PBA vs. the new chief Part III, and some clarifications
First, we don’t think all cops are bad. Actually, we think the great majority of them are in the business for the right reasons, earn their keep, work hard everyday and earn their pension too.
We are just saying that police overtime is way out of bounds and its crushing municipalities across the country, not just in Troy. When overtime is out of bounds pensions get out of bounds too, and we pay for those for years and years.
Half the city’s budget goes to pay for the police and fire departments. And yet the police department cost the city $1.3 million in overtime, $625,000 more than was in the budget.
Something is wrong when that happens, and it’s been happening for years.
The new chief, John Tedesco, wants to shake it up a bit. The Police Benevolent Association doesn’t like it and it’s president, Bob Fitzgerald, made an allegation that is just bizarre – that Tedesco wants to disband the Special Operations Section of the department because it was conducting a drug investigation into employees at City Hall.
It was a press event orchestrated by the PBA and it was nothing more, nothing less. There might be an investigation into city employees. There might not.
One thing is for certain: a cover up is not the reason Tedesco wants to shake up the department. The PBA knows it, and should respect the fact he is the chief and now runs the show and not them.
Also, looks like we’re batting two for two this week, the position Troy Comptroller Deborah Witkowski wants at the Troy Housing Authority is a Civil Service position, not a patronage job. Witkowski has been comptroller for the city through two administrations, of two different parties, and has been nothing but a stand up employee and an honest, competent numbers cruncher.
It’s long been expected that Deputy Mayor Dan Crawley will be the next THA executive secretary thanks to the fact Mayor Harry Tutunjian, his longtime friend, appointed the board. We were surprised to hear Witkowski would head over there too. If she does, it’s a loss to the city but we can’t blame her. She survived through two administrations and there is no guarantee the next one will keep her on.
We’d be more than happy, though, to hear what she has to say should she get the job and has a chance to have at it with the THA books.