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

Monday, March 14, 2016

MADDEN SEEKS FISCAL EXPERTS

According to The Record:

Mayor Patrick Madden is looking to restore two full-time analyst positions and bring in a consultant to help the city right its financial ship, and he’s looking to independent organizations to fund the first two years of his plan.

The total estimated cost for a two-year period would be just over $372,000.

Per the article:

The plan was first made public Friday morning, during a meeting of the Troy Capital Resource Corporation, an offshoot of the city’s Industrial Development Authority that promotes community and economic development and agreed to fund the first part of the plan with a $100,000 grant. Madden is proposing to restore senior analyst and analyst positions in 2017, at an estimated annual cost of about $150,000, while bringing a municipal finance expert on as a consultant as soon as April, at a cost of just over $91,000 for the remainder of 2016 and $121,500 annually after that.

This plan stands in contrast to The City Council's plan to hire an independent auditor for $19,000.

Hats off to Mayor Madden. Last week we suggested that Madden support the independent auditor and work with the Council on Troy's fiscal quagmire. Although Mayor Madden's public objection was based on a failure to follow the procurement procedures, it wasn't difficult to sense a lack of enthusiasm on the Mayor's part.

The City Council should take a hard look at Madden's plan. It is big and bold, it creates a team of finance professionals and it gives them time. It makes the Council's plan look bush league.

It costs more money. A lot more money. However, it will mean, as noted, a team of professionals working over the course of two years, to help fix the mess. The chances of structural changes that really aid future budgeting are much greater with Madden's plan. Like copper piping, it costs money because it saves money.

The Council will oppose the plan. We'll have an auditor come in, look things over, print a report that will form the basis of numerous press conferences and releases. The auditor will cash her/his check and disappear.

Madden's plan is better in the long run. Between the Council's auditor plan and Madden's plan, it has never been more clear: our elected officials are not up to the financial end of their jobs. The Council clearly does not understand budgeting. The Mayor wants three fiscal professionals to sort through the muck.

Madden's pragmatism is refreshing. He understands that something needs to be done and it will cost something more than pocket change. On the other hand, the Council continues to labor under the delusion that a part-time consultant is enough and that doing more with less is a sustainable vision.

Give Madden his three professionals. He will be held accountable if it doesn't work.

56 comments:

Anonymous said...

Makes sense, the council doesn't understand budgeting but the mayor wants to hire three full time positions in a budget crisis. All adds up. Can I have another cup of that dem-kool aid?

Donald Trump

Anonymous said...

This is money that could be spent on TFD contract negotiations.
An accountant never saved anyone.

Anonymous said...

Democratus looks like Madden spanked your ass over the weekend. Mabey they can find a retired accounting professor to fill that job? Also they now have plastic pipe that is cheaper than copper pipe it's also easier to work with. A real money saver.

Anonymous said...

To 9:07. This is a grant for exactly the purpose of hiring finance staff. It can't be used on TFD negotiations.
I trust Madden's understanding of the budget problems and his solutions. Carmella I do not trust, nor do I think she has any deep understanding of finance or solutions for going forward. She's self interested and reactionary, not to mention being advised by the clowns who dug the hole we are currently wallowing in.

Anonymous said...

9:48AM,

9:07 AM is the anti-fd guy who has an unhealthy obsession and unresolved issues with the Fire Department.

It's best to just let him be.

Phana24JG said...

Grants are not an ideal way to hire people. What happens when the grant money runs out in a year or two? Wouldn't it be better to get a full time comptroller in position and see what he/she suggests? I think what the city desperately needs in the short term is expertise negotiating with public employee unions.

Anonymous said...

The sad fact is that the Triborough Amendment thwarts any meaningful negotiations. The city is stuck with the contract provisions that are bankrupting us.

Anonymous said...

We will have our money first ! How dare you try to hire anyone other than a Hero fireman. Oh also no blacks or women. Must be related to be considered for the job. That's most important.

Anonymous said...

The current negotiating strategy seems to be working just fine. This opening statement was taken from a transcript of the most recent negotiation session between the City and one of the public employee unions:

City Negotiator: "Fellas, we can't offer you anything. There's no money. Who wants to grab some lunch?"

Anonymous said...

Can't hire people that don't even sign up to take the test, retard.

Anonymous said...

Just out of curiosity, how many minorities and/or females have taken the tests for a job with either the TFD or TPD? What percentage of applicants applying are "minorities"? Someone has those statistics.
Let the numbers speak for themselves.

Anonymous said...

Ok I'll give in. If they don't take the test you can't get hired your right. But how many jobs are left after family members get hired? That's getting old. Hereditary family jobs. Answer that.

Anonymous said...

Whoa there hero, TPD has women and minorities. The TFD doesn't. The fact is the Troy fire department is the most entitled, nepotistic and overpaid organization in the state. The only chief in the state that is payed overtime.

