Saratoga County Salaries: Endemic Self-Dealing and Cover up Exposed

I have written in recent posts about the Saratoga County Board of Supervisors granting a 50% raise to their “essential” employees. Here’s more of what I have been learning about this.

The Cost Of These Salary Increases Is Estimated To Be Big

According to the minutes of the March 17 Board of Supervisors meeting, the estimated cost of this raise was projected to be $325,000.00 per week. This was the number presented to the Board by Spencer Hellwig, County Administrator. He did indicate that there was hope that the number of employees covered by this might be reduced in the future. He also acknowledged he had no idea how long this would go on. So if these raises were projected out over four weeks it would cost Saratoga County an additional $1,300,000.00.

Some Background

The Law and Finance Committee for the Board of Supervisors basically sets the Board of Supervisors agendas. All resolutions from subcommittees of the Board must pass through this committee, and the Law and Finance Committee also drafts their own resolutions.

Rob Arrigo, chair of the Saratoga County Libertarian Party, sent me the minutes from the March 17, 2020, Law and Finance Committee and the March 17, 2020, full Board of Supervisors meeting. These documents are the sources of much of the information for this post.

Saratoga Springs Supervisors Deny Knowledge Of How The Salaries For Essential Employees were increased by 50%

As noted in the last post, Supervisor Tara Gaston claimed she had no knowledge of how the salary increases had been instituted and claimed that she had written to the county (it is not clear exactly to whom) asking for clarification. She said she had heard nothing.

Supervisor Matthew Veitch responded to an email asking him about these raises. In his email he said that he opposes them and would vote against them. Similar to Ms. Gaston he said he was not involved in the decision and had no knowledge of how it was done.

Unfortunately for both Supervisors Gaston and Veitch the records show that they were both privy to discussions about adopting the policy and directly involved in the decision. In reality, they both voted to adopt the salary increases.

What The Public Record Shows

According to the minutes of the Law and Finance Committee, while neither Ms. Gaston or Mr. Veitch is a member of the Committee, both Supervisors were in attendance and were privy to the decision to send the salary increases proposal to the full Board.

Here is an excerpt from the minutes of the meeting:

Mr. Schopf asked for clarification that half of the County’s workforce is being sent home yet still have to appropriate $325,000. Mr. Wright said it is because of the employees working will receive time and one-half. (Emphasis added)

Law and Finance Committee Minutes

It Is Not True!

Mr. Kusnierz asked if the State and other localities were providing time and a half. Ms. McNamara said the state was as well as some municipalities.

Law and Finance Committee Minutes

Ms. McNamara is Marcie McNamara, the county Director of Human Resources. In a story on WNYT (Channel 13), Mark Mulholand reported that Washington County was paying its hourly workers more but not its salaried employees which Saratoga is. As far as I can tell, that is the only other county. What is clearly false is her assertion that state workers are receiving time and a half.

———————–

At the full Board of Supervisors meeting, again both Supervisors Gaston and Veitch were present.

The minutes of the discussion of the resolution that would allow for the salary increases makes clear that the Supervisors were fully aware of the impact the resolution would have if adopted.

Here is just one excerpt from the minutes of that meeting:

He [JK: Supervisor Kusnierz] asked the County Administrator to provide the costs as they relate to salaries and rates of pay for the 30 day period. Mr. Hellwig said the cost per week is approximately $325,000 [JK: The figure used at the Law and Finance Committee for how much the increase of time and a half would cost]. Mr. Kusnierz said this is an issue that will continue for some time and asked if there is an anticipation that these provisions will continue to be renewed moving forward after the 30 days. Mr. Allen said there is no way to predict how long this will continue.

At the end of this post is the full text of the discussion regarding the raises. The resolution that would allow for these raises passed unanimously. It begs credibility that both Ms. Gaston and Mr. Veitch were unaware that their vote would result in these raises going forward.

Even more stunning, as the minutes show, Ms. Gaston attempted to end the public discussion of these raises and move to an executive session. Clearly she saw how potentially volatile this issue could be.

A Major Conflict of Interest

The resolution included a clause that authorized the establishment of what I will call the “Special Committee” to determine “rates of compensation.” The committee will be comprised of the Chair of the Board of Supervisors, the chairs of two subcommittees of the Board, the County Administrator, and the Director of Human Resources.

