Thursday, February 18, 2016

WDT: Longtime Watertown city planner retiring in March

       Veteran City Planner Ken Mix has announced his long expected retirement. Ken was one of the people I worked with most closely in my years at City Hall and his departure is a loss.

       Ken has tremendous institutional knowledge and judgment.  I wish him the best in whatever he does.

    Watertown Daily Times | Longtime Watertown city planner retiring in March

39 comments:

Anonymous said...

I liked him. He and Gary Pilon were the best around down there. I wish him a long and enjoyable retirement.

Anonymous said...

Good man. I hope he runs for council against Bug Czar Jennings.

Anonymous said...

I wish him well and all that...
But it is no coincidence that Watertown's greatest prosperity was during a time that there was no such thing as a Tug Hill Commission and there were not a dozen employees in the area with the title of "planner". Just exactly what do they plan? Shrubs, and bike lanes with dark sky barely lit parking spaces? Listing dog park location options? The result is they need a dollar store in Sackets because so many people don't want to live in the city anymore.

Anonymous said...

He would make one hell of a city manager. When is Addison's contract up again??

Anonymous said...

Good Luck to Ken he'll be sorely missed...........

Anonymous said...

2:31, this fixation with Ms Addison is getting stupid. What fire station do you work at? She's doing a great job.

Anonymous said...

Best wishes Ken. I also remember you as a very good leader and soccer player at Carthage High School.

Richard said...

3:57, I am not the one that posted above about the CM, nor am I a fireman or have any connection to any. I am however a 67 year old city taxpayer who has lived here my whole life and I agree that Addison is the worst CM we have seen. There is no direction to council, everybody is just going their own direction and no decisions are being made. There has been turmoil in all city departments since she arrived. She spends our tax money on out of area lawyers, consultants and has no stake in our community. She does not even live in the city. This is not the federal government, this is local government that does not have deep pockets. We need essential services such as police, fire, DPW etc but she is more concerned about the Parks and Rec department than maintaining our essential services. Prior to her arrival did we ever hear anything about the Parks Dept? Now its everyday on the news. How many positions have been added to that department while they have been cut in others? Did something need to be done with the arena, yes no doubt but lets face it we got taken to the cleaners by a out of town engineering firm with poor design. She can not even negotiate a simple contract which every manager prior had no problem doing. She has no experience in local government or dealing with labor relations issues and in turn has to hire outside firms, which will walk away at the end with fat wallets and us taxpayers paying for their poor decisions. Her inability to do the job she was hired for is costing us taxpayers dearly. Hopefully the council will wake up before its to late, but I doubt it.

Anonymous said...

Disagree 9:07... she was handed a mess from the former CM who was lead around by dept heads. The contract and personell issues being faced now are from years of caving in.
I have a lot of respect for Ms. Addison for standing up to the bullying tactics of the CBU. As one who is in a position similar to hers I know the games and how dirty they can play.

Anonymous said...

The city manager doesn't live in the city? I thought that was a requirement?

Anonymous said...

I think the CM is doing a lousy job also. and I'm just a resident taxpayer, for what that's worth.

Anonymous said...

That's a great bowl of baloney you offered up, 9:07. We all agree we need essential services. Don't play teacher on us. We spend oodles on essential services. But some things need to be addressed and she is doing so. We don't need blank check overtime rules for the firemen. Any thinking person knows that. The use of out of town consultants is not the doing of Ms Addison, it is the doing of the City Council. Just over a week ago, the new administration decided to buy into some scum outfit that supposedly will save us. You and I both know that wasn't the doing of the CM. When people like you spew about labor relations, you identify yourself as an advocate for more and more spending. How much spending on essential services will be enough for you? Just like our teachers, I doubt we could ever spend enough to make you happy. Addison is doing a fine job looking out for the average citizen. Our fire and police are doing just fine. I would suggest you try another avenue of criticism. The baloney is just a wee bit too transparent.

Anonymous said...

3:57 are you delirious? Mein Fuhrer runs the city from atop her perch of the 3rd floor like it's her own Third Reich.

Anonymous said...

Coming up on six months since those cars "mysteriously" burst into flames.

