Analysis: Extremely Strange Bedfellows Reveal They Too Are Empty Suits By HEZI ARIS

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Ehezi_charicature Murtagh Storms Out of the City Council Chambers in a Fit of Condescension and Arrogance

The press conference called for 11:00 am this Thursday, June 9, 2011, at the Yonkers City Council Chambers opened to the pronouncement by Yonkers City Council Prsident Chuck Lesnick, with Yonkers City Council Minority Leader John Murtagh standing by his side. Mr Lesnick expressed his disbelief that after an exhausting give and take session among the Yonkers City Councilmembers on June 1, that concluded at 1:15 a.m. the following morning, representatives of New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo, and Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli, found the proposed legislation submitted by the City of Yonkers  “dead on arrival.” The entire Yonkers City Council was warned of the legal deficiency prior to the legislation being forwarded to Albany. Despite their knowing they would err among elected peers, both blamed the many unions who serve the Yonkers for the city’s woes

 

The bipartisan negotiations and accommodations were hammered out before legal counsel for the Republican and Democrat contingents among the Yonkers City Council. Also, Mssrs. Lesnick and Murtagh are lawyers. Corporation Counsel Mark Blanchard was also present. Despite the legal erudition one would expect from so many legal eagles, the Yonkers City Council was permitted to construct a document that did not meet legal form.

 

The Founding Fathers wrote the United States Constition for this republic. The Constitution delineates a distinct separation of the three branches of government. They are the executive branch, represented at present by Yonkers Mayor Phil Amicone,  the executive branch, represented by the Yonkers City Council, and the judicial branch, presently represented by Yonkers Inspector General Dan Schorr. Despite the standard adopted throughout the nation, the Yonkers City Council chose to construct a Transitional Financing Authority (TFA) that would be a vehicle to borrow money from the financial markets, that is, Wall Street, at rates  less that those presently available to the City of Yonkers (CoY). Even before Mayor Amicone’s administration formulated this concept as worthy for consideration by CoY, it was known for months prior that both Gov. Cuomo and Comptroller DiNapoli were philosophically opposed to such authorities. They each noted that such authorities are not subject to the scrutiny to which government is subject. These authorities would not be legally bound to respond to Freedom of Information Law (F.O.I.L.) requests. The concept of such an authority does not conform to the tenets of transparency espoused by Gov. Cuomo. Besides, CoY has other financial markets it may tap for funding should it need it. The TFA is nothing mow than a Trojan Horse by which a Financial Control Board may more easily insinuate itself into the financial conduct of Yonkers. This is a way for Mayor Amicone to look good and slough off any responsibility for bring CoY to the fiscal edge.

 

Further, were Mayor Amicone’s concept to assemble a board of directors upon which the Mayor of CoY would preside, and his appointee, and the entire City Council membership, the board would be anathema to the concept of separation of powers among the three branches of government.

 

Despite all these deficiencies of thinking, followed thereafter by the writing of these concepts onto paper, Mssrs. Lesnick and Murtagh were adamant in asserting that they had individually and collectively shown Albany how to remedy their years of failing CoY. Interestingly enough, nary a word from either of them as to what the issues of failure and the commensurate remedies were over their many years of tenure. 

 

The wage cap postulated in the legislation requested went beyond the purview of the Yonkers City Council. The “strong mayor” form of government by which Yonkers functions only permits the mayor to negotiate contracts. There is no mechanism that can circumvent this protocol and procedure.

 

The obsessive compulsive finger pointing antics of Mayor Amicone were evidently adopted by Mssrs. Lesnick and Murtagh when they repeatedly blamed the unions for Yonkers' travails. In reality, it was the Mayor of Yonkers who mismanaged the funds at his disposal. That is not a union failure, it is a mayoral failure. Adding to the mayor’s failure are those elected official on the Yonkers City Council who chose to approve each successive budget proposed by Yonkers Mayor Phil Amicone so they could get along to get along. The ramifications of their actions never took hold upon their collective minds, or it didn't matter to them. Either way, the end results have been deleterious to the welfare of Yonkers and insulting to Yonkersites one and all.

 

Mr. Murtagh asserts, “everyone knows” the reasons behind the financial strain on CoY; that it is the humongous financial issues that have burdened the nation, state, and Yonkers. To some extent that is true. Yet were Yonkers’ elected councilmembers aware and financially astute they could have avoided many of these present financial woes.

