October 7, 2009

Ward investigates talks with Cockayne

After learning last week that some city workers may have talked extensively with a city councilor while they were on the clock, Mayor Art Ward ordered an investigation to try to find the culprits.
The probe got nowhere, however, because city Councilor Ken Cockayne refused to provide any names.
Cockayne, a first-term Republican, said he spoke with a number of municipal workers months ago about their concerns surrounding contract concessions sought by the city and other issues.
“I don’t know how long the meetings lasted. Could have been 10 minutes, could have been two hours,” Cockayne said Wednesday. “I never felt at any time that anyone did something wrong.”
He said he felt “flabbergasted” when he learned that Ward was probing the talks to see if he could catch some of the workers who talked to Cockayne.
Ward said he heard last week that Cockayne told union leaders at a political endorsement meeting that the employees had to come to his office driving city vehicles during working hours.
The mayor said that after Cockayne refused to tell him whom he had met with, he asked city Personnel Director Diane Ferguson to investigate.
Ferguson said she called Cockayne.
“He didn’t have any information” that he would share, she said, “so that’s it.”
She closed the probe, Ward said, because she had no leads to pursue.
“I don’t understand why there’s an investigation,” Cockayne said.
Ward said Cockayne and the workers who talked to him had bypassed a “procedure that needs to be respected” for negotiations between the city and its workforce.
He said every councilor has short conversations with city employees at times. There’s nothing wrong with that, Ward said.
But in this case Cockayne went too far, the mayor said.
Ward said the councilor “should have moved in a direction that would have avoided prolonged conversations” during a ticklish time when the city was trying to convince unions to agree to take less than contracts had called for.
Cockayne said many of the concerns he heard were from rank-and-file workers who weren’t happy with union leaders.
“The people who came to me did so in confidence and I will not betray their trust,” Cockayne said.
He said he never asked if someone was on break or personal time when they came to speak with him.
“I’m here to serve my constituents and anyone who wants to talk to me at any time knows how to get a hold of me,” Cockayne said. “I try to make myself available day, night, afternoon, anytime. I do my best.”
He said he thinks the root of the problem is that municipal union leaders are upset that employees reached out to him.

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Copyright 2009. All rights reserved.
Contact Steve Collins at scollins@bristolpress.com

83 comments:

Anonymous said...

"He said he thinks the root of the problem is that municipal union leaders are upset that employees reached out to him."

Ken, you're missing the point! It's Ward who is upset that the Union's like you better than Ward after Ward F'd them all over this summer. Don't make enemies of your new found friends. They can help you. Carpe Diem.

Anonymous said...

Ward is sticking up for his Union buddies! Ward should have kept his mouth shut, because now he looks like he is all for the Union and listen to them whenever they tell him to jump, and to me it looks like they told him to jump on this issue! Mary you better win!!!

Anonymous said...

Screw Art! I met with Cockayne. This has nothing to do with procedures. Ward is on a witch hunt. He and the leadership were pissed when they heard that some of us were reaching out to Cockayne.

So much for free speech! I guess it is okay when we are talking to Artie, but when it is a republican we are breaking procedures. BS!

Anonymous said...

I agree with 6:08, but it is not so much the "union buddies" as it is the union leadership. Cockayne is right about this. They, meaning the leadership and Ward, are probably second guessing the strength of the union base. I know for a fact that many municipal employees were ripped about the concessions. They went from a raise with increased cost sharing, to no raise with increased cost sharing. Essentially they took a pay cut. 5:46 is right too, Ward F'd them.

Payback is a B@#$%! I doubt Alford can win, but Ward has some making up to do.

Anonymous said...

Hey Artie, were you on break today when you were watching your landscapers plant mums at your house? What time was that? Oh yeah by the clock on my dash it looked like 11:15. Strange time to be taking a break. Maybe we should call Freguson and see if you put in a time off request for an extended lunch.

Steve Collins said...

There are no set hours for the mayor. Plus, I can promise you that every mayor I've known in Bristol - Nicastro, Couture, Stortz and Ward -- put in way over 40 hours in a normal week.

Anonymous said...

What is happening?!? Ward requiring give backs, Cockayne protecting union members. This is all wrong. Ward loves the unions and Cockayne hates them. Right?

Anonymous said...

6:32

Stortz would have won hands down.

Too bad that Barnes, Mocabee and Scchafrick were so ego oriented!

