Both Sides Appeal To Unions In Budget Fight

Melissa Bailey Photo(Updated) A city union president heard a pitch from the mayor to rally the troops behind his proposed budget—but she decided to hold the phone.

The union president, Cherlyn Poindexter (pictured), joined other municipal labor leaders Monday in a private confab with Mayor John DeStefano in his City Hall office.

DeStefano called them in to discuss efforts by some city aldermen and a citizens group called New Haven Citizens Action Network (NHCAN) to shoot down his proposed $467 million budget for the coming fiscal year.

He asked the union leaders to rally their members to contact aldermen to oppose NHCAN and to support City Hall as the budget heads toward a final vote in coming weeks. Mayoral Chief of Staff Sean Matteson circulated tailored lists for each union president with a set of aldermen to contact.

Poindexter’s response?

She said she agrees with NHCAN that the budget has waste in it.

“The mayor is pitting the unions against the residents,” she charged.

She has invited all 30 aldermen to a meeting with municipal labor leaders Saturday morning. She promised to unveil her own ideas there about how to cut alleged fat from the budget without sacrificing union jobs.

“I will tell the aldermen on Saturday where the waste is,” Poindexter promised in an interview Wednesday. “And there’s a lot of it.” The only example she’d give as a preview Wednesday was City Hall’s decision to hire a prison reentry coordinator.

Ronald Hobson, president of the city clerical workers union, said he too was unimpressed with the mayor’s call to lobby aldermen on behalf of the budget.

“We’re not going to do that,” Hobson said. ” From what I hear, the budget is not going to work. He knows it’s not going to work.”

The mayor’s message resonated more with the teachers union. Union President David Cicarella said he’s inclined to have his people make some calls to aldermen to oppose a 10 percent cut.

“A 10 percent reduction to the Board of Education would be devastating,” he said. “There’s only so much in books and paper [to cut]. It’s got to be staff. Yes, you can probably shave an administrator or two or four, and not renew some contracts with consultants. But you’ll never get to $17 million [in cuts] without getting two, three hundred teachers. That’s not palatable.”

Everyone Invites Suggestions

Thomas MacMillan File PhotoDeStefano (pictured) said Wednesday that he called the meeting in order to respond to what he called budget critics’ incomplete message. They’ve called for a 10 percent across-the-board tax cut without, he said, offering ideas about where to cut. He said he wanted to let the unions know that if such a move succeeds, union members will lose their jobs.

He said his message to the assembled union presidents was: “I want you to be clear. If I get a budget that doesn’t balance, I’m going to be required to balance it. And I will. You have a stake and an interest in this just as taxpayers do.

“By saying, ‘Cut the budget 10 percent,’ but not identifying where, I think [budget opponents] are very knowingly trying to push dramatic reductions to the workforce. It’s just clear that that would result” in layoffs.

DeStefano said he got a clear message in community meetings that people don’t want to see policemen or firefighters or teachers laid off, or libraries closed, or other services cut. “The way to reduce employee costs is going to have to be accomplished with health care and pension [adjustments]. I’ve been up front with unions about that. I don’t think we’re in a position where we should cut the number of officers who patrol New Haven’s streets,” the mayor said.

Poindexter said she doesn’t want to see the budget cut 10 percent across the board. “Cutting services means laying off my people,” she said. She also said other cuts can be found without laying off her members.

“The unions are city residents as well. We are on the same page as them. We are not against NHCAN,” she said. “Taxes do pay our salaries. But there is a lot of waste in that budget. What the mayor’s doing is pitting the unions against the residents.”

NHCAN has invited people to volunteer ideas about how to cut the budget or raise new revenues in order to avoid a tax hike and proposed parking-revenue monetization deal. Read about those efforts here. Some ideas include moving faster to installing parking fee-collection kiosks, raising street parking rates, and increasing weekend and other off-hour ticketing of illegally parked cars.

DeStefano said he welcomes suggestions for closing the budget gap without a tax increase. The city has invited city workers here to submit ideas for efficiencies or new revenues. The mayor said he similarly welcomes any new ideas that come out of Saturday’s union-NHCAN meeting.

