Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Recommendation for change

May 2, 2010

In today’s edition of the Republican American, Waterbury resident Joseph P. Nolan suggested that Mayor Jarjura may be going down the wrong path by allowing existing city employees to manage investigations related to other city employees and their assumed wrongdoings. I could not agree more!

These types of issues certainly call for an impartial party to review/investigate possible issues and as suggested by Mr. Nolan, the FBI may be the perfect group to manage this activity.

I am not sure if the Mayor would agree or if he is planning on reacting to this suggestion, but I feel the city residents can help to make this different in the future.

As previously posted, I found it shocking that the two union contracts I reviewed guaranteed increases to all employees regardless of performance. In these two instances, these contracts extend through June 2011. Although I believe a union contract cannot be adjusted mid-life, I would strongly suggest that the city of Waterbury residents use this time to demand a change to all future contracts. What type of change…..?

I recommend that each and every union contract include a performance clause prohibiting any financial or benefit related increase to employees unless they have been meeting or exceeding performance expectations based on an annual review. If implemented, this measure could succeed in easing the cities pain in two ways:
1) Eliminate spend toward non performing employees; ultimately helping to prevent tax increases
2) Reduce issues of theft/wrongdoing against the city

Hopefully this type of change would also result in improving the faith of those of us that live in the city.

Anyone agree? If so, make sure to leave a comment.

Forbes Magazine ranks Waterbury as the 11th worst city in the country for job growth

May 1, 2010

 Waterbury was recently named #388 out of #397 cities in America for job opportunities.  This will come as no surprise to the residents of Waterbury.  At times it feels “bad enough” to just live here, but to work here as well could be down right depressing.  By the looks of the vacancies at the Brass Mill Center even retailers are reluctant to sign a lease in the city.  Why should they?  As more and more residents have less and less disposable income to spend there and city officials continue to be out of touch with the residents.  Or perhaps they just don’t care about the residents.  But that would be cynical.

 Your going to have to scroll all the way down to #196 before you can find a CT town.  New Haven leads the pack.  No surprise there as New Haven has done a lot to clean up the city, attract new business and families alike, and build a base for the local artist community.  Bridgeport, Stamford, and Norwalk came in at #225, while Danbury was #355. 

As the BOA continue to review line items and request furlough days this ranking could not come at a worst time.  Several posts on the Waterbury Republican website include the phrases;  “I’m moving out” or “move if you don’t want your taxes raised”.  The only move the BOA needs to be focused on is moving away from mill rate hikes and towards a city citizens can be proud of.

If you believe moving out is your only option well pack a warm coat for Anchorage, AK as they ranked 18th on the list.  Or be ready to pack on the pounds if you head for Texas. Their towns took 5 of the top 25 stops on the list.  Considering 75% of Texans will be considered obese within the next 30 years you may want to buy some bigger belts.  North Carolina fared well as usual.  I personally wouldn’t miss the sand that accumulates on my sidewalks after the city workers plow the streets in the winter.  And Bismark, ND ranked #2 on the list.  Having been to North Dakota I think I’ll pass. 

Here’s a crazy idea.  Instead of moving let’s get together and use our energy to come up with solutions to clean up the city and attract small businesses here.  Let’s face it, the next Sikorsky isn’t going to set up at the Pin Shop.  We need small business owners to look at the city seriously.  We have a great location off I84.  Rents are low since no one wants to come here.  Lets look to New Haven as a great example of what could be.  At the very least we can keep supporting our local deli owners and mom and pop pharmacies.   And to all the workers at St. Mary’s and Waterbury Hospital I thank you.  Though you may not live here you share our pain every time you drive to work.  If we lose the hospitals the BOA should use the budget to buy a really big excavating machine.  That way they can dig a big hole and bury the city.  Well, if I’m being cynical, isn’t that what they are doing already?

If you would like to see the complete list, it is located at:

http://www.newgeography.com/content/001512-all-cities-rankings-2010-best-cities-job-growth

Dear Mr. Franco

April 24, 2010

Dear Mr. Franco,

Just a few quick thoughts regarding your Waterbury Republican editorial on the city refuse workers.  Call me crazy, but I imagine that when candidates apply for said job that the description might read: will need to work in inclement weather including snow, rain, and humid conditions.  It’s pretty clear that this is what they sign up for.  They also should have to empty the entire trash can and not leave a third of the trash at the bottom because they are too lazy to pour the whole can into the truck.  Having witnessed this first hand I know this is what goes on. 

How many times have you found your garbage can across the street or up by your neighbor’s house?  If we lose our trash can the city makes us pay for another one.  On several occasions I have found broken garbage and trash left in front of my curb.  Next time I’ll be happy to post pictures to show you the “great job” these city workers are doing.  Ms. Calsetta is correct in questioning everything that goes on in the city.  It’s all our dollars being misspent.

rebuttal to city refuse workers editorial

April 24, 2010

Cheryl Calsetta wrote on Apr 23, 2010 6:50 AM:

” In response to Richard’s Franco’s comment…
AGREED! THE CITY REFUSE WORKERS THAT MANGE MY ROUTE ARE AMAZING! Although I am not convinced you understood my question as my concern is NOT with their performance.

My question derives from a financial perspective focused on my understanding that they receive a full 8 hours of pay, when their route may only take them 5-6 hours to complete.