The County Administrator and the Director of Finance have clear conflicts of interest. Both of these positions are beneficiaries of the 50% raises. Why these two administrative positions need these raises is something I cannot answer. Having them sit on the committee that determines their own salaries adds insult to injury.

Here is the text authorizing their participation in the committee

RESOLVED, that the Chair of the Board, the Chair of the Law and Finance Committee, the Chair of the Human Resources and Insurance Committee, the County Administrator and the Director of Human Resources shall have the authority to jointly determine appropriate County employee staffing levels and rates of compensation that are consistent and in compliance with the current directives of any Executive Order issued by the Governor of the State of New York relative to local government staffing levels; and be it further

A Slight Of Hand That Fools No One

A careful reading of the resolution reveals that there is nothing in it that explicitly authorizes the 50% increase for salaries of “essential workers”. Instead it empowers the “Special Committee” to set salaries. This maneuver made it possible for the members of the Board of Supervisors to claim “deniability.” They think they can avoid accountability by claiming they were not involved in the actual establishment of the salaries even though they voted to establish a committee whose clear purpose was to do this.

This is truly the gang that couldn’t shoot straight. Both the minutes of the Law and Finance Committee and the Board of Supervisors reveal that the main purpose of the Special Committee was to raise salaries. The minutes record the Supervisors discussing what the projected cost for the raises will be. The horse is out of the barn. It is too late to claim ignorance.

——————————–

For those who are interested, here is further information from the minutes for the Law and Finance Committee as they deliberated about the raises and the minutes of the full Board of Supervisors covering their discussion of this issue:

Excerpt From Minutes Of Law And Finance

Mr. Schopf asked for clarification that half of the County’s workforce is being sent home yet still have to appropriate $325,000. Mr. Wright said it is because of the employees working will receive time and one-half. Mr. Hellwig said there was a meeting with the unions. Three days later the State’s Executive Order came out. The unions responded if employees had to go to work, there should be additional compensation. Mr. Kusnierz asked if that was for salaried individuals as well or just union employees. Mr. Hellwig said all county employees. Mr. Kusnierz is concerned with the precedent this may be setting. Mr. Pemrick said everything that is happening right now is brand new, precedents may be set and we will have to deal with them later. Mrs. McNamara said this was a union decision as well as a management decision. Mr. Kusnierz asked if the State and other localities were providing time and a half. Mrs. McNamara said the state was as well as some municipalities. Mr. Pemrick said this was being evaluated on a weekly basis. Mrs. McNamara said Departments will be evaluated to determine if they can close.

On a motion was made by Mr. Wright, seconded by Mr. Tollisen a resolution authorizing emergency actions was unanimously adopted. Mr. Kusnierz and Mr. Schopf were in support of moving this forward to the Board for discussion.

Full Text Of Board of Supervisors Discussion on Raises

Mr. Kusnierz said he supported Resolution 84 in Law and Finance to move it to the Board for discussion. He said the last resolved indicates that the provision of the resolution shall be in effect for as long as the emergency is in effect for the County. He asked the County Administrator to provide the costs as they relate to salaries and rates of pay for the 30 day period. Mr. Hellwig said the cost per week is approximately $325,000. Mr. Kusnierz said this is an issue that will continue for some time and asked if there is an anticipation that these provisions will continue to be renewed moving forward after the 30 days. Mr. Allen said there is no way to predict how long this will continue. Mr. Kusnierz asked if there was a cost estimate if this goes until the end of the fiscal year. Mr. Hellwig said there is no way to know but there are initiatives in place to scale this back. There are departments that additional reductions can be made to lower the cost to the County. The list of departments is a work in progress but will have a better idea in a day or two. Mrs. McNamara said each department has been asked to cut their workforce by at least 50%. The Public Works Department has been reduced by 82%. She said Thursday she would provide a recommended list of departments that can close as the interaction between county employees needs to be limited.

Mr. Kinowski asked if there was any chance of recouping funds from the State/Federal Government. Mr. Hellwig said all departments have been asked to track any extraordinary expenses as a result of the pandemic.