 

Yonkers suffers a $20 million tax certiorari deficit, which the city is incapable of paying. He result is that CoY borrows money to pay off its operating expenses by issuing bonds, increasing our debt burden astronomically.  City Hall has not been a proponent to undergo a reassessment last performed over a half a century ago. The cost of reassessment would be $5 million in entirety were Yonkers to do it alone. The outcry was that CoY would only need spend $3 million if Yonkers underwent a reassessment in tandem with Westchester County.  Yonkers is still waiting and paying and paying and paying.  Councilwoman Joan Gronowski was the first and vocal spokesperson for the savings to be accrued by reassessment.

 

Acid-tongued bloggers advised the Yonkers Tribune of the millions of real estate tax arrears stretching as far back as 40 years that are still unpaid to the city, but demanded and paid by Yonkers to Westchester County.  City Hall was so concerned in protecting the Friends and Family Network they chose to outsource the dunning of these delinquents rather than have Corporation Counsel complete the task. Yonkers' coffers will thereby lose half of what is collected through the outsourcing vendors.

 

Mssrs. Lesnick and Murtagh stated they believe there is hope for the TFA, this depite their both being in the telephone conference call during which all the issues were discussed and first revealed yesterday on the Yonkers Tribune and which later this day found Senators Jeff Klein, Andrea Stewart-Cousins; and Assemblymen Thomas Abinanti, J. Gary Pretlow, and Mike Spano issue the following statement:

 

“The City’s proposal that was sent to us on June 2 to borrow money to pay operating expenses is not supported by the State Comptroller as it is fiscally unsound. The State Legislature cannot take up a plan that, since it lacks the Comptroller’s approval, will violate the law. The Council members need to get back to work and come up with a plan that the State Comptroller tells us is fiscally sound.”

 

It is specifically because Yonkers Mayor Phil Amicone has no plab “B” that Yonkers may find no solution, even if one existed previous, by his arrogance and the lack of time left for Yonkers for function. Yonkers is supposed to collect local taxes by July 1, 2011.

 

Exacerbating tensions among the protagonists, that is the Yonkers City Council and union leadership is Mr. Murtagh’s pouting exit from the Yonkers City Council Chambers when he was being addressed by Yonkers Fire Department Captain James Brady to answer a question. The question doesn’t matter; Mr Murtagh’s arrogance is at issue. If he does not have the backbone to even belatedly engage in a dialogue with the union leadership, a failing of Mayor Amicone, as well, he is not qualified to serve in elected office. Dialogue is a measure of leadership, an attribute Mr. Murtagh seems unqualified to acquire.

 

While Mr. Lesnick received congratulations for standing at the lectern and continuing the engagement process, he too has played the drama game. He prides himself proficient and adept at the lone wolf scenario yet in the process has revealed only his lack of focus, ineptitude, and overall lack of leadership. 

 

Governor Cuomo is no political novice. He will not be bullied or partake in a game of chicken with the likes of Mayor Amicone.   Yonkers has options. Mayor Amicone won’t own up to them. Mr. Lesnick won’t; Mr. Murtagh won’t.

 

Yonkersites must demand more of their political servants. If Yonkers’ elected officials cannot rise to the demands of the office to which they were elected, they must step down. They have hurt Yonkers for too long.

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eHeziAnalysis: Extremely Strange Bedfellows Reveal They Too Are Empty Suits By HEZI ARIS

Comments 41

  1. of course all the overtime isn’t being used for
    overtime…I never suggested it was…you attempt
    to confuse the issue…the issue is what percentage
    of available overtime is given to those about to
    retire,,,if you take a look at the published pensions
    it is no coincidence that a substantial number of
    retiring cops and fireman get overtime that inflates
    their pensions..everyone knows it..why do you try
    to avoid the issue rather than correcting it..but
    it will stop one way or the other…because its
    very simply a fraud on the taxpayers…and i personally
    believe there should be a full and complete investigation as to how overtime is distributed and
    as to what portion of it has gone to people about
    to retire…as opposed to being evenly distributed
    among the entire group of working men and woman.
    using the words blowhard etc doesn’t advance your
    position one whit..just makes you look like a nit whit

  2. It’s not an abuse of overtime if Con Ed is paying, whiner. The associated pension money is calculated in what Con Ed pays.

