Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Updated as I go... Budget Exercise... Submission... Own and Collective... to Alderman Landi... Finance and Economic Development Committee

[Just for Fun!; Photo by NS]

I was not able to attend last night's Finance and Economic Development [with a focus on the Mayor's 2010 Budget Proposal] Meeting, but I did send the following to Alderman Charles Landi [Committee Chair] - with a request that he make copies for the rest of the Council members.

Please note that this write-up was done without a knowlege of Union laws and/or some of the other types of restraints and/or complications that the Mayor and/or City Coucil members face - and that I am not familiar (beyond brief interchanges, in some cases) with most of the people [whatever their position or department (this is NOT personal!)] for whom I have advocated pay cuts [This might seem horrible to some --- so please realize that this is coming from the perspective of someone that has a personal income of less than $12,000 a year... (and that I am doing all of this voluntarily, at my own - in every sense of the word - expense)]

I did this as an exercise (A very challenging one, at that!) - with thoughts of the general economy in the City of Kingston in mind; with a concept of equity and fairness (in regard to all of the City's populus) beating firmly in my heart; and in the hopes that some small part of this [if not more] might prove valuable.

Collective notes, which were also submitted (garnered from a variety of sources) - are down a bit.

I did not censor these and I neither agree nor disagree with these, unless this is (by me) explicitly stated...

[Corrections (on site) have been made [These are generally in brackets] - and a few omissions (for the sake of my privacy online) have been made (for what it is worth :) - as well]


Date: 11/17/09

From: [NS]

To: Alderman Charles Landi and the Remainder (Please Make and Distribute Copies) of the City of Kingston Common Council

Venue: Finance and Economic Development Committee Meeting [Focus on Mayor Sottile's proposed 2010 Budget]

Tentative Proposal [worth thinking about] for Changes [with an acknowlegement on my part that there may be Union rules and/or other factors that make my ideas (in part or in full) unworkable] to Mayor Sottile's proposed 2010 City of Kingston Budget [Note: The Average City of Kingston Job, According to Andi Turco-Levin's Blog ("Just Something 2 Think About") [There is a link to this blog in the sidebar >] - Pays $28,000 a Year]:

1. Eliminate Page Pay and Benefits: - $ 601 [Possible School or College (for free) Credit situation?]

2. Eliminate Boot Fees: - $3,500 [Buy own...]

3. Eliminate [Comptroller] the 2nd Senior Account Clerk's Position (W. DeCicco):
- $ 54,282 (Include [s] Benefits)

4. Eliminate [Parking Violations] Senior Account Clerk Position [M. Szymanski]
- $11,262 [Includes Benefits]

5. Eliminate Monies for Queens Galley: - $ 2,000 [Resources can come from elsewhere / fundraising]

6. Eliminate Monies for Soup Kitchen: - $ 2,000 [Resources can come from elsewhere / fundraising]

7. Eliminate Monies for Peoples Place: - $ 2,000 [Resources can come from elsewhere / fundraising]

8. Reduce Pay [Planning] of City Planner [S. Cahill]: - $10,000

9. Reduce Pay [Planning] of Assistant Planner [K. Habner] - $ 10,000

10. Eliminate Pay [Human Rights] for P/T Human Resources Gen [T. Washington]:
- $ 25,058 (Include [s] Benefits) [Refer problems to County?????]

11. Eliminate Position of the Director of Economic Development (Steve Finkle):
- $ 111,050 (Includes Benefits) [Contemplate, instead, a commission situation based on performance?????]

12. Eliminate [On St. Park] O/T: - $1,802 (includes benefits) [I tried to hit / delete all overtime positions - across departments - because if this O/T is absolutely necessary, it constitutes possible P/T work (We need jobs in this City!) for others...]

13. Eliminate [UCP] O/T [K. Cook]: - $1,202

14. Eliminate KPD O/T: - $ 253,300

15. Eliminate Pay for School Guards and Matrons: - $15,000 [It seems like schools could handle this themselves...]

16. Cut the Pay of... 9 [10?] KPD Sergeants (10/10.8] - $ 10,000 each
[Total: Aprox. - $100,000][?????] [I got a little boggled by the way some numbers read, but I hope the gist of what I'm suggesting is evident...]

