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October 18, 2006

Comments

thenoseknows

this is not the first time the police picketed city hall. they did it around 1969 or so. as far as raises,get reasonable in your negotiations,stop whining every minute,in public, and maybe someone will listen to you....

Priorities?

Where are our priorities? Inadequate police and fire department staffing.....with the folks who actually risk their lives to keep us safe working without a contract for two years, but Joe wants to give massive raised to his pals and other politicians? Is he kidding?

Frankly, this is not an administration that deserves to more than double the salaries of either elected or appointed officials.
---
In early 2000 as Mike Capuano left city hall for Congress, his chief aide made roughly $50,000 per year.

Six years later why does Joe need to pay his chief aide $115,000 -- a 130% increase in six years. Anyone out there had their salary raised by more than 100% in the last six years?

For the last couple of years we've been balancing the city budget by selling off city buildings. This year, we are marginally solvent after years of cuts and this dope wants to DOUBLE the salaries of his key appointees.
----
Some of these huge raises are the second since Joe was elected. He increased a number of these salaries when first elected to get "the best quality candidates" for the jobs. Remember?

Remember one of those jobs he increased the salary for was the Water Department Supervisor.

How did that work out?

We threw away close to $800 K fighting a citizen group over Assembly Square mall only to have the host of legal eagles -- led by Mr. Gannon -- overruled by every judge that looked at the cases.

Is that the kind of work product we should be handing raises out to? Read the story about the settlement. The developers praised Joe for getting out of the way so the developers and Mystic View could settle things. The city was not involved in the negotiations -- by design -- and now there's an agreement.

Cost of attorneys to defend city's illegal zoning.....$800,000 and counting

Profits made by the last developers (represented by Joe's former campaign manager and reputed back door girl) when they flipped the property without building anything at all) --$16 million

Joe Curtatone getting out of the way.....
PRICELESS!
----
When he put 311 into service -- with its own new staff and expenses -- it eliminated a lot of the constituent calls the aldermen get. Now, in addition to ponying up for the 311 staff, we're supposed to DOUBLE the salaries for the aldermen?????

Don't be deceived by the spin. The aldermen's raises are defined as a 65% increase. That's because they're adding not only the salary(approx $16,000 per year -- for this part time job) but their $3,000 - $4,000 expense accounts. Remember they get full health coverage with the city paying 90% and don't forget the pension they can get down the road.

How do the aldermen justify voting for their own raises? They way this is done in other cities is that the aldermen would vote for raises to take effect in the NEXT two year term....meaning after the municipal elections so the voters have a chance to consider this vote when deciding whether to return them (or the mayor) to office next year.
---
When Joe first ran for office, he was running on fiscal accountability and promised zero-based budgeting.

What happened to that?

Corrupt or just incompetent......you decide.

For me, open Engine 4, settle with the patrolmen and add enough of them to bring us up to the staffing levels our own ordinances require.

Pay the firefighters and settle all the public safety contracts.

Tell us how you're going to fund the salaries of the many new teachers we'll need in the next few years as many of our teachers will be retiring.

Then and only then talk to me about raises for mayoral appointees and elected officials.

Fire & Police

To all the Firemen, Firewomen, Policemen, & Policewomen. all of you did one great job tonight. Hats off to one and all. hope you can do that again sometime.

BleedingHeart

My heart surely bleeds for all those people walking the picket line tonight. Is it just me or was there not a single person there tonight that made less than 100 grand last year? Bunch of whinebag cityworkers who do nothing but drink coffee and bitch all day no matter who the Mayor has been for the last 30+ years. If you put as much effort into doing your job as you put into whining, I'm sure you'd have a current contract and another 30K in your useless pocket from the taxpayers. Cops do next to nothing all day but talk on their cellphones and smoke cigars in the cruisers when they aren't hiding down by Assembly Sq. Firefighters do absolutely nothing all day at all except maybe a "Medical-Aide" run here and there barring the once a year fire we may have in this city. Granted, they are all very much needed, they are all also very much overpaid. Engine 4- not necessary....obviously. Go to work, do your job, shut your mouth, collect your check on Friday. Remember when you were kissing political ass to get that coveted Police or Fire job???? You would have done anything to get it. You got it, and now 100+ thousand a year isn't good enough. My heart bleeds for you.......as well as everyone else in this city who works their asses off in the private sector for alot less than half of what you whinebags make in any given year.