  3. Police cars sitting behind Co-Edison truck while con-ed is working , is NOT cover for holes in the chart !!!! its abuse of OT..and it needs to stop

  4. The JN has a database of 2010 Yonkers employees salaries. If you examine it you will find that most cops work huge amounts of overtime. The reason? It is available and needed to cover for holes in the chart due to being short on manpower caused by not having a fully staffed police dept, sick, vacation, and job related injuries. The radi cars still need to be staffed and overtime is necessary.

  5. Edelman, you are an idiot. I have never heard a such a self absorbed, egotistical blowhard as you. Do you really believe only people who are retiring get all the overtime? You are a bigger idiot than I ever thought. You really are dumb. l would never hire such an idiot as you for an attorney. But you are always right. Jerk.

  6. no one knew the game when times were good…I did
    and I said plenty ..no one listened..while money
    is plentiful no one pays attention and they get reckless with their own money as well as with that
    of others…10 millon people or more are out of work
    and you want to retire based on a trick…you would
    have to have 4 million in the bank at 3% to make
    what some of you retire on…hard work or no hard work
    you should get a pension..it just shouldnt be twice
    as much as your salary because you cajolled some
    politician out of the view of the taxpayers whose
    money it is to put a provision in the law that
    benefited the unions in return for political support
    and that is exactly what you did…but its game
    over ..ask the governor…the bill will sail through
    you get to keep yours but if the unions keep insisting
    on the unsustainable you never know what will happen
    to their contracts in a bankruptcy….

  7. Hey edelweasel the LAW says you can make 20 percent more in your salary per year that is pensionable. So if the MUTTS in politics want to address it than let them do it,all you white collar workers had no bitch with public service pensions when the economy was good.Now that its tanking you attack us, you all blow it out your ass. I am retired but glad to see the HARD WORKING guys makin the money they deserve.

  8. Wasn’t it anons boy, nick spano who passed all the laws to make pensions what they are today, didn’t see him complaining then!

  9. this is not an anti union thing…if you work
    huge amounts of overtime for 20 years i have no problem with it..you worked hard and you are entitled
    to get paid…the issue is how is your pension calculated ..frankly if you worked for 20 years and
    every year you made 150,000 or more including overtime
    I would have no problem with your pension being a
    percentage of the average over the 20 year period
    that’s not the issue and you know it..the issue is
    when you have never made more than 85,000 a year
    for 17 of those years and all of a sudden in the last
    3 years you work like an animal and make 150,000
    in overtime….then you get to retire on 130,000
    for the next 35 years..that’s the scam…and everyone
    knows how the game is played ..the ot in the last
    years are controlled for the sole purpose of making
    sure those about to retire get it for their pension
    calculations…this is not a big secret..and its
    not about anything other than gaming the pension
    system which although legal up to now because
    of the arrangements made with elected officials…
    but has to stop and will…you will note that even
    the posters on this site understand that .you cannot
    defend the indefensible but attempting to claim
    you worked overtime for 20 years…overtime is out
    as a pension calculation going forward…its a done
    deal…those who signed on to be public sector
    workers never had any expectation that they would
    retire on anything other than a normal pension
    based on their highest base years…those who have
    taken advantage of the system are now bankrupting it
    for all those who come after…you wouldn’t much like
    it if eventually there was no money to pay any pensions
    to your younger collegues and this is a nationwide
    state by state issue .ny is not alone…but the game
    is over

  10. The Next mayor of Yonkers, regards who it is, must STOP catering to the unions.And Start thinking of the people of Yonkers. The Unions had gotten all their perks from the past Elected Officials. Now its time to listen to the voters. We have to stop this runaway pension debacle. Gov. Cuomo is pushing reform of state and city pensions.The state has a system of five pension tiers that apply to workers hired in different periods, with more recently hired workers generally receiving less in benefits. Mr. Cuomo’s proposal would add a sixth tier. Unfortunately, we will not see the results for 20 years. OT should not be included in pension at all, and this can implemented stating then next fiscal year. We Need a Mayor who will stop given in to the unions, and start worry about the taxpayers of Yonkers. Most retiring union members with large pension, move out of state once they receive their pensions, because NY has a high tax bracket.
    So to the Next Mayor of Yonkers….start helping out the voters. (or you might see a mass exodus out of Yonkers.)