Mr. Barrett asked if the provision for additional pay is in any of the NYS Executive Orders. Mrs. McNamara said it was not. It was purely from an employee relations standpoint. Mr. Barrett asked who was covered by the provisions. Mrs. McNamara said it is any county employee who is coming in to work.

Ms. Gaston asked for a point of order as she questioned whether this subject would be better discussed in Executive Session. Mr. Dorsey said the discussion was relevant to the Resolution presented and does not need to be in Executive Session.

Mr. Barrett said if the Public Works Department was reduced by 82% will there be enough manpower going forward to handle situations as they may arise. Mrs. McNamara said the Public Works Commissioner can call back any or all of his workforce as he deems necessary.

Mr. Barrett said it was mentioned at Law and Finance that this would be looked at on a weekly basis. He does not see that in the resolution what the mechanism for that review is. Mr. Dorsey said in the last resolved on the third page does state who would be reviewing this.

Mr. Schopf said his concern is the appropriation for $150,000 for regular wages and if he reads the resolution correctly, that is for additional staffing for Public Health; and $325,000 for additional wages for over time/non overtime wages for people who are supposed to report to work anyway. That amount is more than what is allocated in resolution. Mr. Allen said the amount is what the County has at this time and if departments are closed that number will drop. Mr. Schopf asked Mr. Cooke about the $325,000 that was reported at Law & Finance. Mr. Cooke said that was the number reported if the staffing remains at 50%; however that 50% number has gone down and will continue to go down. Mr. Schopf said his concern is some of his constituents may lose their jobs and the county is essentially providing a 50% raise.

Mr. Pemrick said he knows money trumps just about anything. This unique situation requires unique actions. This is an opportunity to keep people safe but also build some respect, cooperation and good will within the staff.

Mr. Peck said we are in trying times and we need to give some flexibility to the leadership to help guide the County. We need to stand behind them and support them. We need to evolve and move forward as we go through this process.

Mr. Lawler asked if the concern is on the compensation portion of the resolution. Mr. Schopf said his concern was for the additional funding for staff and not for the funding to support Public Health. Mr. Lawler said we are in unchartered waters and there are merits on both sides of this. He suggested committing to the time and a half for a 30-day period but beyond that, there needs to be a review. Mrs. McNamara said the county would not be committed to a 30-day period for the time and a half. She said it will be one week at a time and the unions do know that.

Mr. Schopf said that he would support it for a one-week period. Mr. Kusnierz said he whole-heartedly supports this. His concerns have been addressed.


16 thoughts on “Saratoga County Salaries: Endemic Self-Dealing and Cover up Exposed”

  1. Liars. Straight up liars.

    But let me guess, instead of doing anything about it they will just pass the blame around until we all die of frustration or this virus they are fighting so heroically …

    Keep it coming JK, hold their feet to the fire

    Like

  2. After reading the TU article again, the magnitude of the dishonesty is overwhelming. Zeilman and Zurlo have both issues mea culpas online saying they are not the recipients of this money..

    https://www.timesunion.com/news/article/Saratoga-County-paying-325k-extra-a-week-to-15151335.php :

    Saratoga County Administrator Spencer Hellwig said that 380 people are being paid time-and-a-half for every hour they work. Employees being paid the new rate are mainly from the sheriff’s office and the department of public health and social services.

    Hellwig said he too is getting time-and-a-half as are all upper management: Sheriff Michael Zurlo, the Public Health Director Cathi Duncan, Emergency Services Director Carl Zeilman and other department heads because they “are the backbone of everything the county is doing to manage this pandemic.”

    Like

    1. As I said before, this is beyond anything ever experienced before, or ever anticipated by anyone.
      To take advantage of this pandemic, as Mr. Hellwig is obviously doing, is reprehensible.
      There is no possible explanation for this. Never will be, regardless of how Spencer spins it.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. If someone works O.T. during this period, is this person paid double time on top of the time and one half. They are already being paid?

    Like

  4. Thank you John for thoroughly researching this. Also, we should thank Wendy Liberatore and Steve Williams for their reports.