Anonymous said...

Ward investigating someone for not following procedures? LMAO

What's the procedure anyway?

Constituent: "Hi Ken. Do you have a minute? I would like to talk to you?"

Ken: "Time Out. Who do you work for?"

Constituent: "Ah? I work for Public Works."

Ken: "Are you on work time right now?"

Constituent: "I'm actually on break, why?"

Ward is a joke and this is so transparent. He knows there is no wrong doing here and just wants to know which unions went behind his back to talk with the big union hater. I guess Cocaine isn't as black and white as the Dems have tried to paint him. Very interesting, he doesn't just shoot from the hip. He actually talks to those with opposing viewpoints. Wow, sounds quite diplomatic to me.

Anonymous said...

We are in trouble when one of our elected officials can't tell the difference between ten minutes and two hour.

Too bad Cockayne did not spend some of that time finding out what was happening at the BHA where he is the city representative.

Oh well, Ken does realize that it is election time and is trying to make the most of it.

Has he ofered to help Mary?
I doubt it!

Anonymous said...

Maybe instead of wasting time and tax dollars investigating unionites who talk to Cockayne, Ward should do a real investigation. BHA is a good place to start!

Anonymous said...

Before Artie was mayor and making the most money he ever saw in his lifetime, he planted his own mums.

Anonymous said...

PROCEDURE? We don't need no stinkin procedure, right Mad Dog?

Anonymous said...

So it can be illegal as long as Cockayne and his republicans do it ?

Anonymous said...

Ward doesn't have union buddies anymore. He screwed us and we won't forget it!

Anonymous said...

Aren't there some guidelines about conducting Union or Personal business on city time?
Does Kenny know what they are?

Anonymous said...

Cockayne is the liasion to the BHA: troubles abound there.

Cockayne is the liasion to the BDA: what has he done ther?

And then he takes city workers off the job so that he can talk to them.

Yet I dod not recall where he has made ONE suggestion to reduce costs.

Anonymous said...

The only thing Ward should be investigating is how to cut costs and not have taxes go up. Maybe you can start by looking at all the double dipping going on in this town, i.e. two married city employees each having a seperate health insurance policy to avoid paying premiums.

Anonymous said...

So did the unions endorse Cockayne after they interviewed all the candidates last week?

Anonymous said...

Stortz wouldn't have won. He has already had two failed administrations.

Anonymous said...

great for you ken, ward is the biggest joke going, he will hide anything and everything from THE TAXPAYERS! we all know our property taxes are going to go through the roof next year. this city needs to stop being mainly democrat, from the president down they are all a joke. mary you have my vote hands down. ken you also. WAKE UP BRISTOL VOTERS.

Anonymous said...

GO mary GO!

Anonymous said...

Wow!
With Ken now obligated to the unions, what do you think that will cost us?

ard and Cockayne will try to out do each other in giving the store away.

Anonymous said...

If the shoe was on the other foot and Ward had the meeting, they'd all be screaming for his head.

10 minutes? said...

how can ken consider public employees not being wrong when they are on city-time, using city vehicles for longer periods of time than they are even allowed for lunch breaks during the work day?
and ken wants us to believe that he is looking out for tthe taxpayer - more like covering up for the abuse and mis-use by these employees in the hope of getting their votes this year.

platform said...

good thing that the gop has this website or else they would never be heard.

Anonymous said...

Rumor has it all Public works employees are pulling for Mary.

Anonymous said...

Cockayne....Moving Bristol For-Ward

Anonymous said...

11:12

Not from, what I am hearing!!

Anonymous said...

11:12

Failed in what way?

Kept taxes down

Reduced staff

Put money back into infrastructure

Expanded diversification of Boards, made them more professional

Got rid of some deadwood

Only failure was not getting rid of Rosenthal

Anonymous said...

Cockayne for Cockayne!

Anonymous said...

What is it with all the Cockayne signs on Damato property.

I thought that Damato was a Ward supporter

wondering? said...

why can't the city track employees time and where-a-bouts through the GPS system?

Anonymous said...

ward wants to rule everyone he is the biggest joke of all. what ever happened to freedom of speech. let people talk to whomever they want and about whatever they want. out with ward in with mary.

Cockayne addict said...

Typical dirt-bag politics, Ward style. Ward and the union-thugs have a happy marriage. Can I have my contribution to the Ward campaign back please?