A group of aldermen, too, has been meeting this week to draw up alternative ideas for closing the budget gap. Hearings on the budget—some of which have been stormy—continue Wednesday night at City Hall; the Independent plans to live-blog it so people who don’t attend can follow along. The budget comes up for a final vote at the Board of Aldermen on June 7.

Both Sides Lobby

Thomas MacMillan PhotoMeanwhile, NHCAN has done its own targeted lobbying to match City Hall’s, both on this website and in a mass email sent to city workers Wednesday in response to the mayor’s meeting with labor leaders.

Here’s what the email message said:

“Join us in our effort to keep New Haven affordable and to keep quality city jobs through increased efficiency, more accountability, and getting rid of divisive tactics that split this city so we do not work together.

“We understand the mayor and his executive staff are trying to rally you against the budget cuts that more than 1,000 citizens and taxpayers are seeking. Please understand we are not against city services or against any one department. We know there are considerable savings that can be achieved in every budget in the city. We also know the mayor has not looked for any of them which is why the people you serve, are facing property tax increases as high as 21% including the phased in reval. This is on top of taxes that have doubled for most of us across the last 7-10 years. Would you put up with that in your town?

“The City of New Haven is in a tough financial spot because of the mayor’s decisions across the last several years, some going back even further.  It’s not all the ‘state’s fault’ all the time, as he would have you believe.

“As you know, when the mayor was running for governor, he put the school board on auto-pilot and didn’t even attend any meetings let alone monitor its budget. He agreed to generous union contracts he knew then and definitely knows now, we could not afford. In fact, the pension and healthcare promises he made to you are underfunded by hundreds of millions of dollars that no amount of tax increases will ever be able to cover. Each year he budgets only enough to pay for that year’s needs and puts virtually nothing aside for your future retirement. The debt the city is carrying has mushroomed and is robbing vital cash resources from city services, education and the proper funding of your pensions. It now consumes $62 million in mortgage payments this year—up from $30 million in 2002. And he plans to add at least another $100 million in debt this year.

“How much credibility does the mayor and his executive staff have when asking you to call an alderman about our fiscal crisis? This is the same mayor who demanded a $25K raise the day after the election and settled for $16K. This is the same staff who gave themselves unbudgeted stealth raises and allow their friends and favored few to take “special assignments” and consultant contracts most of whom were already drawing a city pension, and then laid off city workers, many of them, the lowest paid. This is the same administration who consistently violates the rules of employment so that millions are paid out in settlements and grievances and fires people for speaking with the press.

“The fact is we are in a financial crisis. Families are losing their homes and many of our citizens are out of work or are working for reduced wages. Our middle class is shrinking and the underclass is growing. We simply cannot afford any tax hike let alone a double digit one all because of poor decisions, planning and making promises we can’t keep.

“Before you pick up the phone to call a member of the Board of Aldermen, please re-consider doing so and instead channel your energies into finding efficiencies in your own department or in another department with which you are familiar. Send your ideas to us so we can help champion concrete ways to run an affordable and sustainable city.  We have a community budget presentation that we would be happy to share with you and your membership. Let us know where and when we can do our presentation on the budget.

“Thank you for your service.

“(NHCAN) New Haven Citizens Action Network”

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Comments

posted by: Tim Holahan on May 12, 2010  4:07pm

At this late date, it’s inappropriate for the mayor to ask that someone tell him where to cut.

He knows his departments better than anyone else. It’s up to him (and to some extent, the Board of Aldermen) to figure out what the city can do without over the next few years.

The members of NHCAN aren’t the elected representatives of the people of New Haven. The mayor and the aldermen are. They were chosen to do a difficult job that sometimes requires painful decisions. That’s how our government works, when it works.

posted by: Amy Meek on May 12, 2010  4:08pm

I’m the prison reentry coordinator hired by City Hall.  Just to clarify, my position is funded entirely by special funds through a federal grant awarded specifically for reentry efforts ($350,000 over two years from the Department of Justice). 

As reported in the Independent last year (http://www.newhavenindependent.org/index.php/archives/entry/prison_re-entry_falls_through/), this federal grant fully pays for the city’s reentry initiative for FY10-11, including my entire position (encompassing benefits, overhead, supplies, and so on—as well as money for a recent minigrants RFP and another organizer position funded for one year).