17. Reduce Fire Chief Pay: - $10,000

18. Reduce Assistant Fire Chief Pay: - $10,000

19. Reduce Deputy Fire Chief Pay: - $10,000 [Total: -$40,000-$50,000 (?????)]

20. Reduce Fire Captain Pay: - $10,000 [Total: - $30,000 (?????)]

21. Reduce Fire Lieutenant Pay: - $ 7,000 [Total: - $ $50,000 - $60,000 (?????)]

22. Pay City of Kingston Fire Fighters $50,000 Across the Board [Total: $1,650,000]: [Total Savings: - $ 307,580 (?????)]

23. Reduce Director of Parks and Recreation Pay [Keven Gilfeather]: - $ 20,000

24. Eliminate [Parks and Rec] O/T, Standby Pay and Meal Allowances: - $ 11,744

25. Reduce Treatment Plant Senior Operator Pay: - $35,000

26. Reduce Treatment Plant Laborer Pay: - $75,000

27. Reduce [Assessor] City Assessor's Pay [M. Bahruth]: - $20,000

28. Reduce [Assessor] Deputy Assessor's Pay [B. Slattery (Sp?)]... [- $ 10,000]

29. Reduce [Assessor] City of Kingston Assessor's Aid's Pay [K.Wisner]: - $10,000

30. [Eliminated - was repetitious]

31. Reduce Parks and Recreation Department Director Pay: - $ 30,000

32. Propose option of 2-5 furlough days per year per City Employee.

33. If possible, eliminate Bingo Inspector: - $ 7,747 (include [s] benefits)

34. Eliminate... P/T position of Corporate Counsel [J. Higgins]: - $143.726 (includes benefits) [This should probably be a reduction in pay versus an elimination????? (No offense intended, but that is a LOT of $$$ for a P/T position...]

35. Eliminate Bus Operations O/T Pay: - $35,000 [Possible P/T jobs in the O/T Department - Across Departments?????]

36. Eliminate Stadium O/T Pay: - $ 10,815

37. Eliminate Environmental Educator O/T: - $ 9,612

38. Eliminate Pumping Station O/T: - $ 10,000

39: Eliminate Waste Water Treatment O/T: - $ 89,473


Suggestions [Not fleshed out...]

Increase Child Safety [Fire Dpt] by $10,000

Increase Child Safety [Police Dpt] by $10,000

Reinstate Code Enforcement Officer: + $30,000 year

Tourism: Increase Positions +

Transfer [the] $2,500 from Mayor to [the] YMCA to [the] Parks and Rec and/or Tourism [Department] [instead] [Update (Friday Nov. 20, 2009: Yesterday's "Daily Freeman" ["Y may run some city rec programs"; Paul Kirby; Nov. 19, 2009; P. A3] quotes this amount as $25,000 - which is the number I started with here and apparently (?) got confused about... And I must say that I (speaking only as a citizen) am totally opposed (I will adress this futher above...) to this proposed ($25,000 of Municipality / City Money... to the YMCA] transfer.

Increase Pay of Economic Development Coordinator (B.R.) by $20,000 [I've worked as a Program Coordinator and with sufficient funding they "can" accomplish a lot!]

Take Celebrations back to [the] 2008 Level: + 138,108 [Revenues were $41,835 (And this was apparently a very important factor for quite a number of Citizens! (As well as being an asset in regard to tourism potentialities!)]

Reinstate KPD Officers 1, 2 & 3 at $50,000 each [Total: $150,000]

Reinstate KPD Dispatchers 3-8 [Reasonable rate $30,000 ea? Total + $180,000 (Online Correction Made... But I still think (?) I might have screwed up something here...)]

[Line eliminated re. KPD Officer - See entry re. officers 1, 2 & 3 above]

Raise Deputy Building Inspector Pay: + $ 10,000

Raise Plumbing Inspector Pay: + $20,000

Add Two P/T Parks and Recreation Department Workers:
[+ $15,000 each; Total $30,000]


Longer Term: Set up Committee, as per prior request, to evaluate Not-for-Profits and determine if any of them:

a. Belong back on the property tax roles

b. Should be paying for certain (or all) services

c. Should be paying (in part or in full) sales tax revenues

d. Etc.


Other Ideas [These were gathered, collectively, from a variety of sources; I am in favor of some and not in favor of others...]:

[1] Eliminate Consultants [One might be able to utilize students (from UCCC and/or SUNY at New Paltz (extra credits; research projects; graduate projects] in some instances...]

[2] [Impose] Stricter Controls on all Contractual Agreements [---] with a focus on hiring from within the City of Kingston and taking the lowest competent bid [out of three or more]

[3] Enforce Current Codes Regarding Garbage P/U, Recycling, Animal Control, Etc. [Increase (d) Revenues]


[Questions I Have / Submitted]:

What is HMEO?
What is MEO-XH?
What is MESA?
What are "Special Sponsor Fees"?