Barnicle Biking Bill

The salaries these folks make are ridiculus! No wonder there is no affordable housing. I think we could save a lot on health care if they pedaled real bikes around town instead of getting Harley Davidson motorcyles too. Look at those beer bellys!

Lets replace them with hard working, god fearing immigrants. After all, we can not get in trouble for hiring immigrants.

I hope nobody is niave enough to realy believe that any polititcian is going to be anybodies savior! After all if Jesus Christ Himself were elected as mayor or governor there would be too many strikes and backlashes from government empolyess looking for handouts and miracles before Jesus could even begin to look at the regular citizens. Not to mention all the other parties working against the jesus party. Talk about partisan politics. Maybe that is how that sea split?

Hasant Ben Sober

All I gots to say about that is: Annamana Gooshafanna I really wanna B J ........nothing like a Huge Hairless Public TEAT for all the city workers to Suc _ on.......Pile on boys and girls there won't be any money left soon.........long live Vinny "Greae a Few Guys" Piro Where ever you are.....aaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

judas the betrayer/ benidict arnold

I hope all the betrayer's and benidct arnold of the world realize what they have created!

hardball

I hope that joey stands his ground and sets an example out of those that protested. How does the somerville fire department and police department compare with other citys and towns? Joe should stop being so nice. Hold people to the fire.

Smokey The Bear

I see the Mayors butt-kissers have logged on tonite. Arrest your own criminals and put out your own fires if we all suck so bad. Wanna compare our salaries to neighboring towns GO RIGHT AHEAD. Why does this administration think they can compare their money to Boston ? The informational picket was organized, peaceful, and respectful to the people using City Hall. Nice touch by the city, video taping the picketers. Hey Joe, guess what, WE HAVE CAMERAS TOO !!

BrickTop

It truly was a sad display in Somerville today. I watched as all the expensive sports cars and suv’s pulled up to city hall and unloaded what appeared to be signs made by kindergarten students. These people are the ones that protect our city? How foolish they looked. Many of them hid behind sunglasses and hats. Many of them walked with their heads down. Some of them actually had the nerve to expect sympathy. Give us a break!. The heads of the police union are not telling the rank and file the truth about what is going on. The contract was just about signed until el Presidente jacko the wacko pulled this shit. If I were the mayor, I would not give them 10 cents. What have they done for us (the citizens) lately?

If I were mayor, I would take away ALL police construction details and hire flag men instead. I would have places like goodtimes, etc, hire private security companies to handle detail duties. I would crack down on sick time abuse and cut all overtime.

The police and fire departments respectively have always been taken care of. They were always the ones who got the most and gave up the least. The fire department on the other hand at least had a professional approach today. I would settle with them and give jacko’s wacko’s NOTHING!

WILL WORK FOR FOOD? Eating and drinking is certainly not a problem in our police department.

To you Smokey the beer, Why don't you take that camera and catch someone committing a crime. There's an idea. Something new, give it a try. Then again, you don't care because you don't live here do ya!

The Ghost of Somerville's Past!

When is enough, enough? If they get what they want, will anything change? will they stop acting like hoodlums and start acting like professional police and firemen? Will they respect the uniform, the superiors, their city? Will they want more next year? Will they do what they get paid to do? I doubt it! Mayor Joe your in a catch 22. Your dammed if you do and your dammed if you don't with this situation! Remember the station AKA "The House of Hate" was named as it is for some time now! Years to be exact! Past administrations to be more exact! It may be something in the air we were all breathing for some time now but that's another story! God bless our mayor and give him the strength to deal with this Bull Shit! I just hope all works out!

Highlander1990

Great job last night Fire dept.
Firefighters have to beg for 2 or maybe 3% increase, and the Mayor and the Board of Aldermen are giving themselves a 45% and 65% increase. How do they sleep at night? And a handful of the Mayors friends are getting up to 100% increases. Taxpayers should be outraged, we should all be out there protesting at City Hall. Maybe our real protest should come next November. They think we will all forget by next year. Think again.