    I may be uninformed. Did the police, firefighters and administrators in NYC and Washington DC receive time and a half for each hour worked in September, 2001? How about other emergencies? What about those who are today putting themselves at greater risk than county employees by checking out our groceries and stocking shelves, maintaining our gas stations and keeping our shelters open? Especially, what about the true heroes and heroines who are staffing our hospitals and the few remaining test sites with less than ideal PPE’s? Are they all getting time and a half or are they just doing the jobs that they are committed to? I thought that uniformed personnel listened to the oaths that they took when they were appointed to their positions.

    I am so disappointed in our County officials!

    Chris Mathiesen

    Liked by 1 person

  5. One of the most serving decisions made by this corrupt band of Republicans. When we need to think about our neighbors, our residents and our state and country, these jerks made it about themselves. Locking in the vote. Despicable.

    Like

    1. I continue to suggest as I did a few days ago that this policy be terminated immediately and that the excess payments be refunded. The County is not in a position to allow such a questionable expenditure given the incredible loss of income that City and County government will be facing this fiscal year.

      Chris Mathiesen

      Liked by 1 person

  6. John,

    Would you post a copy of the entire referenced resolution of March 17. It may give further content and answer unresolved questions. Also, are, in fact, any county elected officials receiving the added compensation? More on that later.

    However, the RESOLVED, referenced in the Board’s March 7 resolution cited above includes the following:

    “… that the Chair of the Board, the Chair of the Law and Finance Committee, the Chair of the Human Resources and Insurance Committee, the County Administrator and the Director of Human Resources shall have the authority to jointly determine appropriate County employee staffing levels and rates of compensation that are consistent and in compliance with the current directives of any Executive Order issued by the Governor of the State of New York relative to local government staffing levels: … ”

    Clearly then, the committee’s authority is to make staffing levels and set compensation rates is constrainded “…consistent with and in compliance with the current directives of any Executive Order issued by the Governor … relative to local government staffing levels …”

    But the Governor’s Executive Order appears no to make no reference to or amending rates of compensation for existing county and other local government employees. So unless I misread (always possible) the Executive Order or their is additional language in the Board’s March 7 resolution , the only means of increasing rates of compensation would require the Board of Supervisors to follow the required process set by County Law and Municipal Home Rule Law. I reference Municipal Home Rule Law because IF any county elected officials (sheriff, county clerk, treasurer, etc.) are among those benefiting from the salary increase it would REQUIRE the Board of Supervisors to adopt a local law. State law does not allow the compensation of any elected county or local elected officials to be increased during their current term UNLESS by local law subject to permissive referendum.

    I can’t believe that the Board and the county attorney, who would routinely draft such Board resolutions, would knowingly allow anything like this if it was inconsistent with law so there still must be something missing here. That is why a reading of the Board’s entire resolution and a list of any county elected officials receiving this largesse would be helpful.

    Below is the entire text of the Governor’s Executive Order issued on March 7. Largely it roles back various rules and regulations pertaining to licensing, transportation and especially how government procures needed supplies.

    The county and its 30 municipalities are hugely depended on sales tax revenue to operate. Without any doubt there will be a huge loss of sales tax as a result of the current situation and if the County has the discrete revenue to increase salaries at a rate of $1.3 million every 4 weeks it might be wise to hold it to make up the significant shortfalls in sales tax already budgeted for the year. Of course increasing the payroll by $1.3 million every 4 weeks does not included the corresponding costs for additional FICA and NYS Retirement System contributions (unless they were included in the referenced cost projection).

    Lew

    No. 202

    E X E C U T I V E O R D E R
    Declaring a Disaster Emergency in the State of New York

    WHEREAS, on January 30, 2020, the World Health Organization designated the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, outbreak as a Public Health Emergency of International Concern;

    WHEREAS, on January 31, 2020, United States Health and Human Services Secretary Alex M. Azar II declared a public health emergency for the entire United States to aid the nation’s healthcare community in responding to COVID-19;

    WHEREAS, both travel-related cases and community contact transmission of COVID-19 have been documented in New York State and more are expected to continue; and

    WHEREAS, New York State is addressing the threat that COVID-19 poses to the health and welfare of its residents and visitors.