Go Cockayne Go Cockayne, Go Cockayne GO!!

Eileen said...

I am sure Ward is going to be vindictive - he is on a witch hunt. Ward is a joke and needs to go. We the people should vote his A@# out and send a message. He complianed all the time that Zoppo threw Hissy-fits. Looks like Artie boy is throwing one big one now.

Anonymous said...

Steve may not be set hours, but "certain places" on city time is not recommended.

Ward and his tantrum throwing is getting old.

toto is otot said...

8:09 - yea and they is the only ones to even partially believe anything that they write.

Anonymous said...

for one thing public works people at city hall don`t have gps that`s who you should be talking to.

Anonymous said...

This is just obviously a political ploy. Ken has never endorsed the unions and NOW he wants to help them? Give me a break!!! I don't see the Republicans ranking on Ken for reaching out to the unions, but if any of the Dems did that, it would be front page news. A bunch of hypocrites! Does Ken have no shame?

Anonymous said...

see what people do..not what people say..cockayne is acting divious trying to get votes at city hall...do you think he will change his behaviour if he gets elected mayor?

don't think so!

Anonymous said...

Its ironic that us old timers can clearly remember when a certain elected official owned a certain bar, and at any given time during working hours, certain yellow trucks were at this certain location, conducting whatever city business needed to be conducted. He who calls the kettle black isn't looking in the mirror. At least kenny wasn't serving them beers and sausage burgers.

Anonymous said...

Wondering...: you've been watching too many Bourne Identity movies. We may have the hardware, but we don't have the capability.

Anonymous said...

Talking to city employees is the only way to find out what is really going on in City Hall offices or off site departments. They are the ones who know the truth behind a lot of what is said and done but won't say anything because it falls on deaf ears, blind eyes, and can be detrimental to their earning a weekly paycheck.

Anonymous said...

"Typical dirt-bag politics, Ward style."???

Cockayne addict better lay off the drugs. The typical dirt-bag politics are Kenny "mad dog" Cockayne's style (along with back-stabbing, slithering around spinelessly and grandstanding).

Tired of Ward lies... said...

2:33pm - Ward will sell his mother to keep his union buddies, of course he did screww them over and he thinks he will get their votes? Don't flatter yourself Artie.

Anonymous said...

Ward kept taxes down this year, becasue he wanted to get re-elected. Watch out next year - he is just like Niscastro, our taxes are going to skyrocket. Of course Ward doesn't care. His wife gets city insurance, Ward gets city insurance - no premiums he has to pay. Nice check for the city doing nothing, Ward is out for Ward plain and simple. I sure hope the unions find their Ba@$s come this election and vote him out!
Screw Ward they way he is screwing us.

Anonymous said...

7:17

Talk with them on their time, not on our time!


Kenny is an opportunist, and trying to play both sides.

Not to be trusted. I know.

Anonymous said...

Kenny wil anything, right or wrong, to get reelected.

Anonymous said...

Let's see this as what it is. It's Ken doing anything to win. Where is he every other time in the last two years. He's been bashing the unions and trying to get concessions left and right and now he wants to help them? It's disgusting and low. Of course it's important to talk to employees at city hall, but not on their time and not only at election time. There are plenty of other elected officials doing their jobs and they don't run to the Press every time they want us to think he's helping us. It's down right disgusting. Hopefully the people of Bristol will know who is there to really represent their interests and that person is definitely not Ken Cockayne!

Anonymous said...

7:26am - Nice Mayor!

Would like to know... said...

If Ward is pretty much assured a re-election - then why is he having all these fund raisers? Where is the money going?

Anonymous said...

12:45 - I AM NOT THE MAYOR. Get it now? Stop making stupid, false assumptions...oops, who am I kidding? If weren't for stupid, false assumptions, you wouldn't have anything to say now, would ya?
LMFAO!!!

Anonymous said...

"Its ironic that us old timers can clearly remember when a certain elected official owned a certain bar..."

What's really ironic is that when the certain elected official owned a certain bar, he was just beginning his political career. Certain yellow trucks (along with lots and lots of other trucks and cars) that were at that certain location were probably there for a certain absolutely delicious sausage burger.

Ken would have been better off if he had been serving beer and sausage burgers instead of being totally spineless and unethical.

Anonymous said...

How come I haven't seen ONE Alford sign next to a Cockayne sign??

Aren't they part of the Republican team?

Anonymous said...

