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The Saratogian Newsroom blog, complete with thoughts and commentary from our newsroom staff and regular posts on happenings around town.

Tuesday, November 30

Mayor Johnson: Something will be passed tonight

Mayor Scott Johnson has been "busy as hell" today going through his budget again line-by-line and meeting with Deputy Finance Commissioner Kate Jarosh and DPW and Public Safety officials (I'm guessing deputies since he did not mention anyone else by name).

He said that the Mayor's Department and Recreation Department will come back with $40,000 in additional cuts, and he believes that the council as a whole will cut around $100,000 - which would equate to about a .5 percent rate adjustment for a final 4.5 percent property tax increase.

"It certainly may be the best that we can do given the labor issues outstanding," he said of the hike, which residents have consistently said should be closer to 2 or 3 (or zero) percent.

When we spoke around 4:15 p.m., he had yet to receive final numbers on encumbrances, information he requested at last night's meeting.

"I will not allow that to happen," he said when asked if a default budget could still occur, "We need to agree on something to effectively serve the public."

In response to the web outcry of Kathy Moran's role in the DPW budget, Johnson said she is on the list of employees currently members of city unions that he has discussed with the city's labor council as being made management confidential.

"I find it rather unusual and certainly something that should be addressed," he said of the situation, adding that he was not attributing any intentional wrongdoing, but that even the appearance of improprieties should be avoided.

He called the issue "collateral" in light of other issues that have blocked union negotiations up to this point. The city can apply to the state to make positions management confidential.

"If we had had cooperation of the employees going to MVP we would not be looking at these fiscal constraints and issues," he said, of his plan for city personnel to switch to one health insurance provider, which is currently in litigation.

I will again be live tweeting tonight's meeting at the City Desk Twitter page; hopefully it doesn't go on for as long as last night.


Blogger demroc said...

hey pat, this makes for somegood reading...."Employees designated management or confidential by the Public Employment Relations Board are not members of a negotiating unit. The Taylor Law does not permit them to organize or to bargain collectively on terms and conditions of employment because of the nature of their work. M/C employees formulate policy, assist directly in preparing for or conducting negotiations, administer labor agreements, or assist in a confidential capacity those employees who have employee relations responsibilities. There are almost 12,000 M/Cs, covering a broad range of occupations including managers, middle managers, and specialists in fields as diverse as education, law, computer science, medicine, administrative support, and law enforcement."

it has nothing to do with restrictions pertaining to working on budgets. it is about people who work in a managerial position not being able to be a part of negotiations.
plus, if she isn't designated one, the point is moot.

December 1, 2010 at 8:22 PM 

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