    NOW, THEREFORE, I, Andrew M. Cuomo, Governor of the State of New York, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the Laws of the State of New York, hereby find, pursuant to Section 28 of Article 2-B of the Executive Law, that a disaster is impending in New York State, for which the affected local governments are unable to respond adequately, and I do hereby declare a State disaster emergency for the entire State of New York. This Executive Order shall be in effect until September 7, 2020; and

    IN ADDITION, this declaration satisfies the requirements of 49 C.F.R. 390.23(a)(1)(A), which provides relief from Parts 390 through 399 of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FM CSR). Such relief from the FM CSR is necessary to ensure that crews are available as needed.

    FURTHER, pursuant to Section 29 of Article 2-B of the Executive Law, I direct the implementation of the State Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan and authorize all necessary State agencies to take appropriate action to assist local governments and individuals in containing, preparing for, responding to and recovering from this state disaster emergency, to protect state and local property, and to provide such other assistance as is necessary to protect public health, welfare, and safety.

    IN ADDITION, by virtue of the authority vested in me by Section 29-a of Article 2-B of the Executive Law to temporarily suspend or modify any statute, local law, ordinance, order, rule, or regulation, or parts thereof, of any agency during a State disaster emergency, if compliance with such statute, local law, ordinance, order, rule, or regulation would prevent, hinder, or delay action necessary to cope with the disaster emergency or if necessary to assist or aid in coping with such disaster, I hereby temporarily suspend or modify, for the period from the date of this Executive Order through April 6, 2020 the following:

    Section 112 of the State Finance Law, to the extent consistent with Article V, Section 1 of the State Constitution, and to the extent necessary to add additional work, sites, and time to State contracts or to award emergency contracts, including but not limited to emergency contracts or leases for relocation and support of State operations under Section 3 of the Public Buildings Law; or emergency contracts under Section 9 of the Public Buildings Law; or emergency contracts for professional services under Section 136- a of the State Finance Law; or emergency contracts for commodities, services, and technology under Section 163 of the State Finance Law; or design-build or best value contracts under and Part F of Chapter 60 of the Laws of 2015 and Part RRR of Chapter 59 of the Laws of 2017; or emergency contracts for purchases of commodities, services, and technology through any federal GSA schedules, federal 1122 programs, or other state, regional, local, multi-jurisdictional, or cooperative contract vehicles;

    Section 163 of the State Finance Law and Article 4-C of the Economic Development Law, to the extent necessary to allow the purchase of necessary commodities, services, technology, and materials without following the standard notice and procurement processes;

    Section 97-G of the State Finance Law, to the extent necessary to purchase food, supplies, services, and equipment or furnish or provide various centralized services, including but not limited to, building design and construction services to assist affected local governments, individuals, and other non-State entities in responding to and recovering from the disaster emergency;

    Section 359-a, Section 2879, and 2879-a of the Public Authorities Law to the extent necessary to purchase necessary goods and services without following the standard procurement processes;

    Sections 375, 385 and 401 of the Vehicle and Traffic Law to the extent that exemption for vehicles validly registered in other jurisdictions from vehicle registration, equipment and dimension requirements is necessary to assist in preparedness and response to the COVID-19 outbreak;

    Sections 6521 and 6902 of the Education Law, to the extent necessary to permit unlicensed individuals, upon completion of training deemed adequate by the Commissioner of Health, to collect throat or nasopharyngeal swab specimens from individuals suspected of being infected by COVID-19, for purposes of testing; and to the extent necessary to permit non-nursing staff, upon completion of training deemed adequate by the Commissioner of Health, to perform tasks, under the supervision of a nurse, otherwise limited to the scope of practice of a licensed or registered nurse;

    Subdivision 6 of section 2510 and section 2511 of the Public Health Law, to the extent necessary to waive or revise eligibility criteria, documentation requirements, or premium contributions; modify covered health care services or the scope and level of such services set forth in contracts; increase subsidy payments to approved organizations, including the maximum dollar amount set forth in contracts; or provide extensions for required reports due by approved organizations in accordance with contracts;

    Section 224-b and subdivision 4 of section 225 of the Public Health Law, to the extent necessary to permit the Commissioner of Health to promulgate emergency regulations and to amend the State Sanitary Code;

