Sunday, June 08, 2008

Pain for Gain . . .

A couple weeks ago we were a bit outraged to read of the $250K Pylman buyout. On today's OD Editorial Page Mayor Roefaro attempted to explain all. The significant points:
  • $82K for unpaid vacation, sick, and personal leave
  • $168K negotiated settlement.
The negotiated settlement supposedly represents payment for 384 days "compensatory time" out of 562 days Pylman allegedly had on the books, saving taxpayers $77K. While taxpayers would be justifiably steamed over this comp time abuse, according to Roefaro this had been an accepted practice for years ... which would make it difficult for the City to deny Pylman now. (The good news is that Roefaro is ending the practice of accumulating comp time by implementing a "use it or lose it" approach.)

Additionally, according to Roefaro, the City had been notified by the State that the waiver Pyleman had been given to both work for Utica while collecting his state retirement check would end next year . . . ending the retirement check and (under his Julian-era contract) obligating the City to make up the difference (an additional $67K per year).

The original Pylman contract was a bad deal for Utica just considering the 2019 expiration date. The $ provisions made it worse.

Roefaro's numbers may inflict some pain now, but they may result in a gain in the long run.


Anonymous said...

Great job Strike for posting this. I agree that this - in the long run - is in the best interest of the city. There were several problems though.

The deal was well crafted by Roefaro, and the intentions were very good. We all know that Pylman was going. However, I see the problem being more of a PR one.

The administration should never have "assumed" that the public at-large would understand the details. Furthermore, they should have anticipated that the OD would be all over them. The OD is obviously out to get Roefaro and out to protect Pylman. With that said, the OD knew Pylman was going as well. However, they likely anticipated a long drawn out battle that they would be able to write about for months. Instead, they were surprised with a mutually agreed upon deal that didn't give them a chance to publicly drag everyone's name down in endless reporting. So what do they do now?

Well, Roefaro should have anticipated every move and possible implication of it. He should have started to petition the state for an exception to the Civil Service requirment prior to the Pylman announcment. This would have prevented any misconceptions that it was only a move designed for Labella. I have always believed that it shouldn't be Civil Service, as it is not in most other major cities (i.e. NYC, Syracuse, etc.). But the timing was bad PR.

With a little help in the PR department I think he can turn the public perception around. Of course I don't agree with many of the people working there, but that is not our call. Overall, the buck stops at the mayor and I think he is doing a decent job. Just needs to communicate better, and keep in mind that the OD will be there to hammer anything he slips up on. Good PR is worth its weight in gold around here.

clipper said...

My only comment is where the hell was Julian's head, to even get us into the mess to begin with. Julian was and is a moron, and it is sad that he cannot be made to pick up the tab for his foolishness. He should hang his head in shame.

He most likely is still spending the money he lined his pockets with while mayor. Hopefully, Dave Roefaro's patronage jobs that he has filled, will be with people that will prove to be competent and do the jobs they are hired for.