As such, I was looking to obtain answers to a couple of things:
1) Is this a true practice/policy?
2) If it is accurate, why? I work within the private sector and I can honestly tell you a private organization will not pay you for work that is not performed. Would you contract someone to work at your house for 40 hours, receive 20 hours of work but still pay for 40?
3) Also, if accurate, I believe there are other options for the City and the refuse workers. For example, are there alternate tasks they can do for the City to make their pay equal to the work they are doing? This would not only balance out pay vs. work performed, but it would give them the opportunity to pick up additional skills allowing them to possibly transfer into other roles within the City.

In closing, regardless of whether or not I agree with the answers I hope to receive from asking these questions but they are questions that need to be asked. “

city refuse workers editorial – 4/24/10

April 24, 2010

City refuse workers doing a great job

This is in response to Cheryl Calsetta’s comment to the Waterbury Board of Aldermen on April 12 saying refuse workers are paid for eight hours’ work even if they work less.

I understand her anger and frustration about the 2.8-mill property-tax increase. But let’s not pick on the refuse workers, who do a great job in snow, rain and humid weather, not counting the smell and dogs.

I believe Ms. Calsetta would agree they do a great job. There are other ways to get your point across.

Richard Franco

Waterbury

Who will bite the bullet? A response….

April 21, 2010

waterburywatchdogs wrote on Apr 21, 2010 5:49 PM:

” A 12% raise is an obscene amount in a year where the majority of the private sector has received a pink slip. For those lucky few who got raises they are most likely taking home 1%-2% and this will be what the future of raises looks like. No one is saying deserving individuals should not be granted pay increases. But not on the backs of tax payers in the worst economic downturn in recent history. Tax payers don’t have the money to fund 12% raises. That’s egregious. The alderman are under pressure to stop this tax increase and we hope this is the first of some hard-line cuts they are going to have to make. In regards to lay offs; as the “little guy” is let go who is going to pick up the slack. It would be wise for the workers at the top of the food chain to take cuts and keep the workload equal. The person who pockets more money while idly standing by as co-workers lose their jobs better be prepared to pick up the slack. It’s time for the aldermen to take the gloves off and stop this bleeder! “

Reprint of Waterbury Republican article by Penelope Overton: Who will bite the bullet?

April 21, 2010

Who will bite the bullet?
Waterbury aldermen ask department heads to forfeit raises, cut staff
BY PENELOPE OVERTON
REPUBLICAN-AMERICAN

WATERBURY — The fiscal bloodletting has begun.

On Tuesday, during the first budget committee workshop of a difficult budget season, the Board of Aldermen started asking department heads across the city to forfeit raises and, if necessary, their staff.

“We have no pity this year, OK?” Alderman Frank A. Burgio Sr. told city Auditor James Berthelson after asking him to give up his raise. “People are struggling. It’s time for us to all come together.”

Aldermen are eager to find a way to cut, if not eliminate, a proposed 2.8-mil tax increase. For the average taxpayer, who owns a home assessed at $110,000, that is a $300 a year tax increase.

Berthelson was obviously flummoxed. He hemmed and hawed when Alderman Anne P. Phelan asked him repeatedly if he would give back a proposed $2,550 a year raise. He earns $84,975 a year now.

In the end, Berthelson offered to “unhappily” take a 2 ½ percent hike instead of a 3 percent hike. It was not the answer that [JUMP]the members of the budget committee wanted to hear.

Eight of the 10 department heads reporting before the committee on Tuesday had been slated for a raise in Mayor Michael J. Jarjura’s budget proposal this year. Two did not have a raise scheduled.

Of those eight, Berthelson and two others, registrars of voters Nancy Vitarelli and Patricia Mulhall, did not offer to give up their full raises. Both registrars told the committee to “do what you have to do.”

Most of the department heads offered to give up the raises as a kind of symbolic sign of faith with city workers, some of whom may be laid off, and taxpayers, who may face up to a 2.8-mill tax increase.

“Go ahead, take it,” said City Clerk Michael Dalton of a $6,300 raise. That would have increased his annual salary from $53,354 to $59,653, a total set by charter. “I gave mine back last year, too.”

Even the aldermen agreed to “share the pain.” The board agreed the aldermen should forgo $1,000 of their $4,000 annual stipend. The board president, Paul K. Pernerewski Jr., gave up $2,000 of a $6,000 stipend.

Mayor Michael J. Jarjura said he hadn’t decided whether he will give back $12,597 of his $119,306 annual salary. In past years, he returned it as a way of forgoing his raise but keeping his full salary in the budget.

Who are we and what do we stand for?

April 21, 2010

This is a call to the concerned citizens of Waterbury, CT.  Are you tired of standing by while the city government continues to award raises while another tax increase looms over our heads?  Have you suffered a disservice at the hands of a city employee?  Are you getting what you pay for in the form of taxes each year?

This blog is for you to tell your stories.  This blog is for those who are seeking to reach out to their neighbors and demand a call to action.  Don’t look the other way while the board of aldermen decides the new budget.  Have your voice heard.  If there is a voice in your head telling you that you can not fight city hall, stop listening.  We can fight city hall and hold them accountable for their decisions.  This blog is not influenced by political affiliation.  This blog is not influenced by Mayor Jarjura’s cronies.  This blog is a forum for open discussion. 

We can hold elected officials accountable if we come together.  This blog belongs to the citizens of Waterbury.  Now lets show Mayor Jarjura who we are.  This is a place for the taxpayer to have a voice.  Start using yours now!!