Tuesday, August 30, 2016

High Time to Demonstrate the Value of Key Boards and Their Members

    While the City is paying consultants, lawyers and seemingly anyone else who walks through the door it is time to reconsider the role of those who serve on important boards like the Civil Service Commission, the Planning Board, and the Assessment Board of Review.
     These are increasingly time consuming and in some cases contentious positions. I know from my years at City Hall the policy of not paying these folks is faulty, especially since they do their work in a room where everyone else has the meter running.
     The Civil Service Commission deals with some prickly issues, especially of late.
     These board members should get a per diem based on attendance. I know everyone talks about everyone working for free, but it's only for those too timid or well mannered not to expect some compensation.
     There clearly are panels like the Ethics Board that are honorary and a public service but the three I mentioned deserve better treatment.
       We are too afraid to say work has value and too cowed by the media who run the easy to report stories.
        

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

You are just having all sorts of epiphanies now that you are not the one who is in charge of these decisions. It is too bad you did not have the fortitude to tackle the hard issues while in office. The world according to Jeff is alive and well post election.

Anonymous said...

You want to pay the planning board? On top of paying the planners and engineers? No, eliminate them like Oswego did and bring us some big Mac's to Washington Street.

Anonymous said...

9:05, grow up. Life is short. Jeff was a good mayor, reelected again and again. Straighten out your life.

Anonymous said...

No,9:05 is right. Easy to throw stones from the cheap seats. Always nice to vote last as well

Anonymous said...


Far too many boards and commissions to begin with. Pay them for what? In most cases these boards and commissions are filled with self-important know-nothings who are just pawns for the machine. For example, the civil service commission has 3 people that have no background in human resources and know nothing about civil service law. The recent demotions prove this. NO don't pay the boards. In fact lets get rid of them and make the people who are getting paid to make these decisions actually do their jobs. I am getting sick of big government.

Anonymous said...

7:03, you were on a roll there until you said they were just pawns for the machine. No, in most cases they are just busy body's who represent only their own views which run contrary to what the taxpayers want.

Look at the Dollar General in Sackets. Boo Wells made a stink about it and she is just the type that gravitates to the planning boards. Or look at the proposed McDonald's where the zoning board declined allowing commercial to go back as far as it already exists down most of the entire strip of Washington street. that is not what would happen if these projects were put to referendum. The voters would come out 90% ++ in favor of both projects.

If you want to pay these busy bodies, change them to elected instead of appointed.

Anonymous said...

As a hospital board member in another part of NNY we serve. WITHOUT PAY Or STIPENDS .I have no problem with that.


We also serve on several committees monthly in addition to the board meeting s. Hospital budgets are larger in the 100's of millions and so are the numbers of employees and the complexity of the multiple insurance and healtcare reimbursement systems are beyond Byzantine . The sheer numbers of highly educated ,very skilled professionals we deal with is also different . The busines IS a private business and balancing margin.effectiveness , quality and satisfaction to multiple "publics" is critical

My point is volunteerism is a calling and that implys committment , i

I think paying these people is a nice gesture BUT one that should not be necessary. These are not JOBS , nor aretiv they a lifetime committment . Once paid they may also be more of an INSIDER and less willing to ACT emin the publics behalf and defer from ASKING the really difficult and uneasy questions when policy formulation and strategic planning is undertaken .

Anonymous said...


820 thank you for you input. I, in no way, are disparaging the good works of legitimate committee and boards. I myself serve, and have served, on several boards for non-profits. The primary difference here is that (our) members were chosen based on legitimate qualifications and are not merely appointed because they will do what they are told.

If you look at the composition of our city boards you will see that this in not ALWAYS the case. While some are very good and qualified, others are not, and bad decisions or agendas are often the result. In our city the boards seem to pander to special interests over the best-interest of the public. This is because they are largely token and are doing what they are told by the city or city attorney. This is not the same issue as you discuss.

You seem to agree that paying them is not the best course of action. I propose that many of these impediments to development be abolished and that the responsibilities be sent back to those that we are already paying to make these decisions.

Anonymous said...

This is 8:20, by way of clarification to wit :

Board members paid or not should always be chosen for their areas of specific EXPERTISE and experience in LEADERSHIP roles rather than just being nice people,. That approach avoids getting just warm heartbeats and provides the organization with a mosaic of talented and experienced leaders to formulate policy and directional thinking and counsel.

Anonymous said...

"experienced leaders to formulate policy and directional thinking and counsel."

Sounds like they are getting their monies worth out of your volunteering...as long as it continues to be free.

Anonymous said...

Boo Boo Wells will be the first hypocrite standing in the checkout line when the new dollar store opens down there in scratch it harder.