Highlander1990

To Ghost of Somerville's past;
When do you think enough is enough for the Mayor and the BOA. Please explain to me how anyone can defend and explain a 45% or a 65% increase, as well as some 100% increases? The firefighters are asking for increases in the single digits. When they ask for a 45% increase, I'll be with on that. I think we all agree that would be outrageous. So why isn't is outrageous for elected officials. And they don't even have to ask, they just vote it in, and we have no veto power.

The Mole

Hey Stankley, how did DEP make out at the Walnut Street site the other day? Are they satisfied with the work that is going on? Did you get all the oil out of the ground yet? The cooler weather is springing upon us soon. Hope they have heat quicker than the DPW section did. It took you two years to fix that one and it still isn’t right as yet.

How come your salary isn't going up? Or is it!!!

The Mole

nonpartisan city manager

This is why we need a city manager. It is time to shift the power to a more stable and sane way of running our city. Lets just hope we don't lose all the good things in the old way of doing things here. But I think it is time we make this change.

Frankie the Kid

I say we advertise for new firefighters and police people , if we can not find any good and quallified replacements for half the price we are paying now then we consider only cut their pay by a third.

Oh wait a minute, what consitutes "quallified"? How do we know if applicants are quallified? Never mind, ignore that question becuase that is not how all these guys were hired. These guys were all related to somebody in power.

Nevermind the whole thing then becuase we really don't have any negotiation power with this crowd of cozy cronies. I guess we are going to have to raise property taxes becuuse the current group is going to smell blood when Patrick trys to help towns hire more quallified people.

RUKidding me

The city police deal with and arrest people that you would not want your dog around let alone your children. They go to work daily and hope they make it home safe to their families. They are our "first-responders" and you want them paid like shit and you want to complain about the service you receive? Are you crazy?
The fire department has went through numerous cuts over the last 35-years and a number of stations have been closed. I assume you believe that your believe your safer that way. Why not just cut the fire department all together and go to an all volunteer department. Oh wait a minute, that might require you to go into your neighbor's burning home with collapsing floor to save your friend, neghibor or relative. Something tells me most of you will be too worried about your fingernails to do the job and instead will opt to hire an illegal to do the job for you.

nonpartisan city manager

Well I am sure they are professional. But with the amount of nepotism in this town and the fact that the mayor is smart enough to bring in a Foy to help negotiate land deals it is clear that we are giving too much money away. We need better city negiotiators who can pay you guys less and at the same time boost moral. We have already given the store away and this whole show boat is a result of poor and weak managment. I have no doubt that the file and rank could be happier more productive public servants under the right leadership.

PersonDavis

Hmmm.....

Conspicuous by the absence of comments here are brickbottom's. He always seems to have a good bead on what's going on. Surely you must have SOMETHING to say about this lack of a contract. What are your sources inside the dept. saying?

Frankie can't spell

Frankie the Kid,
Sorry you couldnt pass the civil service test. Now go empty a barrel or sweep the floor, loser !

Frankie can't complain

I have a feeling that emptying a barrel and sweeping a floor would be a whole lot more productive and honarble than what you do all day.

Friendly Skies...

