Monday, May 24, 2010

The out of controll Probation Department

If you needed a jolt of whats wrong with State government and the legislature, just look at how the Probation Department has made the case for re-organization. From the Globe, nine years ago, our inept legislature gave away control and oversight, which has resulted in scandalous reports of financial fraud and theft, inadequate oversight and a place where the political connected get the jobs, over well qualified people.

Not only has this department bullied the legislature into not cutting the probation department's bloated budge this year, but refuses to acknowledge that ethical standards are not being enforced, money being stolen and those who contribute to campaigns get special treatment, jobs and favors.

Now.. thanks to the Globes Spot Light Team reporting, Patrick has asked the AG to investigate Mr. John O'Brien, head of the Probation Department for ethics violation and the other candidates have asked Deval to fire Mr. O'Brien. We learned from the Globe, much of what is now going on, goes back to an embarrassing moment in 2002 for Mr. O'Brien, when he was held in contempt of court (by the states chief administrative Judge, Robert Mulligan), in a prisoner lockup in Brighton, over drug testing procedures.

Look for this to be a battle royal and if it goes on into the fall, a real campaign maker for those who challenge the status quo.

Unions won't budge on Health Care Costs

If you followed what happened at TM last Thursday, you may be as shocked as I was to hear that the Unions won't even let the Town have new employee's be put on a plan by which the employee's will contribute a little more to their own health insurance. As I sat there and listened intently to the well thought motions and frank statements from the Town Manager, it became very clear that the unions have not given any regard to the tax payers and this Towns financial future. And as we left on Thursday night, many around me acknowledged we did NOT vote on that article. Mr. O'Neil has asked for re-consideration of the article, but as I see it, it was never approved. Mr. Vassar will be submitting two motions on Tuesday night, which on the surface, sound very good.

How we got to this point, where Framingham is only one of 6 Towns in the entire State that allows unions to have veto power over employee contributions and insurance plans, can be chalked up to the BOS, way back in 1993, when John Stefanini was one of the two culprits who voted for this.

And as CFO Kelley pointed out, the short term gains will disappear in a few years and the Town will be spending huge amounts of money on health insurance no matter which way we go. It's a terrible spot for the Town and tax payers to be in and the no-guts legislature will never vote to allow Framingham the right to change the insurance. Dammed if we don't, dammed if we do. Public employee's unions win, but at what cost?

It's time to ban all public employee unions, their hazardous to our health.