May 7, 2008

Republicans back public vote on chief operating officer

If the City Council rejects a recommendation to create a chief operating officer, the Republican Party will lend a hand to efforts to force a public referendum on the issue.
Tom Barnes, Jr, the city GOP leader, said that the party isn’t taking a stand on whether to add the new position or not.But, he said, the Republicans do support the idea of letting the public decide whether to create it or not.
Barnes said there ought to be “an open vote” by the public to decide the issue’s fate.
If the City Council refuses to let people vote on the recommended charter change, Republicans will help city Councilor Ken Cockayne gather signatures to force a referendum, he said.
“My main concern is giving the people a chance to vote,” said Cockayne, one of only two city councilors who back the Charter Revision Commission’s call for the new position.
Cockayne said that he hopes those who favor the position will help gather several thousand signatures to force a referendum rather than allow the City Council to thwart any chance of the chief operating officer’s creation.
Cockayne, a freshman Republican, said that most of the people who showed up at a hearing on the issue this week were city employees and school custodians. They opposed the suggested change.
Mike Petosa, president of the Greater Bristol Labor Council, said that people elect the mayor and council to make decisions, not pass them off to a minority of the public to decide.
“The public should be allowed to vote. It is not a democracy only when it benefits the unions,” Cockayne said. “What are they afraid of? Could it possibly be being held accountable?”
The charter change should “not be blocked by those beholden to the unions,” Cockayne said.

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Copyright 2008. All rights reserved.
Contact Steve Collins at scollins@bristolpress.com

47 comments:

Cockayne Addict said...

Go Cockaye Go Cockayne Go Cockayne GO!

Anonymous said...

GOP:

Don't mess it up. Make sure the public has a clear understanding of what they're voting on.

In other words we need to know exactly what a city manager will be responsible for. And what will the mayor's job be after installing a city manager?

Anonymous said...

The charter change should “not be blocked by those beholden to the unions,” Cockayne said.


--And that includes some Bristol Republicans as well as Democrats.

Anonymous said...

Ken will never get enough signatures anyway to bring the issue to referendum. This is another pattern of junior councilman Cockayne. I he doesn't get his way then he wastes everyones time with a threat of a referendum. Who cares? Really? I agree with Petosa that we have a representative type of government- elect in Bristol. If the team votes no, then the team votes no. If they vote yes, then congradulations. Ken has to learn to live with decisions and move on to the next order of business. Is EVERYTHING going to be a great big deal with this guy?

Anonymous said...

They will get the wording wrong on the petition which will eliminate the referendum on a technicality.

It's happened with the last 2 petitions that were attempted.

Anonymous said...

I agree 1:53 - unfortunately, Cockayne just likes to see his name on the front page.

Anonymous said...

And what will the mayor's job be after installing a city manager?

