“In polite circles one should not say that Supervisor Gromack is ‘screwing’ the taxpayers for tossing him out of office. However, one can say that he is ‘humping’ them because ‘humping’ is a term used in Shakespeare for many villains.”
The Journal News reports that with less than a month and a half before Supervisor Alex Gromack leaves office, he has made a deal with the Civil Service Employees Association for a four-year labor pact that includes a nearly double-digit pay raise, and other giveaways. Mr. Gromack has seemed to have already forgotten that the citizens of Clarkstown voted him out of office on November 3rd by a large margin and rejected his leadership and his spend-happy ways that are personified in this deal.
The most outrageous part is that Supervisor Gromack reportedly excluded and hid this important contractual discussion from the incoming Supervisor Elect, George Hoehmann, the newly re-elected Councilman Borelli and the newly elected Councilman, John Noto. It is one thing to ignore the advice and input from sitting members of the Town Board but quite a different matter to completely shut them out of a contractual discussion leading to such a massive potential tax increase on the town’s property owners. Gromack’s behavior continues to be unethical and the voters of Clarkstown made it clear a few weeks ago that this type of behavior on his part was totally unacceptable!
While Clarkstown’s seniors will receive a 0% percent raise in their Social Security next year Gromack’s Chief of Staff, John Sullivan along with patronage employee and Deputy Town Attorney Keith Cornell, both of whom will likely be terminated in the Hoehmann administration, have been “negotiating” behind the back of the Town Board with the CSEA since June.
Swansong Stunt ….
Sullivan and Cornell acting on behalf of Supervisor Gromack have sold out Clarkstown’s taxpayers lock stock and barrel by “negotiating” a 2% increase in 2016, a 2.25% raise in 2017, a 2.5% raise in 2018 and a 2.75% increase in 2019 and have documented this agreement in a ‘Memorandum of Understanding’! The CSEA members currently receive a 2% annual raise under the contract that expires on December 31, 2015. Additionally Sullivan and Cornell wish to give ‘farewell, it’s been good to know you’ bonus packages to their 30 year colleagues who will be leaving with them. The new contract includes a “longevity bonus” for employees with 30 years or more experience that adds hundreds of thousands of dollars to Clarkstown’s costs. Clerk of the Works, Ed Lettre, was not included because he got that deal in his original ‘Great Clarkstown Giveaway‘ package voted for him by Shirley Lasker a decade ago.
Gromack’s Guile ….
Asked about the contract Gromack prevaricated with: “I haven’t seen the final contract, we left it to the negotiating team.”
This is a patently absurd statement which arrogantly treats the town’s taxpayers as idiots to believe that a contract of this significance would be left to two town employees to negotiate to a final ‘Memorandum of Understanding’ without any input from the Supervisor or the current Town Board. It is our understanding that in the past, the standard practice in the Town of Clarkstown was that the Board Members would routinely meet in Executive Session to discuss and strategize prior to making any offer or agreement with any union.
Gromack may not have “seen the final agreement” but even Clarkstown’s ‘Village Idiot’ would know that he didn’t need to see it if he had already told his Chief of Staff and his patronage attorney what the terms were that he would agree to. Those terms appear to have been made known to the CSEA prior to the election, to ensure its support of Team Gromack’s desperate attempt to hang on to their positions.
“I’m absolutely outraged,” Hoehmann told The Journal News. “This is nothing more than a political giveaway to the unions that backed Supervisor Gromack and Councilwoman Lasker in the election. I can only assume based on the timing they had some sort of backroom handshake deal arranged before the election.”
Shirley’s Smile ….
With a ‘screw you‘ attitude, Councilwoman Lasker, adopting a ‘Madame Defarge‘ brazeness whilst smiling at the descent of the guillotine on Clarkstown’s taxpayers added: “Nobody is working behind anybody’s back. If George wants to start his tenure by playing politics that’s up to him.”
Hausner’s Heist ….
‘Word On The Street’ is that Lasker’s message to Hoehmann is “Off with your head we’re outta here!” Hausner is said to have been “encouraged” to supply the third vote for the CSEA – some might say the third ‘finger’ to the taxpayers – to ratify the proposed CSEA contract when the Town Board holds its December meeting. Sources say she has agreed to the Gromack/Lasker farewell package thus ending what was once a promising political career for this ingenue. She will be the only Democrat remaining on the Town Board in the Hoehmann administration and apparently has decided to join Gromack and Lasker in political retirement by ignoring the voice of the citizens of Clarkstown as expressed in the past election declaring “No more tax increases”.
Aftermath Actions ….
Supervisor Elect Hoehmann, Councilman Borelli and incoming Councilman Noto are said to be furious to have learned about the ‘Memorandum of Understanding’ and its proposed ratification from a page posted in a town elevator. All three are apparently vowing that they will not raise taxes to pay for this contract nor for any similar contract for the PBA. All three are said to be prepared to make substantial cuts in the Town’s workforce and to the Town’s police force to maintain present budgetary expenditures for the CSEA and the police department.
On January 1st, 2016 the Hoehmann administration will assume a three to one majority on the Town Board, and can by appointment to the open Board seat vacated by Hoehmann’s election to Supervisor easily convert their majority into that of four to one. It would seem wise for all concerned, especially the CSEA, to take two steps back from this foolish precipice and understand that a nearly 10% increase in salaries over four years to the CSEA’s 300 person membership will almost assuredly result in a minimum of 10% layoffs to maintain the Reform Party’s zero tax increase promises. Additionally, we understand that materials have been supplied to the incoming Town Board majority on options to outsource employment that is in danger of driving Clarkstown into the position of number one in property taxes in the United States.
In a second statement released late last night Hoehmann stated: I was elected by the people to change the culture of corruption, backroom deals and financial failures of this town and I intend to do just that. It is no surprise that outgoing Supervisor Gromack and Councilwoman Lasker would pull this stunt as their final swan song. I will be interested to see if Councilwoman Hausner will remain loyal to the shady politics of old or will join us in delivering the change that people voted for.”
We invite our readers to make their views known on this matter by attending the Noon Time ‘Heist’ aka the December Clarkstown Town Board’s meeting which will take place in Clarkstown’s ‘OK’ Town Hall on Wednesday, December 16th at Noon.