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

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

WTF?

According to Mark Robarge at The Record, the Troy City Council has been asked to ratify a Memorandum Agreement signed by Mayor Lou and former PBA President Bob Fitzgerald in June of 2014.

"Specifically, the agreement spells out that any PBA member who accrues 10 years of service with the department would be eligible for health insurance coverage as a retiree upon leaving the department for any reason. The agreement modifies a memorandum agreed to earlier in 2014 that extends another memorandum from 2010 that extends yet another memorandum agreed to two years before that modified a contract that initially took effect in 2004."

However:

"No current council members date back to the 2004 agreement, and none of those reached Monday were aware of what it said about eligibility for retiree health insurance benefits. However, the proposed agreement points out that 20 years of city employment is required for anyone to qualify for the city to pay half the cost of dental insurance premiums."

It has been the City's practice in negotiating contracts to hammer out minor details that will take effect in the future at a later date. It has also been common practice to amend and extend long-term contracts by memorandum agreements. Again, those items worked out are traditionally minor details with little to no financial consequences. Cutting service time requirements for costly benefits is not a minor detail. In fact, benefits will need to be the prime focus of future contracts.

Here's the thing, though: Assuming that the Mayor had not exceeded his daily limit of laudanum when the agreement was signed, he either has the authority to sign the agreement or he does not. If the mayor has the authority to unilaterally enter into these modifications the agreement stands. If he does not, the agreement is void or voidable. The fact that he now seeks Council ratification would imply that even these modifications need Council approval.  Even if a mayor can modify an agreement unilaterally, it should be done in the open

We also find it disturbing that this was not addressed during the recent budget drama. Was the change reflected in the budget or will this be another expense unaccounted for? Lou and Ian need to answer some tough questions and we find it unlikely that the Council will ratify this agreement which probably means we'll be facing a lawsuit.  We can wait to hear Rosamilia's explanation. It needs to be clear and sensible. We are skeptical.

Finally, can we stop alleging that this agreement was signed for former Officer Brian Gross. Is anyone really so simple-minded to believe such a modification for an officer forced to resign for tipping-off drug dealers? District 4 Councilman Bob Doherty said:

“I don’t think the people of the city of Troy should be paying in perpetuity for the benefits of someone guilty of malfeasance.” We couldn't agree more. Unfortunately, that is something that will need to be taken up in the State Legislature, where former members Sheldon Silver and Dean Skelos will be receiving their pensions.

What we do know is that the next administration should hire Bob Fitzgerald as a consultant for contract negotiations.

21 comments:

Anonymous said...

Sure hope that's Lou signature. Signed ODM

Anonymous said...

Shocked to read the current issue, but it is apparent that someone in charge was most likely on laudanum or is simply incompetent. In the real world no one gets a retirement perk of 100% health insurance paid for life after having served for only 10 years and leaving for "whatever" reason. When will Troy government come into the real world and stop this fiscal insanity?
Mr. Dohorety is correct. The city is rewarding a dirty cop and that is a fact and perhaps the PBA should be ashamed of that and willing to do something to modify the agreement and correct that.

Anonymous said...

Just pay and shut up. Stop struggling , you only turn me on more.

Anonymous said...

It's my understanding that when a MOA is signed to extend a contract with minor(cleaning up language) or major (health and dental copay changes, contribution percentage changes, years of service to receive benefits) revisions, the Mayor and union sign. Then union membership reviews and approves (anybody think they'D say no to this provision - Hell, no!). Then it goes to Council for a vote.
Seems very fishy that Mayor & Fitz signed off on this over a year ago, and it’s just surfacing now.
Brian Gross related - Hell, yes. And it coincidentally sweetens the pot for the long blue line on into eternity.
Council - Just say NO!

Anonymous said...

Lou can't be this stupid, can he? What type of accounting did he teach at HVCC? And fuck Gross and every other crooked cop.Free health insurance for a crook, on top of sodomizing us with the 4.9% - once again- what the fuck is he thinking? Just another dishonest politician. Can't wait to see which sheep on the council will vote yes.

Phana24JG said...

I find it hard to believe the Council signed off on this one. I might believe a portion of health care for an extended period, but free and lifetime?? Would not one of the Council members either for fiduciary reasons or concern over a very bad precedent for other unions, public safety and otherwise have at least raised a little hell? Even if Gordon and Bodnar thought it was a good idea, I would expect someone on the right(ideological) side of the equation would have gotten some good PR out of this. Jesus H Christ, I bet you could even get Dunne and McCashion to play nice on this one. Regardless of any less than professional motives for individual officers, how does man pull a stunt like this and look taxpayers in the face? Throw your cards on the table Lou, and please explain. Maybe you want to win the Steve Dworsky Lifetime Achievement Award for the decade?

Anonymous said...

Why would anyone who really cares about the future financial stability of this city, even remotely consider such an idea. This will literally 'handcuff' future --pun intended. Don't blame the cops at all for licking their chops, and saying, 'thanks assholes'. Did Lou really sign this, or was he asleep at the wheel again-- while backroom bs was happening right under his nose?

See what Wade influence gets u said...

Wtf is right. You won't unfreeze water pipes for broke citizens, but you give greedy crooked cops a golden parachute. Come on man!

Anonymous said...

If Fitzy told Lou the city would have saved money by unfreezing those pipes they would have been done in an hour.

Anonymous said...

To respond to 5:54 PM's first question - the answer is YES.
Let's hope the council says NO.

Anonymous said...

Troy PD is holding open interviews this week for anyone that desires to work in the most dysfunctional agency in the area. You must be committed to staying until you graduate the academy before you decide to transfer. Added bonus, you can tell all of your friends that you work for the lowest paid department in the area!

Anonymous said...

This proposal never made it to the City Council or the City Council would have made known what they were trying to do. This won't fly, it is a ridiculous plan. Pay benefits of an officer for their entire lives when after 10 years they can transfer to another town? Absurd!! The City cannot afford this...period.

Anonymous said...

12:24. Then go for Christ sake. Where do you see all this money coming from? If you can't see the city is broke then I don't think you could solve a crime. Get the fuck out.

Anonymous said...

What? Just cause you got thrown out of city hall for dirty dealing with land doesn't mean you can't update the blog.

Anonymous said...

Who got thrown out of city hall for dirty dealing with land? What were the deals?

Anonymous said...

@12:24 i can somewhat understand your frustration over no contract, no support from city hall or the city council and the constant aggression you receive from the public you signed on to serve and protect. With that said it was your own rank and file that blindly followed the crooked PBA president who took your dues and backed the very people who now have failed you miserably. There's no do overs, move on or shut up. You own it.

Anonymous said...

Amy, K mcgrath and Coop, where's your boy?

Anonymous said...

Typical of Harry and the GOP goon squad, trying to politicize a tragedy. Sick, No wonder the voters reject you over and over again

Anonymous said...

where on this thread do you see harry or anyone trying politicize a tragedy? it just looks like the unhealthy obsession you have for Harry is coming out again.

Anonymous said...

Sickening reading the very people Bill fought who were trying to destroy the work he had done post and quote on the news how close they were and how they worked together. There is truly no shame anymore.

Anonymous said...

Read the comment, moron. It's not hard. Harry and his goons don't use words with more than 2 syllables.