  11. huge jury awards for severe injuries are not related
    to jobs…stop blaming a phantom…and he was talking
    about texas at time..suggest you move there

  12. I worked a tremenous amount of overtime from the day I graduated the academy well over 20 years ago. I gave up weekends, holidays, family social events for over 20 years. I did the overtime because it was available to me, both as a young cop, and as a old timer.There was no giving it just to those near retirement. Whatever was available, I took to make a better life for my family. So that makes me a bad person because I worked so much overtime over my career? Some guys never wanted to do overtime, maybe they preferred lying on the beach, or staying with their family or some had 2nd jobs. It all comes down to personal choice and i chose to work.

  13. The difference between you getting overtime in
    last year of your contract and personal injury law
    is night and day…you are public service employees
    paid by the taxpayers..you are entitled to good salaries and a pension..you are not entitled to
    double the pension you would be entitled to by working
    an enormouse amount of overtime in the last couple
    of yours…that is what most people would call ..a fraud\ on the taxpayers…to compare that to a lawfirm
    which subsidzes its cases and only receives a fee if
    they can prove negligence to a jury is absurd…a
    PI lawfirm assumes all the risk of a case..and if there
    is no case they get no money and eat the cost of
    litigation..and everyone knows that..negligence law
    has been around for a very long time…and jusst because insurance companies are willing to insure people against negligent act is no argument …in
    fact in new york its mandatory..so are the laws which
    govern construction sites..they have to be safe or
    the owner pays the worker who is injured…and negligence doesn’t have to be proven in those cases
    even…finally as for 9/11…the worby lawfirm took
    a 10,000 plaintiff case when no other firm would
    they borrowed 27 million dollars in the hopes that
    they could establish a casual connection between the
    dust at ground zero and the cancers and respiratory
    illnesses that developed in many who worked on the pile
    the city for ten years refused to pay and fought back
    alleging no liability..the mayor paid his defense lawyers 220 million to not pay the injured 9/11 heroes
    but the case finally settled and the legal fee was
    slashed…now your problem is you want to equate what
    you do in the public sector and the political deals
    your unions made with politicians to allow you to
    retire as the equivalent of a multi millionaire with
    an arms length transaction in the private sector based
    on risk, the law and the facts..you are clearly twisted
    and evey state in the union recognizes your position
    as greed and gaming the system…and by the way had
    the lawfirm lost its case in federal court it would
    be out the 27 million it borrowed and all the thousands of man hours over ten years that it and
    its members worked..i sleep very well you shouldnt

  14. so much talk about bashing the unions about overtime. the truth is that the mayor and administration are the ones who approve the overtime! soon we will have a new commisioner!! and a new mayor! i hope the next one spends time solving our long term issues instead mof just playng the blame game. no one on the council should be promoted they are allfailures! imagine murtaugh and lesnick what a sad team

  15. Well it seems the unions have spoken. I am not personally a policeman or firefighter but I admire and appreciate greatly the work you guys do. You are everyday heros and deserve the overtime as long as you work the extra hours. Parasite is the only word to describe Edelman and the others like him, well said. He wouldn’t know a hard days work if it kicked him in the ass. A man like that, if he can even be called a man, will pay for his atrocities in the end, and I sleep very well knowing that. I hope his bed buddy Martinelli doesn’t win because you better believe that they share the same mentality and will try and beat down hard working men like yourselves, same goes for Murtagh. Who knows, maybe if they do get in we’ll end up with a completely immigrant, Spanish-speaking force of police and fireman…as long as they do it for $10/hr. That’s the American way! Right Mike? Thanks for all your hard work guys.

  16. Well it seems the unions have spoken. I am not personally a policeman or firefighter but I admire and appreciate greatly the work you guys do. You are everyday heros and deserve the overtime as long as you work the extra hours. Parasite is the only word to describe Edelman and the others like him, well said. He wouldn’t know a hard days work if it kicked him in the ass. A man like that, if he can even be called a man, will pay for his atrocities in the end, and I sleep very well knowing that. I hope his bed buddy Martinelli doesn’t win because you better believe that they share the same mentality and will try and beat down hard working men like yourselves, same goes for Murtagh. Who knows, maybe if they do get in we’ll end up with a completely immigrant, Spanish-speaking force of police and fireman…as long as they do it for $10/hr. That’s the American way! Right Mike? Thanks for all your hard work guys.

