Friday, June 19, 2009

It's Not What You Know . . .

. . . but Who you Know as the old saying goes . . . born out again this week in Daniel Labella's appointment to Police Chief by Mayor Roefaro.  

The mysterious dropping out of would-be competitors really isn't mysterious in local politics. People involved know what decision has been made long before it is publicly announced, so there is no point in fighting the inevitable.  The only challange is to make the decision "legal." 

While civil servants understand how the process works -- that the highest score on a civil service test does NOT guarantee an appointment to a position -- what went on here would seem extraordinary and questionable to most civil servants:

There were two different Civil Service Tests with different eligibility requirements. 

Usually eligibility requirements for a test are the eligibility requirements for the job. In Utica one has to be a Deputy Chief first before taking the City's test to become Chief, so how does one take a County exam without the eligibility requirement and qualify to become a City Police Chief?

It makes no sense.

The two tests were different, the County test being shorter that the city test .  So how is comparing the scores from two very different tests valid?

That's more nonsense. 

If one is sick for a Civil Service test, its usually tough luck ... you take it the next time it is given. No so here . . . a special session was created for this County test for Mr. LaBella.

That's just crazy.

For some people, this is the straw that breaks the camel's back.  They are calling for the recall of Mayor Roefaro. More power to them! It's good to see the public, especially the unusually complacent Utica public, get motivated. . . .

But the public should make sure that they are not merely treating the symptom of a bigger sickness. . . . or playing into the hands of others.

Notice the County's involvement above.  This particular appointment could not have occurred without County collusion.  

There is much more wrong here than meets the eye . . . it goes beyond Utica's borders and involves BOTH political parties.

Keep your eye at the County level . . . The County preserves local fiefdom's powers.


swimmy said...

The county's involvement also stems from labella being a county legislator. Don't forget, the hatch act doesn't require him to leave one job for the other, just that he don't run for re-election. It seems this is the sort of thing the Hatch Act sought to prevent.

Greens and Beans said...

This administration must be proud of itself in terms of arrogantly upholding the “Sin City” reputation. This is nothing new. Other police officials across upstate have been inflating their pension benefits why should Utica be different? Let’s face it, be it the county, cities, towns, villages or school districts, this area has never been known for its government ethics. This example of county and city intergovernmental collusion will enable this public police official to double his public retirement benefits for the remainder of his and his beneficiary’s life. I feel sorry for the local judges and prosecutors who have to prosecute taxpayers for minor infractions when its government officials are conspiring right under their noses to defraud the community out of public funds.

Some say that this situation is nothing new for this area. The shameful fact of the matter is that nepotism has always been rampant in this area. For the past forty years you could find the very same surnames in the Fire and Police Departments. And today is no exception. If your relative served in one of these departments, regardless of any civil service test or any other qualifying prerequisites, you are all but guaranteed to have a plush government job reserved for you as well as your descendents. Years ago, if one was really politically connected, you were anointed with the classic public “no show” job. I recall one super politically connected individual, who was on two no-show government payrolls and clocked in on each work site at the same time of day! And to think, if one person is at two places at the same time, the church recognizes the phenomena as a miracle. Perhaps they should have canonized this individual as a saint!

It should be no surprise that the highly educated and qualified individuals vacate this area in groves. Can we really blame them?

clipper said...

What are you saying Strike? That we should be careful driving on Genessee Street, near the Radisson, so we do not skid on the trail of hazardous "political slime" going from City Hall to the County building? It is a strange phenomenon, as it crosses not only Genessee St. but also party lines.

It is kinda like "you condone letting me steal the OTB monies from the towns and cities and other political travesties, and I will support your effort to get a crony that can't qualify on a city test, appointed through a very shady and suspect county level test." Gee, and how convenient that the test was administered at the "convenience" of the candidate. How nice!

You are correct Strike, as usual. We need to keep our eye on the county and on both parties. Like a disease, political corruption doesn't respect party lines or limit itself to any one level of government.

It seems that Utica and Oneida County area have become a petri dish for the incubation and spread of the corruption.

Rufe Elephante looks like a boy scout next to the present mayor and his shameless nepotism, patronage and just plain underhanded dealings.

Picente is just as bad, and misguided as Roefaro is. In Picente's case, it is a desire to move on to an assembly seat, while Roefaro seems to only be interested in lining the nest of friends and relatives, with no higher aspirations than to make a buck off the citizens of the city and then go back to what he is good at, speaking softly while emptying one's pockets in their time of grief. It seems that he is applying those skills to the city of Utica. Reaping windfalls for his relatives and friends, while preparing to callously bury a whole city.

I was not a fan of Lou LaPolla for mayor at the time, but I think he was the last mayor to take office that did so with a regard for the city's citizens, and that did not immediately embark on a mission to accomplish a PERSONAL agenda.

Hanna had a personal agenda, even if it wasn't financial gain, and all others have had some hidden agenda that benefited them or their relatives or "friends" in some expensive, taxpayer financed manner or another.

Gotta love central NY politics. I mean what else would support as many blogs and forums and keep the discussions lively if we didn't have the crooks and miscreants to "keep it real" and keep it moving?

Thanks once again for bringing another factual look at a local situation to the public eye. Whenever I am in doubt, I simply wait for YOU to address an issue, and I know that I have gotten unbiased and well researched facts. Thank you again for the service you provide to the whole area. Kudos Strike, have a great day.

UticaSux said...

Thanx Strike, we were waiting for you to weigh in on this. It will be interesting to see what becomes of the recall.... if sucessful it could send a message to the rest of the loonies we have in office that THEY TOO are subject to voter ire like this.

Will they ever learn?

Why does Roefaro and the erst of them seem to relish doing what they want despite that being what the people in Utica wanting?

Anonymous said...

Then there is the laughable side of the ledger. Utica has a Mayor who cannot speak english or articulate a complete thought. As substitute, he often uses the sophmoric nephew. The depth to which the poiltical leadership has fallen is as low as it's ever been in our history. Not a good sign for the future,to say the least.It may take some like the recall effort to awaken people. At least it will show if our citizens can be awakened.

Anonymous said...

The incestuous nature of the political relationships stem from the Destito/Arcuri/Picenti association which is family based.

Mr. Condescending said...

Didn't labella say that he didn't even want to be chief?

I'm glad I found this blog!

Anonymous said...

Part of the arrangement is for the legislative seat to be returned to the Republicans. The Democrat candidiate will not be supported by Utica Democrats.