Anonymous said...

If someone's kid best your kid on the civil service test, maybe your kid should just study harder... Or hit the gym so they can pass the physical test instead of crying about it.

Anonymous said...

There is a woman on TFD, and she is also a lieutenant. There were even a couple black guys, too, but they quit for better paying jobs elsewhere. Go figure, right?

Fireman said...

Buddy, if you're looking to blame the department or rank-and-file for a lack of diversotu, you're looking in the wrong place. I don't give a shit if you're white, black, asian, hispanic, man, woman, transsexual, gay, straight, christian, jewish, muslim, or aethiest. I all I care about is if you CAN do the job and WANT to do the job. Fire sure as hell doesn't care what color your skin is or what your gender is.

The Troy UFA (along with Albany, Schenectday, and countless other cities) have held recruitment and study sessions in neighborhoods with a high percentage of minorities, with little-to-no success. The truth is, the new requirement to be a paramedic prior to being hired is partially responsible for adversely affecting the recruitment of youth from socio-economic disenfranchised backgrounds, and unfortunately, eliminating the eligibility of a disproportionate number of Troy's minority population. But.... Paramedic school costs the city a lot of money to send firemen to. Requiring applicants to be paramedics first saves taxpayers money. So which is more important to you?

We can continue to try to recruit and push more specific groups to study for and take the exam. But is that what you really want? You can force someone to take a test, but you can't force them to crawl down a dark smokey hallway or memorize 1000 medications and illnesses, stay calm, and know what to do when someone is dying in front of them. This ain't a job for people that got coerced and begged to even take a damn written test, it's a job for people that WANT to be there. If your house is on fire, your kid just got hit by a car, or your wife is having a heart attack; do you want the firefighter-paramedic that had to get forced to sit for a written exam, or the one that wanted nothing more than to be a fireman since he was a little kid (thus explaining the "nepotism")?

I may not fight a fire every day, and there are days that I don't hold someone's life in my hands (though occurring with decreasing frequency), but fires and heart attacks don't care what day it is; when the shit hits the fan, we have to take it to the fucking wall. This isn't a phone it in or do it half-assed job. Its a job for those who want nothing more in life than to be a good firefighter and a good paramedic, who are willing to study hard to do well on the exams, and yes... Sign up and show up to take the exam in the first place.

Anonymous said...

Fires are a rarity so stop your whining and pull your panties up. Mohawk ambulance would be happy to provide emergency medical services to Troy at one third of the price.
You have something in your hand allright and it's not a life to be saved.
TFD is just another form of welfare for the connected.

Anonymous said...

Let's face it the Troy fire department is a family affair. A big fat white family affair.

Anonymous said...

So true! Haaaa' Firemen are just amateur frisbee players with a government owned clubhouse and free food.

That two day a week schedule must be tough with all that sleeping and shopping.

How many of these clowns actually live in Troy? Does anyone know?

Anonymous said...

The only person whining here is you. If you really think fires are a rarity, I don't believe you even live in the city of Troy. Try turning off Fox need for a minute and turn on a local channel.

Mohawk A) doesn't want the city of Troy and B) has a staffing shortage and is barely able to keep enough rigs in service for even BLS calls.

Yet again your show us all that you have absolutely no idea what you're talking about.

Anonymous said...

Mohawk would have to battle Empire ambulance as they do in Albany and Schenectady.

Anonymous said...

Entitled welfare.

Phana24JG said...

Excellent point. I think the only bargaining chip we have is either give us some relief, or we have to downsize the departments regardless of how unappealing that option may be. We are entering a Hobson's Choice scenario.

Anonymous said...

Whites only at the TFD. Shameful. Can someone please get access to a current roster and chart out the nepotism? Can any residency info be obtained to show how many of them outside the city?

Anonymous said...

If the city negotiated in good faith you wouldn't have every single union in the city working without an agreement. One of the biggest question marks on the city's finances is how much they will have to pay in retroactive raises. The PD is headed towards arbitration and they have a strong case for raises as they are paid well below comparable agencies in the area. The arbitrator may not penalize the union because the city failed to set aside money, as required by law, to fund raises.

Anonymous said...

The current contract(s) prevent the City from extorting "relief" from the union(s).

Neither side is in a position to tell the other to "Take it or leave it", so both sides grumble, but remain cordial and press on regardless.







Jay Czarnick said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Phana24JG said...

No one is saying that our public safety people do not deserve a competitive wage. However, the unions have to recognize fiscal reality. The city is broke. If raises drive us further into debt either the administration or the OSC will have to respond with layoffs and reduced coverage. Additional taxation will simply encourage the flight of the people paying the tab.

Anonymous said...