I don;t blame anyone who is trying to better their situation, such as the good men and women in blue here or the firefighters who risk their lives for our safety. But I see the earnings too in the Journal every year and most of these guys make more than I have ever made working in a private industry for over 20 years.
The next time any one of you gets on an airplane to fly to Vegas or Disney or the Bahamas for a Super Bowl party or to Italy or Ireland, I want you to remember, just for a short second, the baggage packer who loaded the belly of the plane beneath your feet. He or she crawls along shoving a container in the cold or heat (no a/c down there) and has probably either not had a pay raise in 5 years or has had their benefits cut or has lost a substantial part of their 401k pension to the bankruptcy court while the CEO of the company gets a 7 figure bonus. It's absolutely disgusting and criminal.
Or think about the mechanic, FAA-certified, who spent years at East Coast Aero Tech and thousands of dollars to get their airframe and power plant certification and is treated like dirt by airline management but still does his/her job to the very best of their ability because they know that YOUR safety depends on them. That, my friends, is what professionalism is all about. These cops and firemen hopefully never lose sight of that.
Believe me, you guys have it good and I hope you know it.
Also, these Aldermen and School Committee people shouldn't get paid anything more than legitimate out-of-pocket expenses. $25 thousand a year!?! For WHAT??? They should be doing the job because they WANT to do it, not because of what it gets paid. From what I've been reading lately, with the health insurance being paid by the city for these part-time elected positions, they are a lot better off than my family is. I can see the mayor getting paid since that is a full time-plus position, but it also has perks that go way beyond just the paycheck.
Like I say, I have nothing against the public safety people seeking justice in their workplaces, but please don't forget the people like us, taxpayers, who are paying your wages.

Friend of Frankie

The Farm team yearly posting of salaries is just to stir controversy and sell that crappy paper. Look at the base salaries and there is your answer for how much people make. Other pay such as details and overtime are separate and earned while working extra.

brickbottom

PersonDavis,

What leverage does the Police or Fire Department have to force this Administration to bargain for a new contract?

The Police and Fire Departments are forbidden to go on strike so there is really not much they can do but try and get the citizens on their side. After reading some of the comments on here that doesn't look plausible. A lot of citizens read the yearly printing of the Farm Teams newspaper of the city payroll and out of the first 100 earners who do they see earns the most money?

So why should the Mayor be in such a hurry to go to the "table" with their unions. Do they actually think the Mayor cares that they have picket lines or deomonsrations? The only type of picket lines that work is when other people from other unions won't cross them thus shutting down another department of the city. Maybe they should picket down on Franny Rd. and see what city employees cross that line or other buildings where union workers populate.

Most Police Officers don't even live in the city and a lot of Firefighters don't either. So their votes don't really count(remember the Mayor only won his initial election by a little over 400 votes) and neither do their families.

I'm sure once the Mayor goes after the Fire Chiefs position and takes that out of civil service (and he will) and then after he appoints two of his arse kissers to lead each department then maybe he might sit down and have some discussions.

He has no timeline and he knows it, so why should he be in any kind of hurry? He knows he holds all the Aces in this situation and will let them twist in the wind to show them who runs this city.

dishwasher and proud

They have plenty of leverage every two years at ellection time. Who do you think votes in this town. Regular citizens? No way. It is the famillies, extended families and friends of all the government employees and contractors that benifit from city contracts that make up most of the vote. Then other city business owners and a few groups of politically active people make up the difference.

brickbottom

dishwasher,

You said: "It is the famillies, extended families and friends of all the government employees and contractors that benefit from city contracts that make up most of the vote."

Which are largely appointed by the Mayor and his flunkies!

truth-be-told

I'd like to remind you all that the police officers work between 60-80 hours a week to EARN their saleries. Let us also remember that private companies PAY the officers privately. The city only pays officers between 48k and 65K per year depending on the officers education/degree. You put the uniform on and deal with all the hatred and junkies on the street. You deal with all the grusome deaths and bloody scenes that both the police and fire have to deal with on a daily basis. How quickly you people forget these things. Remember we are all human. Most of these types of grusome scenes have a negative effect on the human body and mind. Furthermore, when most of you folks are spending Thanksgiving and Christmas (an other holidays) we are the ones (police & fire) that are working helping the public. Rain, sleet or shine we are always there when you need us, thats the truth of the matter.

brickbottom

truth-be-told,

There are other issues with what you wrote that I could pick apart, but I won't because I respect "most" Law Enforcement personnel and it is kind of hard to hate a Fire Fighter.

But when you claim: "that private companies PAY the officers privately." Are you trying to tell me that in the end we taxpayers don't really pay for a Police detail? Do you think that I am that naive? The Private companies only add the detail on the bill that we in the end pay.

