Wednesday, July 20, 2016

WDT: Labor Kerfuffles Public Nowadays, and That's a Good Thing.

         For too long negotiations and grievances have been secret affairs in which even the elected officials are kept in the dark.
          It was revealing last fall when, with a city employee running for office, staff and counsel briefed lawmakers on the contentious and litigious nature of the Third Floor's relationship with the person.
          When the tick tock of that relationship became an issue, suddenly there was an effort to put the genie back in the bottle by claiming everything's a "personnel" matter.  There was even a feigned investigation.
         We see now, with this gardening grievance at the fire house, that sunlight is the best antiseptic.
          It's a balancing act as every bit of soiled laundry may not be in the public interest to reveal, but it's good that lawmakers and union leaders are publicly speaking out.
         Councilman Jennings has taken the lead now and is speaking out in a way lawmakers haven't before.
         In doing so, he likely ensures his reelection, solidifies his base and positions himself as the mayoral winner in the next election in 2019.
Watertown Daily Times | Local News, Sports, Features, and Community Information for Jefferson County, St. Lawrence County, and Lewis County in Northern New York.

24 comments:

Anonymous said...

If the voters had another choice they would toss him out in a heartbeat. This garden and the forced volunteer work, certainly is not helping him politically. This garden is a feel-good measure you would expect from a liberal democrat like Jennings. If the point is to feed the hungry, there are much more efficient ways to do that. If the point is to get fresh produce in the hands of the poor, it is worth noting there are already plenty of resources for that and the benefactors choose not to eat produce and opt for the sub at midnight. Read last weeks report that half of produce is thrown away before it gets in the hands of the poor. See other reports about what kids do with these foods when they actually make it to their plates.

If the point is not about poverty but rather meant for the all city citizens no matter the economic status, then there is no need to force city employees to work on the garden.

Anonymous said...

That may be your take on it,me,I thought he was a weaselly little worm,would never vote for him for anything.I want the damn firemen in the firehouse,ready to go,not out grubbing around in a garden that someone else put out back,let them take care of it,it was their idea.

Anonymous said...


Jeff. You seem to be overlooking an obvious flaw in your reasoning. There are laws that protect the confidentiality of actual personnel information. This is obviously something that you do not understand as I remember you being the person accused of leaking information that in fact, turned out to be untrue. This was done for political advantage and is not only wrong it is illegal. It is also a major reason why you are no longer in office.

The same protection do not get afforded general matters such as the fact that a grievance has been received but my protect the confidentiality of the person who filed it. Am important distinction has to be made between information that is represented as confidential (and protected by law) and those that are not afforded similar protections.

I also do not agree that Mr. Jennings is helping his cause anymore than his unwavering support for the city manager, funding of the arena, support of outside lawyers, his stance of Western Blvd. illegal demotions i the fire department, Etc.... Etc.... Etc.... would dictate. In most cases he appears to be in opposition with the voters.

Heaven help us if he ever becomes Mayor. He has shown that he really doesn't understand the needs of the people any more than he understands real issues. A run away Liberal who thinks that bigger government can solve all problems. Hopefully defeat will happen with the next election.

Anonymous said...

9:39, they are not out "grubbing" in a garden. Such drama.

Anonymous said...

wrong on all accounts. I get it, you want all the controversy and whatnot so you can bring attention to your blog and whatever. But all this public fighting has divided this community and now there is such a lack of trust, no one has any faith in anything the city is doing, see arena, zoo, firefighters, the list goes on and on. This environment needs to be controlled or no one in their right mind will want anything to do with this place.

Anonymous said...

Haha, "forced to volunteer"... They were getting PAID to move dirt!

You fire queens should stop wasting taxpayer money trolling this blog while surely on the clock.. or maybe not with all of your time off.

You're ripping off the taxpayer and you know it. CROOKS!

Anonymous said...

In the firehouse ready to go?? It was right where they were for God's sake. I'd prefer they were doing something, even if it doesn't meet your standards 9:39.

Jeff, you were a proponent for keeping negotiations in the dark as we recall. Glad to see you've come around.

Anonymous said...

Jennings comes off as a snobbish arrogant do-gooder. Lets hope somebody else puts their name in as a candidate other than him or Butler. Jennings would never lower himself to get his hands dirty in any garden. I would guess the firemen are sick of getting treated like crap by the city ever since Addison rode into town. I know I would be if I were in their shoes. I would say its darn near a hostile work environment they created and I do believe there are federal laws against that. Maybe they should look into that.

Anonymous said...