While Ms. Poindexter may feel that my position is unneeded, eliminating it would not save the city of New Haven any money—the federal grant is specifically for the city’s reentry efforts.

[Editor’s Note: Cherlyn Poindexter called to clarify that she was referring to an assistant hired to work with the prison reentry coordinator. Meek further clarified that that’s an organizer position that’s also paid through federal funds.]

posted by: cedarhillresident on May 12, 2010  4:12pm

Was the mayor at the same meetings I was at???? People where screaming at him they can not afford the tax increase. May where saying that he need to cut from the top NOT THE SERVICES workers!!! HELLO MAYOR

posted by: cedarhillresident on May 12, 2010  4:19pm

ok sorry was heated there for a moment GREAT JOB Cherlyn Poindexter BRAVO TO YOU GUYS! The mayor has gone unchallenged for so long that he forgot what accountability frees like. He tried to twist the truth to the parents but saying art and music would be cut….but that would be up to the BOE the have the most fat they can cut from the top and art and music can grow! And when parents caught onto that lie. He is now targeting unions!
I am asking union leader to do just that be leader of this city! I have talked to many and there are ideas out there! And jobs and services can imporve with no tax hike. TAKE THIS CITY BACK !!!! Be what union leaders use to be!!! Stand up and fight with the people!!!!!

posted by: Harry David on May 12, 2010  4:22pm

These attempts to divide the taxpayers and the unions is really disgraceful and it is heartening to see that it is not working.

First we had the Board of Education encourage the PTO to send letters to all 20,000 students with scare tactics suggesting Education would be decimated it the NHCAN budget cuts are imposed. And now this attempt to pit the unions against the citizenry.

We should be working together to eliminate waste and redundancy—of which there is much— and to assure fiscal integrity. What is the value of contracts promising pension and retiree medical benefits if the City lacks and does not provide the resources for paying out these benefits when they come due?  The pension funds are way underfunded despite very optimistic projections of future costs and the retiree medical benefit is almost totally unfunded.

It is beyond belief that in the midst of this crisis the City’s response is more divisive tactics. more financial engineering such as the parking monetization scheme and a total refusal to face realities.

posted by: Steve on May 12, 2010  4:23pm

The Mayor is acting like a desperate man and en should be. Every pocket of influence he has ever had is turning against him and he knows it !!

Great work NHCAN and however this years budget is settled one thing is very clear this should be the last we see of Mayor Johnnie in his city hall office!!

posted by: working(too hard) mom on May 12, 2010  4:36pm

Lets not forget the Mayor’s twisted logic justifying the increase in this budget…..According to him, the support from the State budget for next year is going to be very grim (ie: support to cities), so he needs to spend this year.  HOW DOES THIS MAKE ANY SENSE???????  Tell me, if you knew your job was to end in six months and your income source slashed, would your first reaction be to go on a spending spree?

posted by: Doyens on May 12, 2010  4:47pm

Could the mayor be using a body double? I could swear that he actually attended the same budget presentations and hearings I did but his take on them is at best, selective, highly edited or largely fabricated.

The message loud and clear, even from pro-city taxpayers, was to cut the budget and bring spending in line with our ability to pay. Among the comments: They can afford no increase in taxes; that they would either lose their homes, have to sell their homes at a or saw a direct decrease in value due to the high taxes; that as owners of small businesses, they were barely hanging on well into the 2nd year of the recession; that as families, we have made cutbacks over and again at the family budget level; that the mayor is asking us to sacrifice again and even more than ever without once looking at significant cuts in city spending. Were there one or two who said no change in services? Yes. They were lonely and isolated voices.

As for ideas, NHCAN presented 316 ideas from a city-wide brainstorm. I’ve presented ideas in this forum; others have been presented in past years and rejected everytime. That sorry excuse is a tired old refrain. Frankly, we shouldn’t even have to present ideas on where to cut. The mayor spends over a million dollars a year on high priced staff to “manage” the city; department heads are so well compensated, they couldnt’ even find a such a job in the private sector especially with the benefits. We pay top dollar to our BOE administrative staff. We expect city administrators and department heads to identify where to cut and to have those cuts in areas that least affect taxpayers.

Cars, gas and insurance for how many private cars for staff? Memberships to organizations we don’t need and all the accompanying travel expense too; DC lobbyists; state lobbyists; “special assignment” administrators and teachers at the BOE; cell phones; 7 assistant principals at WC. Institute rolling furloughs; elminate new classes of cops and firemen; re-org the police districts and use lower level personnel; streamline administration; use technology to lower total city census figures and HAVE NO SACRED COWS IN THE BUDGET. Complete schools under construction, suspend all others. There have been plenty of ideas if one was listening.

The bottom line is we are the customer. The time for telling us to sit down, shut up and pay, are over. We need and want a well-run, affordable, family-friendly and sustainable city. If not now, when? The clock is ticking…

posted by: Fact Check on May 12, 2010  5:05pm

Some Aldermen on the BOA have NO business talking about a budget and tax increases as they own not an INCH of property in this Doomed City of New Haven, therefore they pay NO I repeat NO taxes to the City and neighborhoods they represent.  OUCH!!!

posted by: RBishop on May 12, 2010  5:45pm

Wake up Mr. mayor all your Public Safety Departments need to be revamped. Firefighters complain all medical very few fires.Police overtime out of control, big pension payments no capping.
New Haven Taxpayers are entitled a tax break

posted by: streever on May 12, 2010  5:47pm

Hey John, maybe citizens wouldn’t have to ask you to make cuts if you did your job up front.

Your assertion that you’ve been given no guidance is baseless. You have over 350 suggested cuts. I suggest you read the suggestions at some point.

Frankly, you shouldn’t depend on citizens to write your budget for you. That is your staff’s job. Are they too busy drumming up support for your proposals? Or working co-chair races/aldermanic campaigns?

BRAVO to the unions for not falling for this. I have seen many excellent suggestions by union members for places to cut, dating back to last year. The Mayor asked them to take a pay-cut and then raised his top staff’s salary. What a low-class move. This time, get everything in writing.

posted by: FaChec on May 12, 2010  6:03pm

The BOE has no real fear of a 10% or 17M cut this year or any year. If that were to happen The State of CT. would find New Haven in default of the Education Cost Sharing Pilot Payments.
This is no more than a scare tactic devised by the Mayor.

A 10% cut could come from any one of the four appropriating budgets, not just the general fund budget, which the Mayor portrays as “the budget”.
If you want suggestion for cuts Mayor, for starters, you have the massive 67.9M for rentals and services (agency line item # 56000’s (pg 2-14. Or, line item #58000’s Health care benefit’s.
Then there is the massive 7.2M over time budget. And of course the 44 new employees you intend to hire.

Trust me there is plenty of suggestions for cuts out side of the BOE.

While we’re on the BOA budget, lets mention the matter of the 2M overtime hidden line item which the BOE again fails to report in your budget.

Last year the Blue Ribbon commission presented a formal report on the budget and a laundry list of recommendations to you and the BOA.

Both rejected the report out right. Therefore, Mayor, you have no creditability when asking city residents to recommend budget cuts.

So Mayor, be careful what you ask for, then reject, and ask for more.

Since the budget automatically passes if no action by June 1….you well know there is no time for negotiations.

You mayor, know the budget best… The time is now!!.. JUST DO IT!

posted by: BOE on May 12, 2010  8:01pm

I just wanted to say that the Mayor just asked us to help the Aldermen with the Budget and the President of the Fire Union asked us to do the same.  What’s wrong with that?  I’ve told my member to do it.

posted by: Charlie O'Keefe on May 12, 2010  8:03pm

I think the Mayor should show some leadership by taking an immediate 10% or 15% pay cut. His senior managers should also give back there sneak 3% pay hike too. In business managers get paid on performance. I hope the BOA are listening and will take action.

posted by: streever on May 12, 2010  8:26pm

Private citizens devoted inordinate amounts of time working on the budget, after being appointed by the Mayor.

He said, “No” and didn’t take any of their recommendations seriously.

More citizens submitted over 350 ideas to him.

He sad, “No.”

He asked Union Members to give him ideas for cuts. They did. He said, “No.”

DestefaNO: No No No.

posted by: Roy Cappolino on May 12, 2010  10:02pm

Wow, this new leadership with the union needs to be applauded for taking a stand and showing that this is about the health of this city and the health of keeping the small tax base of home owners in tact. It’s about employees and their need to pay bills, mortgage, and feed their families.
No one should put up with this mayor at this point. His turn to get the pink slip, not the employees. Read my lips mayor,take your high pension and pack your bags along with your high paid flunkies.

posted by: la del rio on May 12, 2010  10:48pm

Cherlyn- are you serious?! to cut the budget by 10% means cutting your benefits and wages - are you ready to do that? Don’t forget that a lot of the people that work for the City live in the City. They really won’t be able to afford their houses then….
unions don’t just fight to fight….REAL union leaders fight to protect their co-workers from pay cuts and lay offs…REAL union leaders want to GROW the union b/c in numbers there is strength… and the “people” used to STAND UP and fight alongside union members, not the other way around. It’s the union members that are picking up the garbage and running the parks programs, teaching your kids at school, running elderly services…and all the pencil pushers in between that make sure that everything gets done behind the scenes.
prison re-entry - how can you say that anything about that program is a waste? You don’t think that we need MORE of this in our communities? Everyone is stressed and everyone is trying to figure out ways to make things work…btw i was at budget hearings too - ALMOST EVERYONE that spoke said don’t raise my taxes, but also don’t cut this one thing i really like, i don’t think many ppl wanted to same the same program. WE all have to GET REAL. parking meters - it’s gonna happen sooner or later - ppl are gonna scream. i saw a comment about combining police district - ppl will scream about that too. I think that we all have to realize that no matter what none of us is going to be happy.
I don’t want my kids school to be cut - the teachers are underpaid as it is - even cutting 5 of the 7 (according to blog comment) assistant principals at WC is not going to bring the kind of savings that are being required. I don’t want to see the teachers we love go somewhere else for better pay in a community that suports them.
cherlyn, et al, how many of your co-workers are you willing to say good bye to? how much are you willing to cut your health care? won’t you be back next year upset about health care cost being so much more than your 3% annual raise….maybe you should take some zero’s and give back yourself…many Americans are having to do this….are you prepared to make the sacrifices it takes to not raise taxes. I really can’t believe that you could support a reduction in workforce. what kind of Union leader are you? i’m so shocked. truly.

posted by: roomforaview on May 12, 2010  10:55pm

This really seems like blackmail to me. Either the unions put pressure on the Aldermen to support the Mayor’s budget or city workers get the ax!?. There are other alternatives. There is waste in the Mayor’s budget and it starts with the high salaried folks he surrounds himself with. Of course when the Mayor is asked to pare the budget he threatens the low wage frontline service providers. Even through the budget freeze he has kept hiring insider personnel and raising salaries for those he favored. Now he wants city taxpayers and city workers to bail him out. With the Mayor at this stage in his career it’s always “My way or the highway”.

posted by: public works environment on May 13, 2010  2:11am

It should be asked from the public works environment that the union leaders to rally their members to contact aldermen to oppose NHCAN and to support City Hall as the budget heads toward a final vote in coming weeks

posted by: Concerned Citizen on May 13, 2010  8:38am

Let’s hear it for Poindexter and NHCAN.  This is what is supposed to happen in a democracy. The US criticize dictators in other countries but we have been supporting one right here in NH. I hope that ALL union members and residents support the actions of Poindexter and NHCAN. I am not saying you must agree with their budget positions; however, the mayor should not be dictating how these groups should behave.  He should start by giving back the $16K increase he took at a time when the city cannot afford it; he should also remove ALL of the double dippers who are on the city’s payroll now, and all of the political pals who are bleeding the City’s treasury.

NHCAN and Poindexter - STAND YOUR GROUND!

posted by: Cedarhillresident on May 13, 2010  9:14am

public works environment
You do realize I am friends with many pw employees that agree with this. 2nd PW is working on crumbs right now because the last time the mayor did his cut he started at the bottom!!! HE GOT RID OF the real workers of this city!!! Lowest paid up! IT should be in reverse Highest paid down!!! YOU DO NOT SUPPORT THAT??? We need our quality of life workers!! We need to protect them! One JUST one over paid paper push that is axed will save 3 to 4 real workers jobs!! Sorry the city needs to be restructured from the top down!! NOT THE BOTTOM UP!! And I stand by our workers!! Who are the people that our supporting the mayors budget? Asking there people to do the same the HIGH PAID people who jobs are really in question! WORKERS UNITE!!!!! If we do not change the way this city is ran the state will come in, in two years when the budget we are fighting for will be in far worse trouble than it is now (this is according to the mayors budget presentation!) and they will do the house cleaning!! Or we can do it now and protect our people! THAT SIMPLE!

ps
BOE your dept has the most waste MONEY NOT MAKING IT TO THE CLASSROOMS!!! so you over paid paper pusher are spreading doom and gloom to save there over paid jobs… That I am not sorry for. I am sorry for the students and teacher that that wasted money should be going to!!!!!! WAY OVER STAFFED PAPER PUSHERS are the first that should go and STOP BUILDING SCHOOLS!

posted by: anon on May 13, 2010  9:24am

http://www.ctmirror.org/story/5919/state-workers-insist-they-can-save-dollars

sounds like a consistent problem in public management is thinking top-down rather than bottom-up

posted by: DeStefano will destroy New Haven on May 13, 2010  9:27am

Years of insane budget increases have finally come to a head, if residents would stop voting for this Mayor just because he’s a Democrat we wouldn’t be in this mess.

this mayor has no idea how to cut budgets because he’s never had to, new haven voters have let him believe he is a god.  Vote this budget down, and vote DeSefano out!  Enough is enough.

posted by: New Haven Labor on May 13, 2010  9:45am

Wow! Talk about taking it out on the little guy! How about taking some off the top instead.

http://newhavenlabor.wordpress.com/

posted by: Vinny G on May 13, 2010  9:54am

Why not consolidate schools, preferably the high schools.  If the City only graduates around 1000 students a year, why is there a need to have 13 plus high schools that are not utilized to there full potential.  There could be quite a bit of money saved on the administrations, etc.  Stop school construction in its tracks, why rebuild when the City is not utilizing fully what they have now. 
Eliminate the school construction Program manager.  I am sure there not cheap.
John stop the blood letting, don’t open up the cut wider.

posted by: A family who has lived, gived and loved New Haven on May 13, 2010  11:01am

My parents worked very hard to raise 9 responsible hard working people; we were taught to give back and always help another as long as it does not hurt you.  Well I look at my mom who has been paying the bills alone for the past 17 yrs. since my Dad died an now she has to lose her home? I know there are plenty of people who are over paid and under qualified for the positions they hold at City Hall & the Bd. of Ed. The way I see it 5 yrs. from now there will be no New Haven just a hub for the homeless & unemployed. Sadder that sad.

posted by: Teacher Gal on May 13, 2010  12:10pm

If the high schools are underused, how about sending 8th graders that are crowding the elementary schools into the high schools. They are generally a bad influence in the elementary school as well as on the school buses. The younger children see and learn things that are inappropriate. This would be a great way to solve 2 problems, underused high schools and overcrowded elementary schools.

posted by: RightHere on May 13, 2010  1:55pm

I have an idea on how you can cut from the Board of Ed.

Pay to Play sports!!!! and only 1 New Haven Team!!!! Not 4 ( Cross, Hillhouse, Career & Hyde )

It’s worked in other towns and saved money why not in New Haven?

Do we as a city really need 4 Boys basketball, Football, Baseball, Track & Cross Country teams Or 4 Girls basketball, Volleyball, Softball, Track & Cross Country Teams.

I understand about traditions of these schools teams but come on that’s alot of money for buses, Ref’s & Umpires, Trainers, Coaches.

Not to mention not having to use the electricty to light the gyms at night and weekends of staff being paid to cover the event.

Lets explore that and see how much it saves.

posted by: cedarhillresident on May 13, 2010  5:37pm

Righthere
I was waiting for someone else to responded to you but I guess I have to. This is new haven. They kids can not pay to play. Sports are there only way to keep on the straight and narrow. And the try outs for them are packed! School is all they have. Sports art and music are not an option in new haven. Our option is the fact that the administrator is fat and top heavy and will add up to far more than cutting kids programs! Cutting programs will add to more child crime in a city like ours this is not the suburbs.

