Thursday, March 15, 2012

Born Again Deficit Hawks

"The difference between 'involvement' and 'commitment' is like an eggs-and-ham breakfast: the chicken was 'involved' - the pig was 'committed'". - Anonymous

The Fire Starter read the letters to the editor in the Press & Sun Bulletin this morning with great interest.  A letter from a "concerned citizen" Rodney Jewett graced the pages of our local rag.  Mr. Jewett made conclusory statements about what the Village of Johnson City could and could not afford without providing any basis and then went on to praise Mayor Hannon and Trustee Ball-less for their "fiscal responsibility".  It was all we could do to keep from choking on our coffee.

It would probably be instructive to explore who Rodney Jewett is.  Rodney Jewett sucked hundreds of thousands of dollars out of the Village of Johnson City as a village police officer and ultimately its chief.  He holds himself out as some neo-conservative deficit hawk, but in addition to his salary and benefits, Jewett has been collecting a New York State Retirement benefit (funded by village taxpayers) for the last 15 years.  He retired at the ripe old age of 49 and has been sucking at the trough since.  He has enjoyed health insurance and other benefits, all courtesy of the Village of Johnson City.

The Fire Starter does not begrudge anyone the benefits guaranteed them by union contracts.  We are great believers in a system that places public employees on a level playing field with public employers.  What we object to is the hypocritical rantings of a selfish former public servant who "got his" and everyone else be damned.  Perhaps when Mr. Jewett is willing to give back his public benefits we will be willing to take him a bit more seriously.

Which brings us to his praise of Mayor Dennis Hannon.  Much like his predecessor Jewett, Hannon sucked the village for hundreds of thousands of dollars over his career.  He retired at the ripe old age of 46 and has collected New York State Retirement and village health insurance benefits for the last 13 years. While ripping public employees and their unions, he has continued to feather his nest at Village taxpayer's expense.  I guess it is true what they say about "birds of a feather".

Both Hannon and Jewett seem to have no problem "goring" someone else's ox.  As long as they have no skin in the game, they are for a "no holds barred" solution.

And what great work has Hannon been doing  for the village of Johnson City lately?  Hannon announced his resignation last fall but later said he would stay on "month to month".  Well apparently he has forgotten this pledge.  Since announcing his resignation, he has missed more board meetings than he has attended.  He has spent more time at the "Southern Village Hall" in Ocala, Florida than he has spent in the village he was elected to lead.  If there is wasted money in the village, it is continuing to pay the salary of the absentee mayor.

If you believe the mayor should be doing  the job he is being paid to do, call him at his home on North Broad Street and tell him so.  His number is 797-3738.  Only you will find the number has been disconnected. Much like Hannon's rhetoric and actions.

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