Hope people now see what Ken is all about: himself.
He is not for the people, but for Ken Cockayne.
Ward mabe bad (is) but Cockayne is worse.

Anonymous said...

Cockayne and Mocabee.

Two of a kind!

tired of him said...

cockayne is the one who publicly told all of the union people that city employees were taking city work time to talk to him. next time he won't shoot his mouth off and get them in trouble or was that his plan because he knew that he wasn't getting their support any way?
well, he wasn't getting support from me going into the talks and he sure as hell ain't getting now.

Anonymous said...

Bring back Stortz

Anonymous said...

ward is playing the town people for fools.

Anonymous said...

1:32

How would Ward have known that the Republicans would have come up with a nobody and done nothing?

Anonymous said...

Cockayne should read the Charter and see what HIS role is as well as the Mayors.

cockayne addict said...

October 9, 2009 7:26 AM:

Wow, you're really clever. Maybe you should take some drugs so you can think of something better to say? Ask Ellen about Ward's politics.

But anyway...

GO COCKAYNE GO COCKAYNE GO COCKAYNE GO

obvious said...

6:20 - looks as though you are serving as the ideal role model - fool.

Anonymous said...

11:05

FACTS are FACTS!

Anonymous said...

Sorry cockayne addict, but I never touch the stuff. No need for it anyway...with someone who calls himself "Mad Dog" doing tricks and stunts, one really doesn't have to be clever to point out Kenny's flaws and foibles...it's like shooting fish in a barrel! ;0)

Anonymous said...

Mary's got my vote: went by her house and among all the political signs, I did not see ONE
Cockayne sign.

Smart Lady

Anonymous said...

5:00 PM, Maybe she's got more smarts than I gave her credit for!

Anonymous said...

10:54

Cockayne does not want Mary to win because, if she does, he can't run for mayor in two years.

Ken is out for Ken, nobody else.

Anonymous said...

Been hearing that Cockayne ran into trouble with the cops a few years back, and his Ma raised a ruckus.

Any validity to that?

Anonymous said...

Ward, why are you letting Cockayne put his signs on city property?

And Cockayne, how many of your signs are on empty lots? Did you get permission?

easy enough said...

3:40 - so don't vote for cockayne.

Anonymous said...

Did anyone else hear that Bruce Lydem was endorsing Cockayne? He is going to be holding a sign for him at Chippens Hill on election day.

Anonymous said...

Don`t vote for Ward and we should be OK.

Anonymous said...

ABMM Anybody but Marko and McCauley.

Anonymous said...

8:37

So Cockayne has sold his soul to the Unions.

Not surprising.

No sense of decency.

Anonymous said...

How has Cockayne sold his soul to the unions? He got no endorsement and didn't even try for one frankly. He talked for 45 mintues at their endorsement meeting that all candidates are invited to and basically argued the entire time. He shot a hole in the leadership by pointing out that their members are not following their "party line" and are reaching out to him. If you had any real knowledge of what went down at our meeting you would no that he definitely did not sell his soul. Defending the rank and file that went to him to express their disagreements with their leadership, is hardly selling his soul. If anything, it was a calculated slip of the tongue to send them scrambling. Cockayne does what is right and keeps no one in the dark. This is just another example of it.

J.K.P said...

Ward is on a war path for no good reason except to punish those he feels stepped on his toes. Maybe Ward should look in the mirror before hunting down other people. Can't fake being Mr. Almighty Artie and do the things you are doing - shame on you. I feel sorry for you wife.

Anonymous said...

8:39

Then why did he then rat them out?

He doesn't look good, the workers don't look good.

The contract, which elected officials agreed to allows or time to meet with the city. Was Cockayne in violation of that?

Anonymous said...

Artie, don't pick on Kenny, he'll sic his mother on you.

That is after she is done putting up his signs.

Talk about Mommys Boy!

Anonymous said...

What a jerk! Name me one candidate whose family doesn't help in their campaigns. I have met Kevin McCauley's mother and wife, all of Art's family, the entire Minor family, etc all at fundraisers and working the polls. Why shouldn't they support their family? Why shouldn't candidates be supported by their families?

You are obviously new to this whole process. Show some class and leave family out of this.

Anonymous said...

10:25

Did anyone of them have their Mom putting up signs?

You see, Kenny really is Mommy's boy.

Ask the cops.

Anonymous said...

ABC = Anybody But Cockayne