The City of Troy, New York, "Where Henry Hudson Turned Around."

Monday, May 23, 2005


For those of you who don't know about this story, you can review the previous entry.

As you know....

Sgt. Brian Owens, an eight-year veteran of the city Police Department, claims the city owes him holiday pay, longevity pay and his uniform allowance from February 2003 to July 2004, the time he served as captain of a unit of Army Reservists in Iraq.The lawsuit does not specify a dollar amount, but the total allegedly being withheld is estimated to less than $2,000.

"They want to offer him a pro-rated amount for time he was working as a police officer and not the time he was deployed," said Troy Police Benevolent Association President Robert Fitzgerald. (From the James Franco Article, Troy Record, May 15, 2005).

This issue grows more fascinating every day. Corporation Counsel David Mitchell, explains the proper procedure:

"The traditional and agreed upon route is to file a grievance with my office. I investigate it, and we determine if we pay or not," Mitchell said. "It is highly unusual for an officer to take this approach and sue his employer in federal court."

Any administrations incompetence looks more glaring in the small matters, not the large matters. All administrations face tough decisions and mistakes can be made by anyone. Still, we are astounded by the utter incompetence of the Tutunjian administration.

Owens either deserves his allowance or he does not. It should not be that difficult to determine. According to the article, someone has offered Owens a pro-rated amount for his holiday pay, longevity pay and uniform allowance. Is that the proper decision or not? Does Owens get the full allowance or is it pro-rated? Or, perhaps, is he entitled to nothing?

If the administration initially made the proper decision, they should stand by that decision. What would a grievance filed in Corporation Counsel's Office accomplish? If the City is correct, the grievance will be denied. If the initial decision is wrong, we should all ask how that mistake was made.

From all accounts, it looks like Bauer was handling this matter properly. Then, once out of his hands, it has made the news on numerous occasions. Why can't this administration handle these small issues? Has Fredo been put in charge of the Corleone Family?

On the political front, this seems to be the one time this administration has dropped the ball. Simply put, it makes political sense to give Owens what he wants. It's not much money, $1,300 and Owens was over in Iraq doing more for our country than the children of certain elected officials. Republicans always talk a good game, but supporting our troops means more than buying a metallic ribbon to slap on your SUV. Remember GOPers, freedom isn't free.

No comments: