Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Police Overtime Lawsuit

Here we go again: If you are not following the latest problem within the Troy Police Dept. then you better start. A federal lawsuit has been filed against Police Chief John Tedesco, Mayor Harry Tutunjan AND the City of Troy. That is YOU! Anytime the City of Troy is sued, the Citizens are being sued.

In a time when many Folks are in a uproar over the out of control Pension plans, they should be taking a close look at the overtime being worked in our Police Dept.

When Mayor Tutunjian was making his considerations on whom he wanted to appoint as the new Police Chief, Tedesco said one of his priority's would be to cut down the Overtime that is overwhelming the budget, and he is trying to do just that. There are somewhere in the area of 125 Officers on the force, some excellent Officers and others maybe a little marginal. Some have been there forever and some are brand new on the force. So they may be reading this and saying, what the heck business is it of hers or of anyone else's , how we put in for, or work our overtime! Well, my dear people, WE are PAYING for it and we most certainly have every right to be concerned over the amount, or HOW it is accrued, ESPECIALLY if it is being accrued as a Scam. Much is the talk going around how one Officer will be assigned to a shift and call in sick so a fellow Officer can come in on overtime and then the 'favor' is returned. How much of this is in dispute right now, we are not sure but we will most certainly find out. Also a concern to us is the fact that those pulling their pay off of the Taxpayers are themselves not residents who have to pay for it, OR will have to pay for the Lawsuit that has been placed, and am I right, Bobby Fitzgerald himself? Chief Tedesco and Mayor Tutunjian want this stopped, and we agree! There should be strict guidelines involving overtime and I am sure there are, but are they being followed? All of the Citizens of Troy should get on board with this issue and make it their priority to be very vocal about it. The Overtime embellishes the Pensions and on and on it goes. How much $$ can the City/Citizens support? Did our Officers join on to protect the city or become rich? We never object to a well paid Officer for a job well done, but some of this is overdone. We need to make sure all time worked is quality time. If the Police Dept. were a private entity would you be seeing this as such an issue? How do we deal with a contract that is grieved mostly on pay and benefits and not on performance?

Also, seeing the Taxpayer is who pays the salaries, wouldn't you think we would be able to vote on the Contract? I think maybe that should be put into play here. If retired Police Officers who no longer work for the Police Dept. can, then those who PAY the salaries should be able to. Maybe all this nonsense would stop. Also we should have some say on the final decisions on Grievances. If we think the Officers are not being paid correctly or there is some other problem with the ranks that is being grieved, we should be able to have some say on righting the wrong OR disciplining the offending Officer. If the grievances continue, maybe we should fire the whole Police Dept. and start all over again, hiring on the Officers who really want to work as a Public Servants and eliminate those who think we are a private bank. I want to see a LOT of comments here, I want to know how people feel about this, let us know if you are a Police Officer responding or a Taxpayer. Also for the Police Officers state how you feel about the Grievance, Lawsuit and/or Overtime. Because, "That's the Way it is!"

Thursday, December 16, 2010

The UPTOWN Initiative PEPSI Refresh Grant

Revitalizing North Central is near and dear to my heart. Oh what a success story it would be to bring this once vibrant and elegant section of Troy back to its former glory! Xenia Allen, one of the founding members of the Uptown Initiative Neighborhood Project has written a application for a 50K Pepsi 'Refresh Grant'. This Grant would, if awarded, provide a great foundation for further restoration of Uptown/North Central. This has become a wonderful Community effort and we are asking and encouraging everyone to please go to the Pepsi Refresh site every single day and place your vote for this project. To vote simply click on the Internet address below or copy and paste into your browser.


The following are the Goals the group has included in their application:

  1. Plant Trees and Perennials for improved curb appeal of our streets.
  2. Artist paintings of murals at the gateway to Uptown.
  3. Community outreach and education.
  4. Regular clean -n -sweeps of the entire Uptown Neighborhood.
  5. Encourage urban green living & sustainability.

Here is the breakdown of how the 50K will be used:

$27,500 Trees, Perennials,Supplies, Landscaping services

$3,500 Brochures, Fliers for Community Outreach & Education

$10,000 Artist Mural Paintings

$3,000 Uptown Neighborhood Banners

$3,000 Street Cleanups and Signs

$3,000 Administrative

Volunteering your time in your Neighborhood or any other project is time consuming and not all Citizens do it. So this is a small request to do some Community service and help this group out by giving them a BIG BOOST and vote for this project and also send out the link to everyone in your Address Book and ask them to do the same on a daily basis to make this a successful effort! Paste it on your Facebook page also. REMEMBER.....this voting segment ends on December 31st!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Billie-Jean Greene

Billie-Jean Greene has made an announcement of her intention to run for City Council. I applaud her effort! In the short time she has resided in Uptown/North Central, she has gone the extra mile to make it her home and work towards making it a better place for everyone here. Some people reside in an area and just live in a house. Others take a look around them and say, 'what can I do to make it better for me AND my Neighbors'? This is what Billie-Jean has done. Billie-Jean attends on a Monthly basis the North Central Neighborhood Assn. meetings and also is a founding member of the Uptown Initiative. What is the difference you may ask? Not a whole lot but the Neighborhood Assn. focuses more on changing and eliminating the problems in our area, has a larger membership and has our Community Police in attendance and usually has a Guest Speaker to address and answer problems we may need help in dealing with. The Uptown Initiative is focusing on giving Uptown/North Central a different appeal to people and counteracting the negative reputation it has gained, mainly due to the fact it has become a dumping ground for situations not wanted in other areas of the City. Seeing Billie Jean lives DIRECTLY in North Central this young lady is going to be giving it her best. She is a member of both organizations and puts her effort out into the Community! If you don't know who she is, then you just haven't been involved.

Billie-Jean , should she definitely run , no doubt will focus on our problems and do her best to improve our conditions. We have a great location here in the City of Troy, situated nicely on the Hudson and really need to reach our potential as a desirable place to live. We have some of the largest and most beautiful houses in the City, and some of the most run down. We need to focus on and maximize what we already have. I know what she would like to see for herself, she would like to see for us all. Let's keep an eye on her and cross our fingers she WILL run! I have not heard of whomever else may be throwing their hat into the ring, but Billie Jean has my support.