May I add my two cents, I sure hope that these union firefolks checked in with Moochelle and see if it was worth her time planting, weeding, watering and hoeing her garden. As I recall she got bored real quick and we the taxpayers picked up the tab for public employees to weed her piece of earth.

I would think that these firefolks should take their gripe all the way to Moochelle and compare their plight to what her dog walkers get paid to pick up the doo doo her doggies make.

Perhaps instead of tendig to the garden maybe between the lot of them they could write a proposal for a grant to cover the special counseling sessions they need for mental anguish.

Anonymous said...

Hey 154 it's that way for everyone who works for the COW

Anonymous said...

There is no way in hell Jennings would ever be elected mayor in watertown. watertown mave have changed in recent years, but it hasn't changed THAT much.

Anonymous said...

The hostility is created by the firequeens. But the firequeens and their wives, uh er, surrogates blogging here will never look in that mirror.

Anonymous said...

No one is a bigger foe of the fire queens than I am, as I do not like them screwing over the tax payers as they currently do. However, forcing them to work on this garden is totally wrong. It is no different than forcing them to work in the democratic headquarters. In fact, it is the exact same thing. This garden idea is the most idiotic thing since the election of Obama. Even the fire department should not be forced to support stupid, anymore than they already are doing on their own.

Anonymous said...

no dummy 1158,I want them in the firehouse,where they can immediately get their gear on and go when the firebell rings.Not fucking around in a garden forty yards away,so they have to run in,then get changed up,do you not understand that seconds matter in fires? I want them to be firemen,not feelgood gardeners,we have enough volunteers for that stuff.Get it,moron?

Anonymous said...

Six metaphors in one comment? Holy crap.

Anonymous said...

10:52 is a big, bad and mad fire queen for sure! The f-bombs and insults are reminiscent of other great thinkers... Like Snooky from the Jersey Shore, and that guy on Jerry Springer who knocked up his daughter - "I am the f-ing father, you f-ing moron!"

So glad to see such great intellect amongst our city's brave union thugs. It's too bad you guys aren't physically capable of running 40 yards to the fire house. The volunteers sure seem to get it done.

Anonymous said...

10:52, you're the moron. Didn't the chief and union rep day they take care of the lawn around the firehouse? Seconds don't count then apparently. Saying the chief wasn't smart enough to determine it was safe when he sent the guy to help out?

You sound like a dolt with a lot of time in your hands, based on your limited vocabulary. Why not drag your ass off the sofa and help out in the garden?

Anonymous said...

What has this council and Jennings think this city has come to.?? When else and where else has council members ever reacted this way when a negotiation issue has come to City Hall? NEVER!!! Jennings and Watertown is the first to open up issues with departments to the media on city letter head.. why hasnt Mr. Jennings or anyone else ever opened up any other department issues to the media before when they have differences? This is only helping the firemens case to their legal battle with the city.. keep it up idiots, you will learn when this is all done, what you shouldnt have been doing, including your leader...

Anonymous said...

You forget 2:31 that you work for us, the people. Of course you would prefer to hide the details of your over-the-top compensation. The City didn't make things public and open to the media, you and your co-worker firemen did. Kudos to Jennings, Butler and the rest for exposing you all.

Anonymous said...

Amen, 7:55, well said. We don't have the money in the coffers to blindly accept every union demand without discussion, and including the people that fill the money bucket. What would happen if you worked for a non government entity and went in with some of your demands and so called grievances?

As so many others have said, if you dont like the duties and requirements of the job find another and open up a spot for someone else.

Anonymous said...

12:08/1:21,you are pretty much too stupid to respond to.Nope,not a fireman,just a city taxpayer sick of the crap being foisted upon our firemen,by those who couldn't do the job.I could go on and on,but your silly,stupid rants have already illuminated what and who you are,creeps,tho I think you are one guy, that hate our public servants.Though of course not with the guts to confront them in person,you come on here and spew your venom.

Anonymous said...

Jennings will be mayor, no question. But predict Butler has another term. The complainers and critics here really take the cake. As if any of you have the moxy and smarts to run for anything and then govern. What a disaster that would be! How lucky are we to have a class act like Butler at the helm, assuredly to be followed by Jennings, another class act. Both accomplished, professional, and FAMILY MEN.

Anonymous said...

A term as mayor at the end of his county career will add a cool quarter million in pension dollars to his retirement assuming he lives 20 years after retirement. All for no contribution as he already did his 3% for ten years as a county employee.
Butler is also in the retirement system so city taxpayers contribute to that too.

Anonymous said...

So what 10:18. They are doing the job and they do a good job.