.

Daily Five: All Riled Up About Unions and Legal Fees

Five things to know for Thursday, June 14, 2012


1. We might see some sun today once the early morning fog clears. Weather.com is predicting a partly sunny, partly cloudy day with just a 20 percent chance of rain and a high temperature of 73 degrees. The UV index is very high, at 8, so don't forget the sunscreen! Tonight will be cool and clear, with a low temperature of 55 degrees.  

2. There have been no shortage of opinions regarding the June 11 Patch Poll, which asked whether Connecticut should follow Wisconsin’s lead and take a tough stance on collective bargaining with unions.

That same debate sparked up again at last night’s Board of Finance meeting, when the Waterford Police Department came in asking for additional funds to pay for unused due days and sick time, a perk derived from union contracts.

“I don’t blame the guys for taking it,” said Board of Finance Chairman Ronald Fedor, noting that it is part of the contract agreed to under collective bargaining. But, he added, “We have got to un-negotiate these benefits because they’re an unfair burden to the taxpayer.”

Board member John Sheehan pointed out that the current contract is at least better than previous ones, which once paid retiring officers a career’s worth of accumulated unused sick and personal days, sometimes to the tune of hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Although board members agreed that they’d all rather have Waterford's Finest out on patrol than out sick, union benefits these days seem to inflame political passions.

“To me, as a taxpayer, it’s offensive,” noted one board member. “We need to try to get some of these items more in line with the private sector.”

The Board of Finance was equally unhappy to learn that Waterford is on the hook for legal fees because the town attorney is being used to collect debts owed to the Utility Commission.

“We’re paying $84,000 so they can collect debts owed to them?” Board of Finance member Mark Wiggins asked somewhat incredulously.

“This is their ball game, let them pay for it, not taxpayers!” said Board member Norman Glidden.

Technically, debtors are responsible for all legal fees incurred in collection actions, so the money should come back to the town of Waterford in the end. Sheehan, who serves as the board’s liaison to the Utility Commission also noted that using the town attorney has dramatically improved the collection rate but, he added, he would “convey the board’s displeasure.”

3. The Conservation Commission's meeting from 7 to 8 p.m. at Waterford Town Hall promises to be a little more sedate. With no public hearings and nothing slated for action, the commission will be reviewing Waterford’s proposal to widen Gurley Road and extend the culverts. Harbor Management also meets tonight at Waterford Police Department at 7 p.m. 

4. Eighth-grade Promotion Ceremony will be held this evening at Waterford High School’s Alumni Turf Field at 6:30 p.m. The turf field is new and to make sure it stays in good condition, high-heeled shoes are banned, so girls be sure to wear flats (wedge heels are fine).

The weather looks promising but if it rains, the event will be held in the Waterford High Field House. Indoor seating will be limited to five guests per student, so bring your tickets just in case.     

5. Happy Flag Day! On this day in 1777, the Continental Congress adopted the “Stars and Stripes” as the official flag of the United States. The original flag included 13 alternating red and white stripes and 13 white stars on a blue background, representing “a new constellation.”

Quote of the Day

“You are the makers of the flag and it is well that you glory in the making.” -- American politician Franklin Knight Lane (1864-1921)

Today's Trivia

According to legend, who created and sewed the first official flag of the United States of America?

Yesterday’s answer: Miranda rights also include the right to an attorney, (and if you can’t afford one, the court will appoint one for you).

 

 

Paul June 14, 2012 at 10:45 PM
Jayne, Is it true that the BOE returned over $225,000 dollars to the town last night??
Jayne Keedle June 15, 2012 at 01:47 AM
Yes, Paul. There will be a full story on it tomorrow morning. Stay tuned!

Boards

More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something