May 7, 2008 1:21 PM
``````````````````
Hopefully the mayor will merely be responsible for being sober in public , and the manager will handle everything .

Anonymous said...

poster 2:42

You have to admitt, Cockayne looks good on the front page!

All you union hacks are getting nervous because he's bringing to light what has been going on in town for years! Your Union hold on this city is comming to an end!

It's about time someone stuck up for the people, not just the unions!

McCauley is all done next election! He's tied to the Unions and only working in the best interest of the Unions, not ALL the people he should be respresenting!

Anonymous said...

Sorry 2:52, I'm not a "union hack," just a regular citizen whose getting tired of Kenny's wet behind the ears pandering. It's getting old.

Anonymous said...

"Hopefully the mayor will merely be responsible for being sober in public"

May 7, 2008 2:49 PM:

That's not funny. Isn't it time we gave the past drinking incident of M. Ward's a rest? Oh and you haven't been at a bar and has a few too many? Maybe you haven't and that's why no one can stand the Bristol Republicans? Oh wait there was their former chairman and 2 time city council candidate's DWI in 1999. And then there was a "breach of peace" by their last 79th District Rep. candidate. So I guess the Bristol GOP has it's share of drunken morons too.

I'll bet 90% of the Bristol GOP TC can't answer factually or correctly what the actual job description of the "city manager" will be. I'll bet even half of them can't articulate why we need a city manager. It's sad and as someone mentioned a moron put together a petition against the new schools and that had to be retracted because it was worded incorrectly.

Don't screw up again.

Anonymous said...

Uh oh 2:49...A city manager will support the blight nazis 100% too!!! There's no escape...RUN!!!!

Anonymous said...

3:47, your not a union hack?? Ken C is doing a great job. The only thing getting old is the Union bleeding the city and it needs to stop. I think he's done a great job so far. Keep going Ken.

Anonymous said...

4:40

So far there is no job description for Town Manager, nor is there documentation how the approval of one would impact the rest of the charter, in addition to the mayor.

Lets see if Ken and Ken can put it all together. Other wise the public will be voting on a pig in a poke.

Anonymous said...

May 7, 2008 4:59 PM:

Shut up already about your blight "nazis". I'll bet you'll think they're OK when some disorderly, drug-peddling, scuz-bag moves in next to you and the only way to eradicate them is through the Blight Ordinance.

Achtung!

john reek said...

anonymous, anonymous,anonymous being among the many UNION taxpayers in this city I know all you complainers would love a Wal Mart style of government, More management just pay 'em bosses know best. The people who do the real work in this city all those UNION hacks at the other end of your 911 calls, plowing our streets, cleaning our schools dont really care about us anyway right?
Your problem is the UNION is involved we are educated and informed and we will not let a few loudmouths try to lead from the back.
see you at the next meeting!

Anonymous said...

let the public chose. but of course the town council is so afraid of that we will not have a public vote on it. god forbid the tax paying people of bristol, ct have a say in anything that has to do with bristol

Anonymous said...

I'm not a city employee - not even a union member anywhere, and even I'm getting tired of Cockayne going out on limbs that are sure to break.

Town Mgr or COO still report to the Mayor and do what the Mayor wants them to do. It's just another rung on the ladder. Someone said it once before - most of the department heads don't need an expensive babysitter.

What I would support would be an Auditer. I think that someone should be hired to audit the books of every department and make cut back recommendations to the BOF.

I also think that the City should seriously consider a layoff and early retirement package.

Anonymous said...

6:51

I think that the referendum idea is too costly. The majority of people really don't want a COO or Town Manager because they see what the salary of that person will be, and they recognize that it will increase their taxes yet again.

I'm disturbed by the person that is leaving flyers all over town that say to contact your councilman to support a COO because it will lower your taxes.

That's a blatent lie and should be condemned. If the Republicans are pushing that around they should be ashamed of themselves.

Anonymous said...

I saw that flyer at the Super Natural last week. I thought it was a bit of a stretch too, but it doesn't say who is distributing it.

STEVE TIME TO DO SOME INVESTIGATIVE REPORTING??? WHO IS PASSING THAT FLYER AROUND?

Anonymous said...

Mr. Reek,

The Union leadership game is to brainwash the peoeple so they can control them. If your at the next meeting, please be sure your not on MY tax dollar!!

Anonymous said...

Who cares what anyone on this blog thinks anyway.

Let the public decide.

Anonymous said...

"The union leadership game is to brainwash people so they can control them."

Whoa, pretty scary, huh? That's exactly what some of our politicians want us to believe (trying to brainwash people so they can control them maybe?). The demonization of the union is just a ploy used by politicians who don't really have a clue what's wrong and even less of a clue how to fix it. It sounds soooo much better for them to point at SOMETHING, proclaim it evil and source of all our problems, and then outline their brilliant plan to get rid of it.

I am definitely not one of the "union hacks" (can't these guys come up with some other name for union employees?), but I don't believe for a second that the union is the source of all our woes. These are scary times for the whole country (rising taxes, property values dropping, health care costs skyrocketing, not to mention the way we're being raked for gas and oil). What we need are REAL leaders who will look for the REAL problems and offer REAL solutions...not these "political hacks" who claim to have all the answers without even understanding the questions.

Anonymous said...

John Reek......I have seen many on-duty police officers at Dunkin Donuts, I have seen many on-duty police officers sitting in parking lots talking with other police officers socializing on city time. Many city workers are running errands on city time with city cars. These would not be the "real workers" of Bristol. I am not saying they are all like this, but I have seen as a taxpayer of Bristol many city officals and workers slacking on city time. Obviously, there needs to be some kind of layoff's because there is not enough work for these city workers since they have time to socialize on city time, that would be sure to cut some costs. "The union is involved and educated?" I'm sure you and the union are involved, because you know that the public is now aware that the union is bleeding the city and you are all worried.

Anonymous said...

