Thursday, March 1, 2012

King John the Incompetent

"If a man is tongue-tied, don't laugh at him, but rather feel pity for him as you would for a man with broken legs". - Abraham Cahan

The Fire Starter was intrigued by the state comptrollers report regarding the Village of Endicott.  Our interest took several different tacks.  Last week, a report of the New York state Comptroller's Office found deficiencies in the Village's financial controls such that employees were overpaid and no one apparently was the wiser.  In addition,  the Village under reported the supervisor of Tri-Cities airport by thousands of dollars due free airplane hangar Corprew was given for his personal use.  The report also noted that a stipend of over $10,0000 was given to the Mayor's "personal" secretary without any Board action.  In sum, the Village's handling of finances was shoddy to say the least.

What first intrigued us was the fact that the initial reporting in the Press & Sun Bulletin was only about 150 words long and failed to give details of the offenses.  In short, the Press was willing to bury the story in a small "side column" piece on a Friday.  However, when Bertoni put forth his defense, it was a full blown thousand plus word story with full throated defenses of the great work he and the Board are doing.  This is exactly why the Fire Starter exists.

We were next intrigued by the fact that at least some of the criticisms from the comptroller were first lodged here on  these pages.  We have consistently pointed out Bertoni's self serving and autocratic management style. Our first story about the mismanagement of the airport dates back nearly 10 months.  Apparently the Press did not deem it newsworthy until it was in black and white from the Comptrollers office.

What was also striking was the fact that the Comptrollers office (and the Press)  completely dropped the ball on the rampant cronyism and nepotism that has been the hallmark of King John's reign.  Other than picking up on the "personal" secretary's stipend, the issues regarding friends and relatives of Bertoni have gone largely ignored.

However, what was most interesting was King John the Tongue Tied's hapless attempt to defend his misfeasance and malfeasance.  First there was his cutting criticism of the process: "They write the paper and they ask you questions".  Wow!  How is a lowly mayor to stand up to such tactics!  There really should be a law!  Then he defended the "stipend" since apparently the only other option was to hire someone else. Really?  The King's receptionist could not get the work done during a normal work week?  Then came the coupe de grace.  King John really sunk the knife deeply in the Comptroller when he exclaimed "I counter criticize them".  I see that counter criticize and raise you a double-dog-dare!

What is apparently lost on his heiness is that in addition to representing a misappropriation of Village funds, it was done without Board approval.  The fact that Board members "knew about it" is really of no consequence.  By not bringing this before the Board, Village residents did not know about it.  This is the real reason for having Board meetings and resolutions.  Accountability.   But apparently in King John's corrupt world, "...if the money was allocated and you maneuver it around to save money, it's not like your spending unauthorized money".  And yet...that's exactly what it is.

Update: Hannon has Left the Building :  Apparently with a solid two board meetings under his belt for 2012, Hannon has again left town for the next three weeks.  Reportedly Hannon jetted to the "Southern Village Hall" in Ocala, Florida this week.  Never mind that he is being paid to run this Village.  But have no fear, the Village is in the capable hands of Deputy Mayor Rick Ball-less.

No comments:

Post a Comment