    Subdivision 2 of section 2803 of the Public Health Law, to the extent necessary to permit the Commissioner to promulgate emergency regulations concerning the facilities licensed pursuant to Article 28 of the Public Health Law, including but not limited to the operation of general hospitals;

    Subdivision 3 of section 273 of the Public Health Law and subdivisions 25 and 25-a of section 364-j of the Social Services Law, to the extent necessary to allow patients to receive prescribed drugs, without delay;

    Section 400.9 and paragraph 7 of subdivision f of section 405.9 of Title 10 of the NYCRR, to the extent necessary to permit general hospitals and nursing homes licensed pursuant to Article 28 of the Public Health Law (“Article 28 facilities”) that are treating patients during the disaster emergency to rapidly discharge, transfer, or receive such patients, as authorized by the Commissioner of Health, provided such facilities take all reasonable measures to protect the health and safety of such patients and residents, including safe transfer and discharge practices, and to comply with the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act (42 U.S.C. section 1395dd) and any associated regulations;

    Section 400.11 of Title 10 of the NYCRR, to the extent necessary to permit Article 28 facilities receiving patients as a result of the disaster emergency to complete patient review instruments as soon as practicable;

    Section 405 of Title 10 of the NYCRR, to the extent necessary to maintain the public health with respect to treatment or containment of individuals with or suspected to have COVID-19;

    Subdivision d and u of section 800.3 of Title 10 of the NYCRR, to the extent necessary to permit emergency medical service personnel to provide community paramedicine, transportation to destinations other than hospitals or health care facilities, telemedicine to facilitate treatment of patients in place, and such other services as may be approved by the Commissioner of Health;

    Paragraph 3 of subdivision f of section 505.14 of Title 18 of the NYCRR, to the extent necessary to permit nursing supervision visits for personal care services provided to individuals affected by the disaster emergency be made as soon as practicable;

    Sections 8602 and 8603 of the Education Law, and section 58-1.5 of Title 10 of the NYCRR, to the extent necessary to permit individuals who meet the federal requirements for high complexity testing to perform testing for the detection of SARS-CoV-2 in specimens collected from individuals suspected of suffering from a COVID-19 infection;

    Subdivision 4 of section 6909 of the Public Health Law, subdivision 6 of section 6527 of the Education Law, and section 64.7 of Title 8 of the NYCRR, to the extent necessary to permit physicians and certified nurse practitioners to issue a non-patient specific regimen to nurses or any such other persons authorized by law or by this executive order to collect throat or nasopharyngeal swab specimens from individuals suspected of suffering from a COVID-19 infection, for purposes of testing, or to perform such other tasks as may be necessary to provide care for individuals diagnosed or suspected of suffering from a COVID-19 infection;

    Section 596 of Title 14 of the NYCRR to the extent necessary to allow for rapid approval of the use of the telemental health services, including the requirements for in-person initial assessment prior to the delivery of telemental health services, limitations on who can deliver telemental health services, requirements for who must be present while telemental health services are delivered, and a recipient’s right to refuse telemental health services;

    Section 409-i of the Education Law, section 163-b of the State Finance Law with associated OGS guidance, and Executive Order No. 2 are suspended to the extent necessary to allow elementary and secondary schools to procure and use cleaning and maintenance products in schools; and sections 103 and 104-b of the General Municipal Law are suspended to the extent necessary to allow schools to do so without the usual advertising for bids and offers and compliance with existing procurement policies and procedures;

    Article 7 of the Public Officers Law, section 41 of the General Construction Law, and section 3002 of the Public Health Law, to the extent necessary to permit the Public Health and Health Planning Council and the State Emergency Medical Services Council to meet and take such actions as authorized by law, as may be necessary to respond to the COVID-19 outbreak, without meeting quorum requirements or permitting the public in-person access to meetings, provided that any such meetings must be webcast and means for effective public comment must be made available; and

    FURTHER, I hereby temporarily modify, for the period from the date of this Executive Order through April 6, 2020, the following laws:

    Section 24 of the Executive Law; Sections 104 and 346 of the Highway Law, Sections 1602, 1630, 1640, 1650, and 1660 of the Vehicle and Traffic Law; Section 14(16) of the Transportation Law; Sections 6-602 and 17-1706 of the Village Law; Section 20(32) of the General City Law; Section 91 of Second Class Cities Law; Section 19-107(ii) of the New York City Administrative Code; and Section 107.1 of Title 21 of the New York Codes, Rules and Regulations, to the extent necessary to provide the Governor with the authority to regulate traffic and the movement of vehicles on roads, highways, and streets.

