Tuesday, October 23, 2012
More talk of a public safety commissioner UPDATED
UPDATE: The PBA and city did not sign a memorandum of understanding
as I was initially told. Not sure what happened but I think it had something to
do with the change in insurance plans the city wants to make for retirees.
Also, I made a mistake, Nina Nichols did not support Riley, but she is a strong
supporter of the PBA.
I’m hearing the talk about hiring
a public safety commissioner is again hot and heavy and that it comes
down to two names, former Police Chief Nick Kaiser and former Deputy Chief Tony
Odds are Kaiser doesn’t want it
because he abruptly resigned under controversial circumstances – he did nothing
wrong but a close family member got kind of jammed up and I’m not too sure he
wants all that to come to the surface.
If the Council does approve the
$30,000 expenditure for a commissioner that is expected to come down from the administration
of Mayor Lou Rosamilia we can expect Police John Tedesco to not be so happy
about it. And who could blame him. To have someone, in a part time position,
put above him just to appease the PBA – and that’s what it comes down to –
would upset any chief.
And it’s no coincidence the talk
is heating up right around the time the PBA and the city are ready to sign a
memorandum of agreement for the next contract – which I am hearing is going to
happen tomorrow (Wednesday.)
Not sure of the particulars of
the contract as of yet but we will should know more tomorrow (Wednesday.)
If there is a public safety commissioner,
which is a civilian supervisor for the Police and Fire departments, it comes
down to politics. There were a number on the Troy Council – namely Kevin
McGrath, Rodney Wiltshire, Ken Zalewski and Nina Nichols – who were behind
Robert “Rabbit” Riley in his failed attempt to replace Rensselaer Democratic County
Chair Tom Wade. Wade is not known for having a short memory so they will need
support when they run again next year and the Troy PBA, under President Bob
Fitzgerald, is a pretty powerful force.
Also, Fitzgerald and the PBA as
an organization, doesn’t like Tedesco much. I’m hearing Tedesco wasn’t even
involved in the negotiations for the new contract, which just doesn’t make any
sense. In addition to financial matters, like pay raises and what not, there is
also policy and protocol that can be negotiated in a contract like the giving
whatever task the more senior officers’ want regardless of skill or training.
Tedesco tried to shake that archaic system up, the PBA grabs onto it like a
My guess is the PBA won. It usually