  17. Well it seems the unions have spoken. I am not personally a policeman or firefighter but I admire and appreciate greatly the work you guys do. You are everyday heros and deserve the overtime as long as you work the extra hours. Parasite is the only word to describe Edelman and the others like him, well said. He wouldn’t know a hard days work if it kicked him in the ass. A man like that, if he can even be called a man, will pay for his atrocities in the end, and I sleep very well knowing that. I hope his bed buddy Martinelli doesn’t win because you better believe that they share the same mentality and will try and beat down hard working men like yourselves, same goes for Murtagh. Who knows, maybe if they do get in we’ll end up with a completely immigrant, Spanish-speaking force of police and fireman…as long as they do it for $10/hr. That’s the American way! Right Mike? Thanks for all your hard work guys.

  18. NICELY PUT YOU R A PARASITE. EDELMAN IS A COMPLETE BLOOD SUCKING LEACH, that would never chase someone down with a gun. he is a dirtbag.

  19. You are so full of it Edelman! I shouldn’t even respond to your a**inine rhetoric because I’m sure that’s all your looking for. But sitting here looking at your posts is making me sick. A man/woman that works for 20+ years in the worst of conditions and is thrown some extra OT after serving these years and you have a problem with that? Well I have a problem with someone that collects multi-million dollar settlements because they stepped on a broken sidewalk because they weren’t paying attention and their law firm that collects half because it’s easier to settle and let the insurance company pay! By your own words, you stated that you were going to collect millions from the Zadroga suit for 9/11 heroes. Why? Do you feel that YOU should live the rest of your days as a multi-millionaire? What did you do on 9/11 to deserve anything? Nothing. You did nothing! But it’s ok to collect money from the sick and dying because you’re a parasite. I hope you finished getting off by now Mike because I’m done.

  20. why should murtagh have behaved any differently at that meeting, than he usually does at regular city hall meetings. He usually stays awhile and bolts. He really doesn’t even need a reason. Sometimes he feigns righteous indigation at the city council violating open meetings laws and, before you can call open your mouth, he is gone in a flash. There is always some excuse. A phantom phone call, a whispered message in his ear, a psychic vision, you name it, he uses it to split.

  21. that’s exactly how it should be done. The problem is that the city insists that con ed use yonkers cops. Under those restrictions, are you legally able to exclude the OT when the city demands it of the vendor. I think not.

  22. why can’t con ed cut a check directly to the PO working OT. and issue a 1099 at the end of the year.
    I don’t care how much a person makes in OT as long as it isn’t applied toward a lifetime pension.

  23. excuse me anon at 5:44 pm…Spencer may have given them the store in the beginning but at least two people on this current council – mayoral candidates – voted on at least one contractual cycle. Equal blame.

  24. i have to agree that the person at the top has
    to take the heat or as harry truman put it “if you
    can’t take the heat get out of the kitchen” I don’t
    know why mr murtaugh dissed the yonkers fire dept
    captain and walked out…but that is not the way
    to conduct yourself in public..whether or not you
    agree with the positions taken by the fire department
    members they certainly deserve to have their case made
    Murtaugh by running away gives us a glimpse of what
    he would be like as mayor…and having a mayor who
    thinks he does not have to respond to ALL his constituents regardless of their positions is not
    what yonkers needs at this time.

  25. “Exacerbating tensions among the protagonists, that is the Yonkers City Council and union leadership is Mr. Murtagh’s POUTING EXIT from the Yonkers City Council Chambers when he was being addressed by Yonkers Fire Department Captain James Brady to answer a question. The question doesn’t matter; Mr Murtagh’s ARROGANCE is at issue. If he does not have the BACKBONE to even belatedly engage in a dialogue with the union leadership, a failing of Mayor Amicone, as well, HE IS NOT QUALIFIED TO SERVE IN ELECTED OFFICE. Dialogue is a measure of leadership, an attribute Mr. Murtagh seems unqualified to acquire.”
    John give it up, besides your lackies you are a hated man in this city. Drop out or you will never hold a public office again. If you continue, your reputation will be destroyed through the truth being exposed. You are not a person fit to serve in office. Imagine this man became mayor? The power trip he would be on would be disastrous for Yonkers. It would become a dictatorship. Murtagh for Yonkers? More like Murtagh fu*ks Yonkers.

