Claiming that “Mad Dog is back,” city Councilor Ken Cockayne today blasted the mayor for being a 'coward' who's in the pocket of the unions.
Cockayne decried Mayor Art Ward’s decision to put so many union representatives on a new panel looking into the possibility of tapping excess pension cash to lower property taxes.
“It’s absolutely ridiculous,” Cockayne said. “The unions basically control the whole board. This is not a fair and balanced committee.”
Nine of the 19 members of the committee are union representatives and some of the others are friendly to the unions.
“When I looked at the list, I almost fell off my chair,” Cockayne said.
Cockayne said the pro-union leaning of the panel is “another example of Ward pandering to the people who got him elected.”
Cockayne also took a shot at Ward for failing to put himself on the panel.
“Removing himself from the issue is just cowardly,” Cockayne said. He said the mayor ought to be the panel’s chairman so he would have a stake in its decision.
Ward “has really stacked this committee knowing the outcome,” Cockayne said.
“Here’s an example of direct savings for the taxpayers and we know what their answer is going to be,” Cockayne said.
He said the unions won’t agree to transfer money from the pension accounts to cover their own health care without getting something extra in return.
Cockayne said the decision about how to handle the pension excess is “a management issue” and “not a collective bargaining issue.”
There’s no reason to give unions so many seats at the decision-making table, Cockayne said.
Ward said this week that he wanted each of the city’s unions to have a representative so they would all understand the issues at stake and know what’s going on.
Here's the committee membership list:
Phyllis Amodio (public health union)
T.J. Barnes (Retirement Board)
Cliff Block (City Council)
Greg Boulanger (Local 818)
Dan Carter (BPSA)
Dale Clift (city attorney)
Ken Cockayne (City Council)
Steve DeVaux (school business manager)
Diane Ferguson (personnel director)
Jack Hines (Fire Board)
Paul Keegan (Local 1338)
Glenn Klocko (city comptroller)
Peter Kot (police union)
Chad Lockhart (Local 2267)
Rich Miecznikowski (finance chairman)
Peter Munn (fire union)
Collen Ryder (education secretaries)
Mayra Sampson (Local 233)
Bill Veits (city treasurer)
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