Hymie

???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????? VINNIE "walk around money"Piro ??????????????????????????????????????????"grease a few guys VINNIE BABY.................You can fool a fool like william weld but you can't fool the real people from somerville vinnie....we all know you were and are a complete SNAKE.......You make your own bed and lie with your legacy.....

Protest

When people protest, its usually a sign that the mayor/city manager is doing something right. Think about it!

Born Here

Mayor doing something right ? Just wait until Joe and Deval announce their secret plan for "affordable" housing at Ass'y Sq.
Dont think its all high-end condos on the mighty Mystic.

Born Here 2

Born Here, don't forget the other part of that affordable housing equasion. You know, the part where there is a "lottery" and nearly all of the available units end up going, purely by accident of course, to politically connected people. It's already happened before here and no one ever said a word about it. Remember the letter from anonymous origin that was circulated among the elected officials about this a while back?

Born Here

Hee Hee, I guess it is a compliment that you like my post name AND agree with my opinion. They should plant alot of trees at Ass'y Sq., because most of the deals will be "SHADY" !!

Born Here 2

I guess I feel your pain Born Here.

Have you seen the letter back about 2 or 3 years ago also? Maybe it was longer than that, seems like it was during DKG's time. Some of it had to do with the Conwell School's sale and some had to do with the condos down behind Bradlees (oops, I mean Target) and how that lottery was supposedly fixed.

Born Here

Bradlees !!! BH2 your showing your age. Yes, I kind of remember that fiasco. I havent been down around the Target (Charlestown St) area in awhile. Has it been kept up, or is it beat up ? I do believe it was the "who-you-know" lottery !

Sabot

Amazing. There are 35 posts on this story and a majority are against the actions of the public safety workers. And people will say that there are nothing but cops posting onthis site.

The people that posted the negatives are people in the administration or friends of the administration that were bought off in one way or another.

As for the cops, there were two kinds: Those that stood up with their fellow officers for a living wage increase and those skirts who were afraid to look the Mayor in the eye. Some are awaiting promotions, others received cushy jobs, some have longstanding friendships with the Mayor, and still others have something to hide. Those last few are the ones the Mayor should fire.

You can't create numerous new positions and advocate huge pay increases to the Mayor and a part-time Board of Alderman and expect other employees around the city to beg for scraps.

Stan Koty's kid gets a make believe job that they created just for him and he gets $45G and benefits. The City was going to hire 2 building inspectors until Roche crowded the trough again with his brother who needed a job. Suddenly the City hires 3 building inspectors. Convenient, I know.

There are plenty of new pieces of equipment at the DPW, yet there is no Engine 4.

The City can't spend unwisely, hell stupidly, and then cry poormouth. It's a disgrace. Thanks to all who stood up for the right thing and to those select few who think public safety shouldn't get a cost of living increase, well, you'll be kissing ass for the rest of your collective lives as Professional Coat Hangers.

More to follow. Much more...

mr cl

extra, extra, read all about it. The first head too roll was INSPECTOR BRUCE CAMPBELL assigned the ABC. OPP's, Inspector you should not express your opinion under OSSAMA BIN CURTIONNE. We live under a administration built on fear, but guess what Joe we are not afraid of you.

disgusted

I think it's a disgrace! The Mayor & aldermen gave themselves a raise!!! Exactley what do you do? Get jobs for your croonys. What about the real workers, did you give them a raise?

Pomposity

The earlier posting refers to the firing of the Alcohol Inspector, Officer B. Campbell. He chose to stand with his union and he was summarily terminated from his position within 24 hours of the union picket. So what, you may ask?

It's simple. Officer Campbell is one of the finest officers on the Somerville Police. This guy has character, plain and simple. A great street cop, he volunteers his time with Cops and Kids and is a role model to these kids and fellow officers. When I grow up I want to be Officer Campbell. People ask all the time, "What's wrong with the police department and how do we fix it?" What's wrong is that there aren't enough guys like Bruce. Guys who can't be bought off with a job or a promotion. Guys who stand up for the right like standing with their union.

How do you fix it? Well that's the million dollar question.