  26. the above post is exactly right..overtime in and of itself may or may not be necessary but its the way
    it is distributed that has totally subverted the pension system…giving overtime only to those about
    to retire so they can use it in their pension formulas winds up costing the city 10’s of millions over time
    that practice will now stop under governor cuomo’s
    pension reform proposal for the new tier. my guess
    is that once that happens, the amount of overtime
    paid out will dissappear..because using it as a pension
    inflator provides an enormous incentive to work like
    an annimal in the last three years to get your total
    income up to as much as 300,000 as we saw the other
    day..and then for the next 40 years draw down 150
    making you the equivalent of a multi millionaire for
    that one hard year you put in…that will now stop becasuse the incentive is gone..whatever real overtime
    is needed is fine and it then becomes a management
    decision

  27. Some of your ideas would never be implemented because of state laws, even a control board would not be able to change them. You might even need to hire overtime for say extra police patrols such as when the city had a rash of shootings a couple summers ago. If the police get a homicide wouldnt you want them to investigate that fully, then there is evidence that needs to be collected, and transported to the proper test facility. Unfortunetely this requires a huge amount of man hours and overtime. Its managements responsibility to regulate overtime and as we saw recently they have not been doing such a great job. Do we really need to hire overtime for every Sgt, Lt, and Captain that are out there? Why cant a supervisor cover a adjoining pct? Why do we need cops directing traffic for con-ed. In this city its not the amount of money collected, its how its spent that is the problem

  28. Some of your ideas would never be implemented because of state laws, even a control board would not be able to change them. You might even need to hire overtime for say extra police patrols such as when the city had a rash of shootings a couple summers ago. If the police get a homicide wouldnt you want them to investigate that fully, then there is evidence that needs to be collected, and transported to the proper test facility. Unfortunetely this requires a huge amount of man hours and overtime. Its managements responsibility to regulate overtime and as we saw recently they have not been doing such a great job. Do we really need to hire overtime for every Sgt, Lt, and Captain that are out there? Why cant a supervisor cover a adjoining pct? Why do we need cops directing traffic for con-ed. In this city its not the amount of money collected, its how its spent that is the problem

  29. Some of your ideas would never be implemented because of state laws, even a control board would not be able to change them. You might even need to hire overtime for say extra police patrols such as when the city had a rash of shootings a couple summers ago. If the police get a homicide wouldnt you want them to investigate that fully, then there is evidence that needs to be collected, and transported to the proper test facility. Unfortunetely this requires a huge amount of man hours and overtime. Its managements responsibility to regulate overtime and as we saw recently they have not been doing such a great job. Do we really need to hire overtime for every Sgt, Lt, and Captain that are out there? Why cant a supervisor cover a adjoining pct? Why do we need cops directing traffic for con-ed. In this city its not the amount of money collected, its how its spent that is the problem

  30. Comments like yours show what a mental midget you are & you forgot to mention that before you got your union job you were cleaninmg toilets at McDonalds.

  31. Unfortunately there is only one way to end this problem.
    Bring in the Control Board and NULLIFY THE UNION CONTRACTS.
    No more overtime BS, no padding, no stupid work rules. Wage increases based on merit. You screw up, your fired. You get a fair pension basd on your base wage, not OT. No insane shift overage OT rules if someone is out. Etc etc.
    We would save millions right away, and they would still get paid fairly.
    You know, this sounds like how everyone else works. Time to join the real world.

  32. ANON SAID< YOU MUST BE TO MUCH OF AN ASS TO BECOME A MEMBER IN THESE UNIONS. GO BACK TO YOUR JOB AT SHOPRITE PUSHING THOSE CARTS FOR 8 AN HOUR. IM GONNA PUT IN FOR OT< SEE YA JERK...

  33. The irony is almost laughable. A tort “lawyer” calling someone else a predator. Nowhere else in society does a group more represent predatory practices then the scourge we call tort “lawyers”. Edelman you truly are the fool.

  34. the unions are not victims..the unions are predators
    they have been gaming the system for years..its why
    the governor proposed tier vi…no overtime…end of
    discussion

  35. blah blah blah. The unions are the victims. News 12 portrayed them the same way tonight. I recall the union member with the $130,000 in overtime.
    Some victim. That money would pay for perhaps 1.5 teachers.
    There is plenty of blame to go around here, but do not ever make the unions out to be martyrs. They are greedy like everyone else. Just because John Spencer gave them a disgusting contract does not make it right.

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