Two stories worth mentioning are the annual overtime numbers which is really nothing new in that police and fire personnel dominate, and the bizarre story of the city overpaying the Troy library more than $350,000.
The first pretty much speaks for itself since overtime is dictated by the contracts and those broad parameters are then manipulated to take care of a select few who are close to retirement and who are using OT to boost their overtime. The Times Union compiled the numbers.
A few things stand out:
-Bob Fitzgerald was number two on the list, making $38, 142 in overtime, bumping his salary to $103,274. The thing about Fitzgerald, who has said he will retire sometime this year, is that his 40 an hour week job is president of the Police Benevolent Association. That’s it. That’s his job. I don’t begrudge him for having it, others have had the same deal before him and others will after but having a full time union representative on the taxpayer dime is still a waste of money.
-Fire Chief Tom Garrett is on the list again and has been on the list for as long as I remember. Last year he made $33,200 in OT making him the city’s highest paid employee at $140,955. A few years ago then Police Chief Nick Kaiser and his assistants agreed to come out of the Command Officer Association of Troy and take a $7,000 one-time buyout. It makes sense in that management should not be in the union since part of their job is to direct personnel also in the union. I’ve heard there have been attempts to get Garrett out of the union but it’s impossible without his consent because … well, he’s in the union.
-Two new names came up this year Michael Hayner, who is heading up Department of Public Works in the absence of a formal commissioner. He made $31,587 in OT for an overall pay of $104,331 and Barbara Tozzi, who pulled in $28,656 in OT towards an overall paycheck of $79,186 for 2013.
As far as the $350,000 overpayment to the library goes, I’m not sure what to make of it. The city told Channel 13 it was a clerical error but it’s not like this is a new wrinkle in that the library became its own taxing district years ago. The city collects the tax from the residents and then passes it on the library. It sounds easy enough when I’m sitting here writing it but I’m sure there are some nuances to the logistics that make it a little more difficult than that.
Still, like I said, it’s not anything new and now the city and the library are at odds as to how much the library owes the city because of the overpayment. According to the Times Union, the library thinks the city should make it whole and pay the entire tax levy even if it doesn't collect it from taxpayers. For example, the city owes the library $10 if all taxable properties are considered but only collects $8 for whatever reason including people in foreclosure. The library thinks the city should come up with that additional $2, the city doesn't think it's responsible.
I’m still not sure of what to make of the whole thing but I will say it’s just one more indication of the confusion that seems to ooze from City Hall.
I know I’m a bit late on both, but there were some people commenting on both issues so I figured I would post them and give credit to the Times Union and Kumi Tucker at Channel 13.