There has been a council and Mayor within the last 16 years that had no clue how to run a city. If we had a COO things would have been done and the city would not look they way it does now. This COO is to hold the department heads accountable and not let the Unions dicate what the city should do with their employees. I am really for a City Manager rather then a COO - but I guess all the people with solid economic back grounds have thought better! I guess the city looks great after god knows how many years with Democrat control. To all the GOPS out there - you better make sure you guys follow through on everything you promise or this will be the end of your party in this town!

Anonymous said...

John Reek:

I like our police, the firemen, the teachers etc. They are not the problem. The unions leadership contributes to the problem greatly, but the real problem is the process. It needs to be changed in many areas. You and everyone involved in reality knows this to be true. The public employee unions need to be more regulated in the way in which they collectively bargain for the tax-payers money.

Anonymous said...

The last thing Bristol needs is yet another chief. An auditor perhaps, but the COO is just a poorly thought out and potentially expensive mistake.

Anonymous said...

......I have seen many on-duty police officers at Dunkin Donuts, I have seen many on-duty police officers sitting in parking lots talking with other police officers socializing on city time. Many city workers are running errands on city time with city cars.

Exactly how do you know what the officers are talking about? How do you known the city workers aren't on break? It doesn't really matter anyway. Do you honestly think that firing these individuals is going fix Bristol?

Don't buy into the political hack rhetoric. Union employees are NOT the source of all our problems.

Anonymous said...

John Reek,

Go pick up the trash, the vomit, be happy you are getting over-paid and be quiet.

Anonymous said...

12:42....Let's see, three police crusier's parked side by side in parking lots, laughing and joking, well, to me, that doesn't seem like working. I've seen this on numerous occassions. I'm not saying they are all like that, but I've seen it. Your right, union employees are not the problem, but the union is, union employees should be contributing to their health insurance, that would solve a part of the problem and save the city money.

Anonymous said...

"Let's see, three cruisers parked side by side in parking lots lauging and joking."

Let's see, I've been working since the age of 16 and sometimes we laugh and joke while we're working...so what?

The union workers contributing to their health insurance would be swell, but it would still be a drop in the bucket. We've got much bigger problems than the union. Don't let the political hacks fool you!

Anonymous said...

Remember, all the benefits that the city workers have were approved by ELECTED OFFICIALS!

Did you vote?

Anonymous said...

The COO will lead to a COO with City Manager authority. It will take time and maybe years, but it will happen and be a very big plus for the City.

Anonymous said...

A COO will just be another mouth to feed. We have enough chiefs. The COO is a joke.

Anonymous said...

A COO will just be another mouth to feed. We have enough chiefs. The COO is a joke.

Anonymous said...

3:04....Yeah, its one thing to laugh and joke in the office, but its another when your suppose to be out fighting crime. Instead of joking and "hanging out" in parking lots, maybe they can be patrolling the streets of Bristol to keep them safe like they are paid to do.

Anonymous said...

People have to ask themselves why the unions are putting such an organized effort into blocking the COO even coming to a vote.

What are they so afraid of?

Anonymous said...

Gee 9:43, People have to ask themselves why must EVERYTHING be a union conspiracy?

Maybe the union is against the COO just because the position is an unnecessary, poorly developed concept, and maybe they're afraid that it could be a financial disaster for Bristol. We have already chosen a mayor. I can see hiring an aide or assistant for him (New Britain's mayor has 6). Our system of electing leaders from our community is a good one. I think we should stick with it (and no, I am NOT a "union hack").

Anonymous said...

9:43

Maybe because they, like many other people, realize that it is not the right thing for Brsitol!

Anonymous said...

9:54....The union is just afraid that they won't be able to take from the city as much as they do now if there is a COO..Having a COO or something like it, is definitely in the right direction for Bristol. I think that jobs can be downsized to make up for financial cost for a COO.

Anonymous said...

"I think that jobs can be downsized to make up for financial cost for a COO."

Do you? Do you really? What facts are you basing your statement on? How do you known that a COO is "definitely" the right thing for Bristol? Do you have all of the financial statistics? How about the legal ramifications? Do you really have clue what you're yammering about or do you just hate the union so you're jumping on the political hack bandwagon?....Ya, I thought so.

Anonymous said...

1:31....I guess your in the union...but anything to stop the union from taking from the city would definitely be a good thing. So yes, I think the COO is right for Bristol to move forward. Sorry to say, but I really do think there are jobs in Bristol that can be cut or downsized to save our city some money. With our economy the way it is and rising costs, it only makes sense to downsize cut costs.

Anonymous said...

If "everybody" knows that jobs can or should be cut, why do we need a $250,000-$300,000 COO operation to do that?

Anonymous said...

Usual Republican behaviour: All hat and no cattle.

Anonymous said...

3:11 ~

a} You'd be guessing wrong (but unfortunately, "guessing" seems to be a sport here in Bristol.
b) We don't need a COO to tell us that we need to tighten our belts. Times are tough...paying for a COO only makes things tighter.
c) Downsizing union costs would amount to a proverbial "drop in the bucket"...

The political hacks are using the union as a scapegoat. The real answers are much harder to come by.

Anonymous said...

11:00

The real answers are NOT that hard to come by. All you need is a mayor that understands what the situation is.

Many suggestions have been made through the years.
Artie ought to put some of them into play.

Anonymous said...

May 9th, 11:00 pm.....

1) We obviously need a COO or something like it. I agree times are tough and cutting jobs in Bristol and downsizing would be in my opinion the best for Bristol. The economy is touch, and if we had a COO and downsized jobs or made some full-time positions part-time, maybe things would move Bristol forward and not backwards.

Anonymous said...

If the Naysayers and hate mongers really cared about Bristol they would try to help rather than monday morning quarterback. It shows that they only care for their own satisfaction. They should try to work together rather than driving a wedge whether it be between the unions or anybody. They aren't very productive only distructive.