Saturday, November 3, 2007

AFSCME Responds

I know you are annoyed that I feel you are unorganized but you have to remember the first meetings when you were shuffling papers around and jumping from section to section. I would come out of those first sessions shaking my head. That was when I put everything in black and white so we had a process to follow. This I thought would have come from your office. I only noted the dismay of Union members, in regards to my comments, because I understand the rules about confidentiality but I wanted to address the process not the specifics of issues, so I continued with free speech. I didn't think, and still don't think, that this should be a political basketball during election time. Maybe this is why your letter is written so close to elections to get it on the front burner.

I do have to ask Why were you at the meetings if not for negotiating for the Town? My handy Webster defines negotiate as:
1. to discuss with a view to reaching agreement;
2. to settle a transaction

I know this is hard but does it say reaching an agreement to bring back to discuss with all parties involved. No! You were the team. That's why you got paid the big bucks. Do you remember setting dates for further negotiations! Do you remember commenting on how glad we were it went so smoothly? Do you remember saying at least it's done before your final days? Do you remember writing the Final Draft? Again Mr. Webster defines Final as:
1. end;
2. conclusive
3. last

Any logical person would have taken your final draft to mean the end of all drafts; no more; this is the last one; over; done. No more DRAFTS in the future.I'm sure you know that the Town Council has forty-five days to act upon a contract. They did not, so AFSCME had an article done to nudge them a little. That was the article you spoke about. It was after the time limit, we made sure of that. Confidentiality ended when it went before the Union members for a vote and before the Town Council to act upon. After the forty five days we could have printed our own paper with it, if we wanted to.

The only meeting we attended after you left was to bring the Director up to speed with your Final Draft. Done; over! Again if the Town thought we had to meet again then meetings should have been scheduled. Nothing, from the new Director.

You were right; I would not ever call Tammy Reardon, Marla Scribner or Monika Roberts disorganized. They run an exceptionally well organized office for the Mayor, so that she can work for the good of the Town.

To be perfectly honest Paula, I do think you are incompetent because of the disorganizing state you seem to always be in. Of course that was probably your tactic in case things got screwed up. I'm happy you have a great position in Fl. (you can never contemplate how happy I am) but I'm sure you now have an office with capable employees under you to keep things going on an even track and focused. Maybe they also make sure your office has papers in the files instead of the on your desk, chairs etc.

I was here fifteen years when the lay-offs started how did you gave me a break? Would you throw away all the money the taxpayers spent on educating me to be in this position, just so I could go to another Town and possibly be their Assessor? In a Town that understands where the money comes from and pays their Assessor accordingly. It was bad enough we lost one employee that was almost finished with her certification to Brookfield. The Assessor's Office is still feeling the affects trying to get employees educated in the Assessing field. What a gain!!!

Even as the lay-offs happened we all knew it would never work but they attack only the AFSCME employees. Most of those employees are back at their previous job and others hired to replace the ones that were lost. What did we gain? The only thing that was gained is the knowledge that the Town Council and Board of Finance, at that time, really knew how to screw things up. Some members still sit on the Boards, with their out dated thinking, but I always feel better when I vote.

The Union is not screaming. We have no dissention, we are firm. The Union is not running up legal bills but think really hard and try to remember the number of times the Union President contacted you to say you were missing the cap on sick leave accumulation in all the drafts and then the Final Draft. Would we be in this position if you did the first draft right?

Yes, Chris, Marilee and I do know how to negotiate but I'm not sure what it is that we personally are getting out of it.; more money than the other What self serving agenda did we have?

About the Mayor:We did not kick her in the teeth. She not only treated us fairly, she TREATS us fairly. None of this has ever been about the Mayor. If she stays here another ten years I hope that I would be able to be part of the wonderful things she will accomplish. I have never, in my twenty years, worked with an administrator who has treated us with the respect that she has. Probably the last was Stubby Chapin. We are not always employees but at times friends. She knows how to be an administrator for the people.

I put the blame where I believe it should be, on your shoulders and the shoulders of the Town Council that did not have the gumption to take a vote the night the Mayor put it on the agenda. They should have said something...anything. They should have asked that we negotiate some sticking points a little more. I personally don't think the Union would have disagreed. They choose to be silent. Now they can blame us.As for the vote at our meeting, you wrote up the most pertinent parts to bring to a vote. You worked with the President to make sure we were ready for the vote. You can make it appear as though all this is because the Union jumped the gun but in reality those of us that negotiated know the truth...and I for one feel that is what counts.

Everyone can say and print what they want but in the end we are the ones that really know. That is the last to be said about this.I believe that this was the right idea to negotiate without the expense of Attorneys. Maybe your right, the next one should have the Mayor, a Town Council Member and a Board of Finance Member and of course Personnel Committee. Maybe then someone, other than the Mayor, would actually know what we do here. I welcome George to the table anytime because as taxpayers ourselves we are not trying to increase the tax burden. The Mayor was right..."we" really could have accomplished this.You can answer this if you like but I will not write again. It's over..your gone..and now we will pick up the pieces.

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