Is there any doubt who today's Village Idiot is?
Canton Mayor William J. I-graduated -from-the-Stern-School-so-I-know-what-I'm-doing-but-don't-call-me-Jamie Healy.
A long-time coming, Hizhonor has even lost the support of the Rep's editorial board. Can it get much worse? Probably.
Sir William's latest blunder is to lay the city's $4.5 million shortfall (which in great part he created) on the backs of city firefighters, by laying off 28 union members to save $1.8 million--and rejecting all union alternatives to save jobs. These offers included an across-the-board pay cut to spread the loss over the entire department while keeping all firefighters working fulltime.
According to Rosario Carcione, president of the Canton Professional Firefighters Association, the city even rejected a buy-out offer for eight firefighters.
Friday, the inevitable happened. Members of the Canton Professional Firefighters Association voted 130-16 against Healy's union-busting proposal to stop the layoffs. You know it's pretty bad when firefighters vote against "keeping" their own jobs. Maybe it had something to do with Healy's demand that they waive their right to file grievances and protections under SERB. Ya think?
This is from yesterday's Rep, City firefighters reject proposal; 28 firefighters to be laid off Saturday
Rosario Carcione, president of the Canton Professional Firefighters Association, said firefighters rejected the proposal because they had no guarantee that the mayor’s office wouldn’t lay off firefighters in the future. Firefighters also didn’t think that the city administration should have placed the city’s financial burden on the 28 firefighters.
Under the proposal, the work hours for the 28 least-senior firefighters would have been reduced by 44 percent.
Union members also would have forgone their uniform allowance and would have agreed to dismiss a pending arbitration regarding minimum staffing.
Safety Director Thomas yes-man Ream responded:
We won’t be able to man as many apparatuses...We will provide the best service that we can with the reduced manpower.
Martin Olson has been covering this mess extensively, and we recommend you spend some time over at his Stark County Political Blog. His latest on the situation is Confront & conquer: "Sir William J. Healy" on the hunt again? We agree with Olson. While economics drive cut-backs, we believe that megalomaniac Healy is clearly out to avenge the uppity CPFA for refusing to play his game. Remember what happened Healy's brains Tom Bernabei and Tom Nesbitt when they exhibited autonomy from his body politic?
And in case you missed it, Sir William has saved the city a whopping $19,000 ($5,000 in his office alone) by forcing furloughs on city workers, though he claims he's not allowed to furlough himself (and shouldn't even have to pay $10 parking ticket).
We're all for share and share alike, but a loss of $250 to a staff assistant like Kathryn Wise who makes (excluding benefits) $26,000/yr is quite different than a loss of $487 for somebody like Development Director Robert Torres who makes (excluding benefits) $72,329/yr.
Let's hear it for saving the city on the backs of its working class workers! And safety forces, of course. For a listing of "savings" go to the Rep's Are furloughs paying off in Canton?
Though Sir William Jamie is our Village of the Day, we really need to mention this comment:
I am tired of paying these guys to lift weights, cook ,sleep, and occasionally work. Contract it out . We can't afford the costs anymore!
We'd give him an award today, too, but his next house insurance payment should suffice.
We dedicate this video bonus to the long-suffering people of Canton:
Hold tight wait 'til the party's over
Hold tight we're in for nasty weather
There has got to be a way
Burning down the house