It's a true loss for the city. The worst part for the Mayor is that Officer Campbell gave him and his administration a needed shot of credibility. Gone, baby, gone. Come Monday morning, they'll have that prick Champion try and put a positive spin on this, but now YOU know the truth.

Family Ties

The city's 'Jobs for Kids' Program is ever-expanding. Take a walk through City Hall and see if you can find the other child of an elected official recently placed in a brand-new position! This one's flying way under the radar, walk around in the P.M. and maybe you'll see another family member in a true 'hack-haven' position! And the elected official will get a raise to boot! What a country!

Sabot

Another kid in a fantasy job? Shocking. Here's a message to all Aldermen and political hacks in the City: If your kid needs a job to be made up for them at City Hall, you did a crappy job raising them and they are losers. It's nothing personal, just the facts. Help them do the right thing in life and have them get a real job.

This is the most wasteful administration in history and they want to pare down the health benefits of public safety personnel?

It's things like this that make me feel darn good that GeeWhiz and her people are taking over.

Confused

Could someone please let us know what reason the mayor gave for firing Campbell.
This man needs to be stopped. He is ruling by fear and intimidation. That is exactly how Hitler, Sadam Hussein and many others through history have controlled the masses. His new Chief really has no shame.
Does anybody still agree the chief's job should have been taken out of Civil service?
We all better keep the Fire chief's job from going that way, or he'll start chopping away at firefighters who disagree with him.

Dazed

right off the fire job, Joe will be chopping that department next. He has the DPW, Police, and his claws are already inside the fire dept

brickbottom

Confused,

You wrote:

"His new Chief really has no shame."

First of all this schmuck is the "ACTING" Chief and I suppose after the Mayor's "nationwide search" for the best candidate to fill this position it will come down to who's nose is planted firmly up the Mayor's arse and who will be at the Mayor's beck and call at the detriment of the rank and file. So looking at it that way the Midget wins hands down and the citizens of this city are big time losers having this incompetent in charge of this once proud Police Department.

This is a really good chance to hire a person with knowledge, integrity, intestinal fortitude and the ability to keep politics at bay. A candidate that has his/her Police Officers as their first priority in training and equipment and to start breaking down the "House of Hate" brick by brick.

A person with complete confidence in themselves that would make the Bored of Alderman think twice about selling their soul to the Mayor and actually do what's right for the citizens of this city.

I guess I may be asking to much of the sniveling politicians that make a mockery of the positions they hold.

Sabot

brickbottom,
In case you may not be aware, the search committee for the new chief has been formed. What happens next is anyone's guess.

Sabot

I know people on the 2nd floor read this website. If you think that BC was sent packing from his liquor inspector job for the RIGHT REASONS, then write in and let everyone know. Don't be afraid. Go around the station and tell everyone what your opinion is, one way or the other.

in da'ville

It seems many people think that police officers and firefighters are over paid. I don't see any firefighter making $124,000 (the Mayor's new salary) or $105,000 (his assistant's new salary).
So, perhaps the next time your house is burning, don't call those overpaid, crybaby firefighters, you should call Joe or Janice to run into that burning house to save your kids!

brickbottom

Sabot,

I would love to know who has been appointed to be on this "search committee"? Any idea?

Fever

Da'ville:

Please stop confusing the issue. Nobody in our Government deserves a raise. Policemen, Firemen, Teachers and the Curtatone are all welcome to quit if they don’t like how much they are getting paid. That’s how it works in the real world.

On a side note, a number of policemen and firemen already make significantly more than the mayor. Furthermore, it would be a lot cheaper to taxpayers if the mayor was given a raise versus police and fire. Besides, the dirty little secret about the fire departments is that there aren’t that many fires anymore but the city spends the same amount of money fighting nothing.

somervilleoldtimer

There are two problems here. First, the Acting Chief is going to become permanent because half of Somerville thinks you have to be born within the city limits to be qualified for a city job. What birthplace has to do with a job is beyond me, but as soon as someone says "I was born here", it qualifies them for sainthood no matter how incompetent or sleezy they are. I don't get it.

The other thing is, its state law that says that you have to hire police details. It's not up to the city or the police department. It could be voted out as a law, but something would have to make that happen.

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