I do like Teacher Gals suggestion that is an easy option.
We have schools that are barely just barely meeting the states requirements in class rooms. WE NEED TO STOP 4 schools that are up for building. At the least put them on the back burn untill we get the city’s finances in order and get the schools running right! CLEAN HOUSE IN THE BOE

posted by: Winston on May 13, 2010  5:47pm

Hey La del rio,
Are you serious? What article did you read? I didn’t walk away with that analysis about Cherlyn at all. Read the article and stop reading into what you want to read into and hurt someone who is talking fairness across the board while attempting to protect her herd. She is talking about real squandering of money that she would like the aldermen to look at. She wants waste cut, overspending stopped and cut while doing so to save jobs.

posted by: Harry on May 13, 2010  6:17pm

As a tax payer and city hall watcher it seems to me that local 3144 has elected a fearless president that is fair and above those political games that hurt everyone. I have a feeling that 3144 has a stay on course fearless vice president (with all kinds of political experience) they not too long ago elected. What a difference these two women are making for the spirit of this city, tax payers and city workers. Cherlyn and Elaine, just do it!

posted by: Sam on May 13, 2010  6:32pm

Poindexter has not down anything for the employees who have accepted significant amount of additional responsibilities.  People have left and there was supposed to be a promise to compensate the people for did not leave.  They did not fill those positions who retired, saving over $1,000,000 each year but forced the workers to take on more work.  For only $50,000 for a raise for 10-15 people to pay the workers is a very high return to the savings of $1,000,000 per year.  The taxpayers are getting a very good return The administration states there is no money- but there is for political friends.  Take a look at the high debt due to the school construction.

posted by: cedarhillresident on May 13, 2010  6:32pm

ok I know this is not my FB page put this song is perfect… this one goes out to the mayor

http://snuhfiles.com/sound/stevie_wonder-you_havent_done_nothin.mp3

posted by: Vinny G on May 13, 2010  7:44pm

Ceaderhillresident is absolutely correct. 
However the Mayor will not stop the school construction program. It generates him campaign donations and support from the Architects and engineers that are awarded the design of the schools.  Next the construction Program administrator, the construction manager for the school.  Last but not least there’s always some sort of squeeze on the lowest bid contractor to get a dollar out of them.  Some form of stopping payment for a technicality general squeezes a dollar out of them.  After that clean up 54 Meadow st.  There are plenty of people close to the Mayor who have high paying jobs given to them by John.

posted by: RightHere on May 13, 2010  8:27pm

cedarhillresident :

I my self played 2 sports throughout all 4 years of high school.

I totally understand what you are saying.
I also agree 100% with your statement ” The administration is fat and top heavy ”

I am just trying to throw out a suggestion
( just as any suggestion it may need to be tweaked ).

As far as my suggestion I think it is a very good suggestion. You can cut the sports and use some of that money to have other programs to keep the kids off the street.

You will still be saving money!
Like I said previously No Buses Or paying for ref’s.

The one problem I have with your statement is ” Sports are there only way to keep on the straight and narrow “

That is quite possibly the most ignorant statement I’ve read. There are plenty of other things in New Haven ( such as Church programs and volunterring at one of the great hospitals or senior housing )to keep kids on the straight & narrow and off the street. I Also feel that to keep any Kid on the straght & narrow it must start at home not on a court or ball field.

You also stated ” Sports art and music are not an option in new haven “. Again I disagree. Art & Music are part of the school cirriculum and should not be touched. However Sports is an extracirricular activity and not a neccessity. It is a priveledge not a requirement!  It is expendable in times like these if you don’t want taxes to go up.

Another statement you made ” Cutting programs will add to more child crime in a city like ours.”
My response to that is simple. That is the Parents/Guardians responsibility not the Board of Ed’s.

I got one more point to take up with you. You stated ” This is new haven. The kids can not pay to play.”. Almost every kid that plays High School sports played in leagues leading up to highschool such as little league. Which the parents always seemed to have found the money for. Those leagues are not cheap by any means.

Like I stated in the begining this is just a suggestion. A good one at that.