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't be surprised to see Jennings & Macaluso booted in the next election. People are fed up with the inaction of these two also. They are all going to be victims of Addsisons toxic incompetence.

Anonymous said...

Lets look at the budget by department and compare. Raises are printed per department. Has the amount risen? Is the reason because salary, consultant fees, raises for management, etc.? Jeff you can break this down and have credibility. Nuff said.

Anonymous said...

I hope all these fire union employees commenting above are posting during their off hours.

Richard said...

I am a retired CSEA union employee(Not in Watertown City)and damn proud of it. One or two of you are union haters and your constant rhetoric against the firemen is sickening. Same thing over and over. That is the great thing about civil service positions, they are open competitive which means you had the same opportunity as them to do the same job for the same benefits but you chose differently or didn't make the cut or take the test and are now jealous. Whos fault is that? The union members who were hired under terms and conditions that were bargained for( you know, give and take)?
I think the city employees in all departments are treated poorly and I have several neighbors who work for the city and all say moral is the worst they have ever seen.
Do I think we need to spend more, no, but I do think we need to maintain and utilize our workforce to our greatest advantage. This manager does not seem willing to bargain or to work with the workforce to make them more efficient. That is a major problem. Couriveau may not have been the best manager but she was a faithful long time city employee that worked her way up the ranks and learned the job, not brought in with no experience in the job she was hired for. Is it all Addisons fault, no, but she is in over her head and afraid to admit she does not know her job. If she did she would do it instead of hiring others to do it. Makes for a very expensive managers position.

Anonymous said...

I hope council gives Sharon another raise for the mean things said. Oh and Gardner too. Then take money away from Justin Wood and fire one more person from H2O dept. Maybe Mr. Peabody.

Anonymous said...


One thing is obvious, there are extreme positions on both sides of the issue.

We want our city services and we also want a sustainable local government.

Addison has created an extremely hostile work environment: one where the negotiations are tenuous and force each side to take polar positions leading to an impasse. The art of negotiations is compromise and the mutual exchange of positions, information and needs. Both sides are supposed to approach negotiations in a neutral way, and strike the balance between needs and funding.

To hand over negotiations to a downstate law firm, to the tune of $160,000+, is ridiculous and just demonstrates the incompetence of the current administration to perform proper analysis (remember the $60,000 study by ICMA?) , and to act in the best interest of the taxpayers.

Lets get this thing over!!!!!! It is costing a fortune to keep this battle alive. Isn't there a more logical way to resolve this issue? WE NEED REAL LEADERSHIP!!!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Right you are 749, Do anything wrong, play a joke on someone and it's a threatened article 75 hearing, which then the CM will fire you, even though the hearing officer's punishment was less, think about it for a minute...........Follow procedure and if it goes wrong the employee is blamed............The other thing 749 Civil Service tests are a joke, and the selection process is based on the following: Do you and the bosses, se eye to eye, (another wards do you drink beer with them) Do you fix their car or truck? Do you go to sporting events with them? and finally are you related to them?

Anonymous said...

Hey Dick...
I agree...among city employees and especially fire department employees, morality is the worst we've ever seen.

Your union does not bargain for anything. They extort their benefits and pay because unions donate to politicians and in turn they pass laws allowing public unions to force the municipalities to screw over the tax payers.

Most of us never took the civil service exam because we have no interest in flashing lights and sirens. Nor do we start fires. We have no interest in sitting around waiting to save the world from a fender bender where no one gets hurt, or a toilet overflowing on an outlet.

But just because we don't want to do the boring job, doesn't mean we want to pay you too much to do it and guarantee you overtime on top of that.

And just as we were all free to take the firequeen exam, you and the rest were free to NOT TAKE IT. No one is forcing you to work for the city. If you feel it doesn't pay enough or you can't make it without guaranteed OT, feel free to quit.

I might as well beat you to the punch on your side's other go-to idiot argument and tell you that you must of caught a taxpayer sleeping with your old lady and that's why you hate the taxpayers.

Anonymous said...

1023. Do us all a favor an go to bed; alone I am sure!

Anonymous said...