    G I V E N under my hand and the Privy Seal of the State in the City of Albany this seventh day of March in the year two thousand twenty.

    BY THE GOVERNOR

    Secretary to the Governor
    Governor Andrew M. Cuomo

    Like

  7. Good report JK.

    Mr. Kusnierz was his usual perky self.
    One question some of us would like Todd to ask:

    “Exactly WHY are we considering this first-time-ever decision to grant “hazardous-duty pay,” in the first place?”

    Are these actors leveraging this “pandemic” drill to their better their own financial condition?
    Or do they truly feel they are in harm’s way?
    Must be all those dead bodies lying around Broadway, lately.
    Oh, wait–those are the homeless!

    Is it indeed the end of the world?
    Must be.

    We’re all gonna die!
    We’re all gonna die!
    We’re all gonna die!
    (Just not today.)

    What a shame if it’s not all cranked up to be what it is to be.
    What if we all survive?

    When this is all over, and it WILL be over…
    This country is going to wish CORVID-19 was real.

    G-d save us,

    -JC :-O

    Like

  8. First things first: The nicest word you can use about the way the County Board of Supervisors does business is “obtuse.” At least in this case, there was some public discussion.

    But often, out of 20 resolutions on the Board’s Agenda, 19 of them are presented as a header with some platitude (e.g.: ‘A resolution to make Saratoga County safer’) where all the discussion happens in committee.

    It’s not surprising that sometimes Supervisors don’t realize all the nuances they are voting for – although in this case, Supervisors Schopf and Kusnierz appear to have had their concerns addressed, and are now expressing “Buyer’s remorse” publicly.

    Well, they can’t have it both ways. If this is supposed to be evaluated on a weekly basis, then there is no reason to wait until next month’s Board meet on 4/21 – now that the impact has come to light, the Supervisors should be falling all over themselves in their haste to fix this now.

    And we are just getting started… $800,000+ for ‘office supplies’? Hope some of that goes to erasers, ’cause they’re going to need a lot of them to eradicate this pork; and speaking of which, +$35 K for Taco Bell? These guys don’t take turns buying with the checks they pull down?

    Donate the late-night munchies to the first responders and medical heroes, Supervisors. There’s plenty of crow for you all to eat, you won’t go hungry.

    Like

  9. Just wondering where the Libertarian Party’s stance is on the right to assemble in all of this? Privacy? Easy to complain about pay raises, etc during a time like this – but how about constitutional rights being infringed upon? This whole lockdown thing was awfully easy to do without substantial data about recovery rates, etc. Here we are being compliant, and there are people watching that are seeing an opportunity, not a crisis:

    Stanford: https://www.wsj.com/articles/is-the-coronavirus-as-deadly-as-they-say-11585088464
    Yale: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/20/opinion/coronavirus-pandemic-social-distancing.html
    Harvard: https://www.zdnet.com/article/harvard-researchers-social-distancing-during-covid-19-may-have-to-be-turned-on-and-off-like-a-spigot/

    Like

    1. Hey 1884–

      Yes.
      There are some SERIOUS violations regarding the 14th amendment, for sure.
      But, all of this seems to be voluntary with the consent and best wishes of the sheepdom.

      Got coffee at London’s this morning.
      Always a parking spot right out front on Broadway!

      One fellow laughed and said; “Seems like all the democrats are home and the republicans are working.”

      Funny in a weird sort of way.
      Nice to see that Mrs. London’s is open.
      As is Four Seasons Natural Foods.

      I can still get my morning coffee and pastry; so I’m set!

      Oh, one last thingy:
      London’s seems to be liquidating the liquor form Max’s.
      You can get that bottle of wine with your croissant to go…

      Who wants coffee?

      Ha-ha-ha!

      -JC 😉

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s