This back and forth between the firemen and the "firemen haters" is getting boring. Every time this blog talks about the city finances, someone blames the FD for the cities financial mess. Then a few firemen log on and try to defend themselves, and then the conversation shifts.....suddenly the issue is residency / diversity / nepotism. So in the spirit of keeping things interesting I have a question for the group: If the TFD was more diverse, all lived in the city, and no one was related would the expense of the department then be OK?

Anonymous said...

The other side to that argument is the loss of experienced officers that are leaving for other agencies. 11 people gone since November is a lot of bodies in a 125 person dept. The revolving door will continue to open. Officers realize that the city doesn't have any money for raises and that's why they are not waiting until the MAC debt is paid off in 2021 for a raise.

Anonymous said...

No, I blame Dworsky for the public safety contracts. Hard to believe someone was dumb enough to put him back in the game.

Anonymous said...

Personally I don't think it's nearly as important for the TFD to have a residency requirement as it is for the police. If the cops in Troy (including management) LIVED in Troy they'd be a lot more invested in combating crime, and that's what the taxpayers need and deserve.

Anonymous said...

Why is someone who points out facts a fireman hater? I love our her is but the facts speak for themselves.

The alleged work they do could be done cheaper if outsourced to a private business without a bloated union contract. The actual infrequent fire fighting could be done with volunteers who don't get paid while they sleep.

The volunteers could be recruited from the various areas of the capital district where our current paid firemen raise their families.

It's a win win! Think about it.

Anonymous said...

It's not about hating firefighters or cops. Troy just can't afford these public safety contracts. It sucks but its the plain truth. Anyone looking at the budget can see it. Doesn't matter what political party you're in, either.

Anonymous said...

Residency IS much more important for ALL Cops and top Officers than for the fire department. They need to live among the same conditions the rest of us do. Too many Troy cops have "connections" to criminals and look the other way too often when an old buddy does something wrong. We have all seen it happen but everyone is afraid to speak out. We really need to drain the swamp and start fresh from the TOP DOWN. The force needs to reflect the demographics of the community.

Anonymous said...

All this Pickering and on turtle birthday. Shame on all of you. Next you'll be beating up George Boone.

Anonymous said...

So Troy should do something that no other city of a comparable size with a comparable number of residents does? Ok. Right.

Ask the residents, burn victims, and property owner from 251 Congress St. what they think of your "win win" plan. Care to comment on what the outcome would have been if the first arriving engine company arrived 30 minutes after the first 911 call was received?

While I may not agree with your "facts", I realize I may be in the minority. That being the case, it is incumbent on you to present these cost savings plans to the City Council and let them weigh the pros and cons, and choose to do what is in the best interest of the City and its citizens. They may actually adopt your plan and then you will be the "hero" you so desperately aspire to become. But be advised, they may not, and you will still be, well, you.

No, you're probably not a fireman hater. I'm sure you've got some good friends at whichever volunteer company you belong to. Some of the guys might even look up to you.

It seems that your obsession and issue is with professional fire departments. Don't know how or when you were "wronged" by one of them, but I hope you can learn to deal with it and move on.

Good luck.

Anonymous said...

Ha. Haha. Hahaha. Haha haha. Haha haha haha...

Anonymous said...

Wait a second... Where were his "facts"? All I heard were wildly untrue and innacurate yet still impossibly vague assumptions.

Anonymous said...

First arriving engine in 30 minutes - with a crew consisting of two 16 year old well meaning junior firefighters and a 75 year old driver/fire police/auxiliary/former-emt-but kinda still knows CPR

Anonymous said...

And there it is. The firemen Heros using someone burned in a fire to justify big pay checks. Ok boys lets just dump the ambulances and 2 firehouses and you can all tell each other how wonderful you are. Never to proud to take advantage of some others misfortune.

Anonymous said...

You are aware that firefighters fight fire, right? I mean it's right there in the name, but it somehow seems to lost concept on you. Structure fires do, in fact, justify the existence of a fire department. TFD also provides emergency medical services, so in case you also have trouble with that one, emergency medical calls also justify their existence.

Your argument is as silly as saying diseases don't justify the existence of physicians, wars and terrorist attacks don't justify a military, crime doesn't justify the existence of police officers, and roofs doesn't justify the existence of roofers.

Anonymous said...

Town of Colonie, double Troy's population has firemen that fight fires at a fraction of the cost. Are the people of Colonie not safe? I don't read any headlines where their residents are screaming or demanding an all paid fire department. Volunteer fire companies fight structural fires too, just as good and much less cost. They are the real heros.

Anonymous said...

And I thought only women were obsessed with the Troy Firemen.

Anonymous said...