The only thing our union thugs are missing in their arguments is the use of "it's for the children". This isn't about the CM, this is about some children who want more stuff. Nope, you are doing fine just as you are. Taxpayers are already in trouble. You don't always get what you want.

Richard said...

10:23, to add to list for your resume, the inability to read and immature name calling. I am a 72 year old man who retired from New York State as a proud CSEA union member and a taxpayer in the City of Watertown. Do not know anything about the fire union other than it takes both sides to negotiate a contract and the city apparently does not want to negotiate, just dictate. THAT is the whole reason unions are in place in this country. You can hate union members all you want but it is people like yourself that made them necessary. Your constant drivel repeating the same old lines every time is old, if you want to give any credibility to your argument try something new as it just sounds like you are a jealous whiny loser when you write the same thing over and over. My guess is you do not even live in the city truth be known.

Anonymous said...


You are totally missing the point. It is not about pay and it never was. It is about staffing levels and having enough people to do the job, and do the job safely. Their own study, that cost us al $60,000, already answered the question. The city didn't like the answer so they ignored the study. A total waste of our tax dollars for sure. Lets negotiate rather than litigate.

Anonymous said...

11:50, I'm glad you are proud of being a union member. That is a very difficult accomplishment. How did you ever do it?
Not only do I live in the city but I am sure I pay far more city taxes than you do, as I own many properties in the city. Many other people own property in the city but don't live here and they too have a right to voice their concerns over the fire department screwing over the tax payers.

You should have stopped when you said you, "do not know anything about the fire department", because that was the only thing worth saying.

Let me make this crystal clear to you. The days of the fire department "negotiating" [AKA, extorting the city into signing something they don't want to sign] are over. The professional lawyer with expertise in NYS labor law, is going to out smart the union and make them sign something more reasonable for the tax payers. You can cry about children and staffing and inspections and make drama queen safety statements all you want, but the gravy train is over.

Anonymous said...

9:07 your so right.
12:54 the former CM was NOT lead by the department heads. She was a strong manager who didn't care about the employee force other than those who worked directly with her, and the many others knew that, even department heads.
2:02 Plank check on Overtime.. it was the CM choice to hire the consultant and deep pocket attorney from downstate..check the minutes
6:30 you are RIGHT on.. both Mac, and Jen are both hilarious to watch if your at a kids circus.. they need to go
6:44 compare budgets and see how much ATTY Sly makes on you.. its a lot for one person and the time which is spent on fighting and losing what "he" suggest. its a great job, say we can win and the only we is him.
8:51 and 7:49 Perfect
1023 you are SO RAW. I truly hope you never need Police, Ambulance or Fire. What do any of these jobs do until there is a complaint or you need them.. Sit and wait. but i'm sure there are many other things they do in between. How about the times during the day when a teacher is in a study or break room, should they be always teaching, or NIMO is not at a storm, should they just be climbing, or store clerk when there are no customers, or Dr. if nobody is sick, we all have to wait if nobody needs us or comes to visit.
and Finally 7:03. I don't see how the unions are extorting money or forcing the City to sign. The smart city manager you speak of, and council, and attorney are all a part of the negotiations. If they don't agree, then its off to arbitration like the fire department is doing. There is NO forcing.. Case in point. But your thoughts are just like Macaluso and Jennings. From the hip and no merit.

Anonymous said...

Glad you own all those properties 703. Sorry about your taxes and house values plummeting. Do not forget to repair your sidewalks and maintain upkeep on these homes as people move to newly built housing. Do not let the bedbugs bite.

Anonymous said...

5:41, try to keep up with your own statements of fact. You said yourself, they have to go to arbitration if they don't agree. That is force. Can you imagine if you needed a new roof and the State said you had to negotiate with one and only one roofing company and if you couldn't reach agreement you had to go to arbitration and live by the results? That is force. Why are you not able to comprehend this? Willful ignorance?

Why would you make such a stupid statement about my need for police ambulance and fire? I have not proposed that we eliminate these services. I only propose that we keep the cost of the fire department below ten million dollars per year, by eliminating the unnecessary mandatory OT and excessive minimum staffing.

