis as of the first of the year.  He still has equally dimwitted supporter Rick Balles to rubber stamp his destructive policies.  However, the rest of the new board is comprised of anti-dissolution members.  Greg Deemie will return for the second year of his two year term. Former Trustee Bruce King is returning to the Board and will likely renew his battles with Hannon.  And first time board member, Luke Slota has vowed to preserve the village and work through the villages problems without the acrimony.  This certainly sounds like a shift in the political winds...but not in Hannon's favor.

Now let's look at what Hannon has created and will now have to face.  He has negotiated a new contract with the police union.  After looking down the barrel of a million dollar plus arbitration award, Hannon finally negotiated.  But this agreement will cost the Village considerably more than the arbitration award. Hannon conveniently pushes the lion share of the liability into the next fiscal year forcing the new board into a vote to violate the 2% tax cap imposed by state law.  Does Hannon really want to be there for that vote?

The Sewage Treatment plant remains as a symbol of Hannon's incompetence and neglect.  Does he want to be there for further votes to exceed the tax cap to pay those bills?

And his one "achievement has been the successful laying off of fire fighters.  However, as we pointed out in previous posts, this was ultimately a loss to village residents as the positions could have been funded by grant money and union concessions in perpetuity.  And now he is spending more money on lawyers on a fools errand seeking to force the union to pay his over priced lawyers.  This is a classic case of throwing good money after bad.

Hannon points to his "inter-municipal agreements" on shared services as his crowning achievement that must be preserved.   However, we have repeatedly outlined how these agreements are not favorable to the village and line the pockets of Hannon toadies at the expense of taxpayers.  The taxpayers are stuck paying more money for less service.

So what is Hannon's talk of staying really about?  It is about Hannon's ego.  It is an attempt to put the best face on his departure.  He is running like a coward but wants to make the case that he has done a wonderful job.  In reality, he has made a terrible mess that will take years to fix.  He is not willing to do the heavy lifting.  For this reason, the Fire Starter believes Hannon is still leaving.  And his departure will be his greatest achievement for the village.

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