May 14, 2008

Go Get'em Cuomo

Attorney General Andrew Cuomo is on a mission to weed out those who don't belong in the state retirement system. He has been targeting attorneys who have claimed to be employees of school districts when they really are outside contractors. Now, he is going after school administrators who retire from one job in the system and then take another, essentially double dipping off of taxpayers.

We think the Attorney General needs to go even further and begin a review of the contracts that school boards are giving administrators. Let's be honest. Most school board members don't know the first thing about negotiation while superintendents are specifically trained in this area since negotiating contracts with teachers is one of their main functions.

So it is any surprise that these superintendents are able to run circles around school board members when it comes to their own contract negotiations.

Much of this came to light when it turned out Dr. George, the retired super in North Tonawanda, walked away with a $200K pension, more than he earned during his time there. All the perks and bennys tacked on to his contract gave him additional pension credits that made him the second highest paid retiree in the system in ALL OF NYS!!!!

Since this story broke, we have been hearing from many people across Niagara County about perks given in their district, which include:

1) So-called Evergreen contracts that automatically give hefty raises without any board action which hides it from public scrutiny.

2) Hefty life insurance contracts, the premiums which are paid for by the district.

3) Lifetime health insurance for administrators and their spouses

4) Huge balloon payment bonuses at the end of the contract which boost pension payments

5) Huge payouts for accrued time which also boost pension payments.

6) Contract that automatically tack on a year on each year so if you have a five year contract each year you get another year so you ALWAYS have five years left on your contract. This means a huge payout if the district tries to fire you.

It's time for Cuomo to reign in these contracts. Maybe all these contracts should merit review by the AG and/or the State Comptroller. Taxpayers are being robbed blind and something needs to be done.

20 comments:

Anonymous said...

Oh boy hobbes you really stepped into it this time, your boy Ross sounds like one of those double dippers or as we say it public double tit sucking.

rob clark said...

You would think that these school boards would have a lawyer or contract Arbitrator take better care of these items.

pirate's code said...

Hobbes -- Despite your new-found anonymous friend who gets a school-boy stiffy from typing the word "tit" this is a discussion worth having. In the local rag, Dr. George explained his high pension by touting his long-tenure as super and the belief that he did he a pretty good job while at NT. What he didn't explain, nor has the board explained, how he deserves a pension that is substantially higher than his final salary.

I am a believer in the "you get what pay for" school of economics, so I have no issue with paying educators and administrators a quality wage for a quality job done.

But this is just another example of gaming a system that is so easily gamed to start with.

And, rob clark, I agree that more expertise is needed when such contracts are negotiated. But that might have to start with putting the legal contract out to bid first. It would seem that many of these district/attorney relationships are too insider for comfort.

Mr. Pink said...

I guess anon is blown away that maybe Hobbes isn't in anyone's camp in particular but actually offers his own thoughtful opinion. Good for Hobbes.

I do believe it's time for more oversight of these contracts. Clearly, the state comptroller could weigh in and help sort out what is legitimate and what is absurd.

Anonymous said...

Why can't the county ever get rid of a job without adding 3 new ones? Can you answer that question hobbes? Oh how is Mikey the clerk doing in his new job?

gop shill said...

Isn't Scott Schultz, one of Danny R's favorite boys who got his butt kicked by Paul Wojtaszek after getting thrown off the school board last year running for NT school board again? And isnt' Schultz the one who gave Dr. George this contract? Democrats just love to play around with other people's money since they aren't talented enough to make any of their own.

Anonymous said...

Nah, the democrats all have real jobs not like the pig republican's feeding on the public breast, like Ross and your ida buddies.

Anonymous said...

Dennis Virtuoso, Inspector Death on the hotel project sucking up Niagara Falls tax dollars. Renae Kimble. Anello appointee, not even sure if she's employed. That's half the Dem Caucus right there on the dole.

Anonymous said...

Ball washer mikey the exclerk, should get busy any stop the comments.

Anonymous said...

Danny, don't you have anything better to do than ruin what was decent debate...like go find another candidate for mayor who drives the babysitter home drunk.

Anonymous said...

Oh yea I forgot, the republican sleeps with the baby sitter first to help him sober up, then drives her home.

Anonymous said...

What debate? all you do is pat each other on the back and say good job. Just remember if your doing such a good job then why did you get the big F, and it wasnt any liberial media or tom christy rant.

Anonymous said...

Did you see the Business Council "F" was directed at state government, not county efforts? That was their own explanation but why learn the facts?

Renae Kimble should be in jail for running the NCIDA into the ground until GOP apppointees cleaned it up and Dennis has the nerve to question anything.

Glen Hackett stuffed his pockets full with both hands as NCIDA and County attorney and Dennis and Renae gladly went along.

Dennis tried to ram through the county purchase of the old Jenns Building because Dem contributors wanted to unload it, but that's OK, too right?

That's what passed for economic development under their watch.

Anonymous said...

Well does Sloma's folly now seem better, what a joke. Did I hear you say clean coal? ha ha ha

pirate's code said...

Good...another anon vs. anon "my internet dick is bigger than yours" flame war. Reminds me of the commercial with the two goalies who trade "your momma is so ugly..." insults, except this one isn't even remotely funny. Nor does it appear to have an ending.

So, flame away, internet warriors. Perhaps we could get Mikey the clerk, Dennis the inspector of death, the drunken babysitter-driver and Tom Christy in a tag-team, steel-cage death match.

In the meantime, anon #1, I'll assume you've run out of ammo, now that you've already used "tit" and "breast." Let me save you the trouble...jugs, boobs, hooters, yabos, cans, mellons, honkers, ta-tas, balloons, and -- an old favorite -- love pillows. Feel free to use any of the above.

Anonymous said...

This blog is just cheer leading on how great it is here, because you could not get a job in the public sector. F = Failure

Anonymous said...

Time to just shrink the whole retirement system. A state trooper making a six figure pension is insane. No business can operate with pensions anywhere near that (eg. Ford), but NYS sure will try and doesn't seem to be stopping until all people and businesses in the area are gone.

Rhonda J Mangus said...

Hobbes - thanks for posting this story. It will be interesting to see who Cuomo "calls out" in Niagara and Erie Counties! So far, only Hodgson Russ in Buffalo and Girvin & Ferraro in Long Island. Another point: how many school districts are collecting state-aid for students showing up on enrollment lists, and who school districts are IN FACT not educating? Very interesting!!! I can only say, Hobbes, the "ball-game" is just about over:)!

Rhonda J Mangus said...

Correction: Girvin & Ferlazzo (Albany).

Now, Governor Paterson and the State Legislature pump more state-aid into the coffers of criminals. City of North Tonawanda School District receives a 6.91% increase in state-aid, more than Niagara Falls and Lockport, and to the tune of 2 plus million dollars. Interesting! Read Buffalo News journalist Paul Westmoore's article here: http://www.buffalonews.com/cityregion/niagaracounty/story/349790.html

Anonymous said...

Francine DelMonte, 46, of Niagara Falls, was charged with loitering at 8:18 a.m. Thursday. DelMonte was walking on 19th Street Thursday morning and offered a motorist oral sex in exchange for money, according to the driver, who alerted police. DelMonte also was taken in on a warrant for a previous loitering charge.