The sad thing is, if you put as much effort into a sensible agreement, as you do into fighting for undeserved unnecessary overtime, you would get more satisfaction out of life and your career. Then you wouldn't need a union or the pro union anti taxpayer state laws. You could sleep better knowing you deserved what you get paid instead of extorted what you get paid.

Richard said...

7:03, it comes more to light why you are so bitter with the firemen, they probably made you maintain your properties and you did not like it. One would think that if you own so many properties you would want them protected and protection for the people that live in them, but I am sure you are just a ignorant slumlord that collects your DSS money and puts nothing back in. And yes I am proud and you know how I did it, I worked 32 years for the State and while you were tucked in bed counting your DSS checks, I was out plowing your roads, maintaining your highways and missing holidays with my family, the same way the Police, Fire and other workers you hate do. And yes I willingly took the compensation and benefits that went with the job. So while you spew your vile and hatred ANONYMOUSLY like the shriveling coward you are I sign my name to my posts and I thank the public servants that my taxes pay for. When was the last time you did that, I would be willing to bet you have never set foot in a fire station in your life or have any clue what these men really do. Now go clean the meth lab out of one of your dumps and leave the hard working people in the city alone.

Anonymous said...

10:51 you clearly do not understand what arbitration is. Both sides plead their cases to a neutral judge who makes a decision, could favor unions, could favor cities. Just as much force in both directions, so who is really the thugs?
How is staffing excessive when 3 studies commissioned by the city has said it is not excessive and in fact not high enough? That is your tax money that paid for these studies and were done by firms the city handpicked to give them the answer they wanted, and they still did not get it because the facts speak for themselves.
Now if the firefighters are so concerned about the overtime like you state, why would they be begging the city to hire to fill vacant positions? Your arguments have no merit and just make you sound bitter.

Anonymous said...

Gee Dick, now you set the bar even higher. Not only did you break your previous record for stupid, you broke the record for being a liar. You were in the union because it was a closed shop. You had to join and you were automatically accepted as a state employee, just as soon as they could swear you in and take your dues out of your paycheck. Proud of that? You are a joke.

I too joined a union in a government job. The difference is that I came to my senses and quit, so that I could do something productive with my life. Sure I enjoyed the easy money with 15 minute breaks that dragged into half hours and half hour lunches that dragged into one hour, but after five years I couldn’t take it any longer. I worked plenty of holidays and shifts just like you did. I went out and played the “busy” game, just like your people drive the plow trucks on OT when its not really necessary. And some days I actually did accomplish work that was satisfying. And those days were few and far between, which is what inspired me to quit and go on to bigger and better things.

And even after I set your stubborn self straight, you still persist with lying about me wanting no emergency response employees on the payroll? Why can’t you tell the truth for once? Admit it. You were a fire employee and padded your pension by working the OT in the final years, and now you want to make sure the guys who let you take the OT are afforded the same tax fleecing option.

Richard said...

Well Anynoumous, I don't believe a word you said and are to ignorant to even have a argument with, so go wallow in your own misery

Anonymous said...

"to ignorant" indeed.

P.S. I was a union steward too and had to stick up for dummies like you. I don't miss that either.

Anonymous said...

12:28, you clearly do not understand why the parties agree to binding arbitration. The city "agrees" because they are forced to and the union agrees because they want to.

The studies are done by fellow fire queens and former fire queens and yet they still said the department responds to too many unnecessary calls and if they stopped doing this then positions should be cut.

the department is begging for more positions because then they can give those positions up and make it look like they made concessions.

Anonymous said...

Hopefully those unnecessary calls are not for you some day. To the public Safety, no call is stupid or unnecessary. If they call, then we in the police/fire/ambulance have to respond and help them through their issue. We don't judge here, nor should you. As for the fire queens who are doing the study, they are well researched by the City before they are hired. So now how does that play to show favoritism to the fire queens? You really are uneducated, because when the CITY hires the headhunter group through their own research, and it doesn't come back that way who is to blame now...a study is a study.. pay for them and dont listen.. thats the leadership i like.

Anonymous said...

Narcissism 101 is required course work at the COW!

Anonymous said...

11:57, so find your own word to describe the calls that the very study which you love, said you shouldn't be responding to. "Unnecessary" works for me.