Again, your "facts" are incorrect and innacurate, borderline flat out lies. Colonie has been shifting slowly towards a paid fire department as their run numbers climb (still far behind Troy's call volume), and are currently combination. Second, Colonie is a suburb, not a densely packed city like Troy. Tightly condensed structures require a much faster response time and substantially more manpower to keep from spreading. Third, Colonie EMS is paid, and matching their paramedic pay would be quite a pay bump for TFD paramedics... But by your logic, you probably believe Albany Fire and FDNY should be volunteer, too, regardless of call volume, manpower requirements, and response times. Alas, there is no reasoning with the unreasonable.

Anonymous said...

Every post on here that is anti TFD are written by two groups of people.
1- A 20 something yr old volunteer firefighter that couldn't pass the CPAT to get hired on TFD and
2- A Mohawk or Empire ambo guy that can't swallow the pill that TFD can respond within 3 minutes, and provide quality medical care to a citizen & stay humble about it afterwords.

Anonymous said...

This guy just won't give it a test. Every time his so called facts are countered with clear, consice, factual rebuttals he just changes directions...

"Troy firemen are paid overpaid!"
- no, they don't actual make very much, and are actually far under salaries of comparable departments

"Well, they don't do anything all day! They just sleep! Troy has no fires!"
- TFD responded to 11,000 emergencies last year, and they fought 6 structure fires in the last 10 days.

"Well, there aren't enough monorites, it's corrupt!"
- not enough minorities take the entrance exam, the UFA has recognised that and made (albeit unseuccessful) efforts to recruit candidates from Troy neighborhoods with a high percentage of minority residents.

"None of them live in the city! That's not fair!"
- Most of them DO live in the city of Troy, a large chunk in Lansingburgh alone, among Troy's other neighborhoods. The few that don't have a right to raise their families as they choose. This is America.

"Fine! They should just be volunteer!"
- yeah, good luck getting all of those 11,000 calls answered and getting enough apparatus on scene in 8 minutes or less for a fire before it takes out a whole block (which by the way, costs taxpayers and residents an awful lot of money, not to mention life threats)

Anonymous said...

11,000 / 365 = 30

You lazy retards want us to believe that TFD gets 1.25 calls an hour all year long?

Lying lazy scum.

DO YOUR JOBS!

Anonymous said...

Yes, that's exactly what we want you to believe, because that is the truth, buddy.

We are doing our jobs.

Anonymous said...

"Colonie has been shifting slowly towards a paid fire department". Again, more than twice the population and their town fire department budget is 1\3 that of Troy. Spin those stories anyway you want hero. They are the facts. Keep it up and we'll measure Schenectady next.

Anonymous said...

@532 I agree and call total bullshit! I live near a firehouse. They have plenty of time to sit outside, barbecue and play frisbee so I don't think they get a call every hour.
Balderdash!

Anonymous said...

Lie lie lie. Their population is not twice the size. And their total budget between fire/ems is 93% of TFDs. Try again.

Anonymous said...

I have literally not once ever seen a fireman play frisbee on duty. Keep the lies coming, turd.

Anonymous said...

Technically, he's right; 9.3/10 IS a fraction. Perhaps he's forgetting that the town of Colonie is comprised of several small fire departments that EACH have a budget of ranging up to 1.5 million and that DOESNT INCLUDE SALARIES, on top of the 4+million for their paid EMS service. Now this isn't any knock on Colonie, their EMS program is recognised as one of the best there is, but they are fully paid, and paid quite well. As for the fire aspect, Colonie is beginning to transition to a paid department, and has far far far less structure fires each year than the city of Troy. Those fires also DO NOT occur in dense urban areas, with the risk of quick spread to multiple structures, incurring exponential amounts of damage.
I could say that Troy provides paramedic engines, which provide life saving medical services in those precious minutes prior to an amabulance arrival, meaning the difference of life and death or permanent disability. I could say that relying on volunteer members to leave work, drive to the firehouse, await a full crew, hope they are all interior qualified firemen, and THEN to to the fire allows fire to consume businesses and homes, causing even more damage to properties and belongings. I could point out that businesses burning to the ground costs jobs. I could inform him that fires today burn hotter and are filled with more toxic fumes than fires of yesterday, severely limiting how long a trapped occupant can survive while awaiting rescue. I could say that the money saved on fire insurance in an area fully staffed by a paid department more than off sets the (extremely small) tax difference between Troy and Colonie public safety budgets. I could ask how many times a day an employer would allow a member to leave work to answer the 1000s of calls Troy responds to. I could ask how much those lost man hours will cost that business, or how much it will cost a volunteer's family if they lost their job for responding to too many calls. I could ask what happens if NO volunteers are able to answer and respond to an emergency...

But it doesn't matter, he won't believe me anyway.

Anonymous said...

He'll respond back shortly...Rite now, he's wanking his johnson listening to Troy Fire on the scanner

Anonymous said...

Boy, these firemen have a lot of time on their hands to post on blogs