[Do these fees and such court adjustment?]


Additional Thoughts / Ideas [These were gathered, collectively, from a variety of sources; I am in favor of some and not in favor of others...]

1. Get rid of [the] Mayor

2. Get rid of [the] Consultants

3. [We] Need Union Reps to Come to the Table / Negotiate / Be Reasonable

4. End Cronyism

5. Re-negotiate for cheaper Health Insurance, Dental Coverage, etc.

6. Change Government / Policies [Mayor at meetings; etc.]

7. Change Attitudes [Work together to get through this!]

8. Keep Basic Services Intact: Police, Fire, DPW, Sanitation [Safety / Prevention / Quality of Life Concerns....]

9. Cut back perks, fringe benefits, vehicles, gas, administrative costs

10. Transfer DARE Program to Health Dpt.

11. Use City Garage to Service Police Cars

12. Cut "Fire Meter Maids" (???)

13. Implement "Pay as You Throw" [Potential $1 Million + in Revenue, along with increased recycling and estimated reduction in landfill costs of around $200,000 (First brought up by Environmental Educator, Steve Noble in 2008)]

14. [Some] ... Are Against "Pay as..." [View as second tax]

15. Some: Go ahead and lay off whoever you need to

16. Most: Against all layoffs

17. Sell one or more of the Parks

18. Revitalize Parks for Youth and Tourism Purposes

19. Implement mandate to recycle and fine for non-compliance

20. Enforce codes already on books / Consider raising some of the fines

21. Secure Grants When and Where Possible

22. Audit Every Department Next Year - Vehicle Use, Cell Phone Use, Etc. - Zap all [Un-necessary] expenses

23. Increase Ward 4 Participation in Gov. [Jeanne Edwards]

24. PBA President, W.M. collected at least "3,493" signatures against any KPD layoffs.

[25]. 350-400 at Public Hearing - All Speakers Spoke against Layoffs in one or more or all of the Departments

26. Other - as brought up by City of Kingston City Alderman and Other People [too much to go into in so little time; contact me for any further information and/or to inform me of errors] at Meetings.

Thank You,

[Nancy Smith]



1. Revisions have been made here to clarify statements - explain some of my reasoning - and/or correct errors [I did the original submitted document over the course of a day (inclusive of printing out the Mayor's entire 2010 Budget Proposal); I apologize for the errors!]

2. If your thoughts and/or ideas aren't represented here, please feel free to post them here and/or submit them in to your Alderman - the Alderman-at-Large, James Noble, Jr. and/or Mayor James Sottile.

4. Ponder all of this... but realize it was an "exercise" - done by a layperson who is not familiar with Union rules(as noted above) and/or particular job responsibilities.

5. If you notice any errors please call them to my attention. This was and is being submitted with almost (lol) complete humility... [I might as well try to do something productive with my time, right?]

6. The regular Finance and Economic Development Meeting - to the best of my knowledge [It is always good to call and confirm] is tonight at 7PM at City Hall.


Peace, Love, Truth and Humane Justice,



Anonymous said...

What is 13. Eliminate [UCP] O/T?

NS said...

I believe K. Cook [whom I do not know personally] is the City of Kingston Urban Cultural Park (UCP) Coordinator...

Regular Pay: $36,446 [Sounds appropriate to me, having worked in a Program Coordinator position...] / Regular Pay With Benfits: $65,165 [You can certainly see where these high benefit costs are hurting us!] / Overtime (O/T) Pay: $1000 - or the noted $1,202 (Inc. Benefits)].

I would eliminate O/T across the board (if these are genuine needs they reflect potential F/T or P/T jobs for other people)
--- so this is (again, across the board) --- nothing personal.

The Kingston Urban Cultural Park (K-UCP) is (to the best of my knowlege) associated with the City of Kingston's Visitor center, many community (historical and otherwise) events, etc. ---

And the K-UCP holds (in my opinion) a potentially high value (some or much of the funding for which might be fostered through grants?) for the City of Kingston.

All of that said - probably K-UCP could actually benefit from a P/T worker for the upcoming year (This $1,000, plus a transfer of monies from elsewhere???)

I'm not clear on where (if at all) the K-UCP interfaces with the City of KIngston Parks and Recreation Department - so that would be something to evaluate (these are simply my ideas and opinions here) also.

If I am off-base and/or any of my readers have more (or different) information to share on this topic --- please do so.

Thank You for Posting.