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Thread: Parks laborer hiring; clarification, please

  1. #1
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    Parks laborer hiring; clarification, please

    After listening to the recording of the July 15th town board meeting, clarification is needed.

    At the July 1st town board meeting a proposed resolution to hire James Speyer as a laborer in the Parks department was tabled for further review. Supervisor Coleman declared that Parks, Rec. & Forestry crew chief Michelle Barbaro had submitted a letter of recommendation for the hiring of Speyer. It was then revealed that two hires were being considered and the resolution was ‘tabled’ for further discussion.

    On July 9th, Barbaro submitted letters of recommendation for the hiring of not only Speyer, but Justen Wilczak for a laborer position in the Parks, Recreation & Forestry Department. The resolution language for both individuals exactly mirror each other.

    Wilczak was hired (resolution #14) by unanimous vote, Speyer (by a 3-2 vote against) was not hired (resolution #18). Councilmembers Dickman, Gaczewski and Walters voted ‘no’. Dickman commented that he was voting ‘no’ because there were several other candidates who were more experienced. He encouraged Speyer to reapply in the future. Gaczewski commented her ‘no’ vote was based on Dickman’s reasoning.

    So, unable to attend the meeting and seek clarification, I am asking (anyone):

    Were there two Parks laborer positions up for hire? Supervisor Coleman and councilmember Ruffino voted to approve resolutions to hire both Speyer and Wilczak – leaving the impression there were two positions available.

    If there was but one position open and Parks crew chief Barbaro was being put under pressure to hire an individual not considered experienced and qualified as other candidates on the top three list, did she then on July 9th submit to the board a letter recommending hiring Speyer and Wilczak for two positions: or recommending either Speyer or Wilczak for the one position open and letting the board decide on the better candidate?

    Comment

    Why the interest here? Well, it's election time and Ruffino has been portraying himself as the true fiscal conservative in his Supervisor race against Gaczewski.

    In resolution #18 Ruffino voted against the creation of a part-time payroll supervisor creation based on the increased amount and need of recent job hires. Ruffino declared that the explanation that there is money in the budget to pay for the increased staffing was indicative of a budget with too much ‘fluff’ in it. Gaczewski and Dickman also voted against the resolution.

    In summary:

    Ruffino and Gaczewski both voted to deny a job creation in the Supervisor’s office – payroll supervisor. A position that would have paid a higher hour salary rate than the newly appointed payroll supervisor.

    Ruffino voted to approve the hiring of both Speyer and Wilczak as Parks laborers. Gaczewski voted to hire but one.

    Who is the fiscally conservative one here?

  2. #2
    Member gorja's Avatar
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    So let me get this straight. Using your logic Lee
    Posted by Lee Chowaniec:
    Ruffino and Gaczewski both voted to deny a job creation in the Supervisor’s office – payroll supervisor. A position that would have paid a higher hour salary rate than the newly appointed payroll supervisor.

    Ruffino voted to approve the hiring of both Speyer and Wilczak as Parks laborers. Gaczewski voted to hire but one.

    Who is the fiscally conservative one here?
    IF another laborer appointment is presented for resolution at the next meeting
    and Gaczewski votes 'yes' and Ruffino votes 'no', that would make Ruffino fiscally conservative on that vote.

    That makes no sense just as Gaczewski voting 'yes' to appoint the registered conservative, tea party supporter and voted 'no' to the other
    and being described as fiscally conservative. Gaczewski never stated that her vote was cast to cut staff in the park's department.
    So how does fiscally conservative come into play? Just my opinion.

    Have a GREAT day,
    Georgia Schlager

  3. #3
    Member gorja's Avatar
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    On July 1, Councilman Dickman stated that he wanted the Speyer resolution pulled because he had questions for Park crew chief Barbaro
    who was not present that night.
    On July 15, the park crew chief was present at both the work session and the board meeting and
    Councilman Dickman asked no questions of Barbaro at the work session or meeting.

    Have a GREAT day,
    Georgia Schlager

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    =gorja;1881650]So let me get this straight. Using your logic Lee

    IF another laborer appointment is presented for resolution at the next meeting
    and Gaczewski votes 'yes' and Ruffino votes 'no', that would make Ruffino fiscally conservative on that vote
    .

    Yes; because until I hear someone express the need for two hires when the department has been hiring temporary part-time employees, part-time permanent employees and equipping the department the way it has which should make the department more productive, I do not see the need for two new full-time hires.

    That makes no sense just as Gaczewski voting 'yes' to appoint the registered conservative, tea party supporter and voted 'no' to the other
    and being described as fiscally conservative. Gaczewski never stated that her vote was cast to cut staff in the park's department.
    So how does fiscally conservative come into play? Just my opinion.
    So, Wilczak is a registered conservative? A tea party supporter? And despite that political indictment Wilczak’s hiring was approved unanimously. Speyer was not found experienced or qualified enough by three of the board members for the position and was not hired.

    So, are you saying this hiring and non-hiring selection is politically motivated? I would then have to suspect the July 15th second hiring was contrived to hire two laborers so that Speyer would get hired – as he was not looked at as being the most qualified candidate at the July 1st work session by two of the councilmembers, and where the board only had 4 members present and the reason there was no majority and the resolution was withdrawn.

    No, Gaczewski never did state that her vote was cast to cut one of the hires, but that she agreed with Dickman that Speyer was not the best candidate. Nor did any board member indicate that with Speyer out of the picture another hire would be proposed by resolution. Didn't Dickman encourage Speyer to put his name in again should another hire take place in the future? It couldn't be now as he was just turned down.

    If that situation would occur, it would behoove Parks crew chief Barbaro explain why the need for another full-time laborer and whether that will impact her part-time staff status. IMHO, if there is second individual hired there better be a damn good reason – one that has not been mentioned; yet. And yes, if either Ruffino or Gaczewski were to vote for a second hiring, without good reason for doing so, I would chastise either one. That has to happen, however (another hire).

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    Quote Originally Posted by gorja View Post
    On July 1, Councilman Dickman stated that he wanted the Speyer resolution pulled because he had questions for Park crew chief Barbaro
    who was not present that night.
    On July 15, the park crew chief was present at both the work session and the board meeting and
    Councilman Dickman asked no questions of Barbaro at the work session or meeting.
    Nor did Ruffino comment on either resolution to hire the two Parks laborers. Didn't you find that strange since he likes to comment about everything lately?

    Do you know whether Dickman approached Barbaro privately? Or, not?

    Dickman and Walters made their Speyer hiring concerns publicly known at the July 1 work session meeting. Dickman and Gaczewski publicly expressed like concerns at the July 15th general meeting and Speyer's hiring was not town board approved. Ruffino sat silently and voted 'yes'. The other Democrat voted 'yes' and the Republican, Conservative and Blank voted 'no'.

  6. #6
    Member gorja's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Lee Chowaniec:
    Do you know whether Dickman approached Barbaro privately? Or, not?
    No, I do not know. The only private conversation that I'm aware of is between Gaczewski and Walter.
    As soon as Gaczewski arrived in the board room, she told Walter that she needed to talk to him and they left the room.

    Have a GREAT day,
    Georgia Schlager

  7. #7
    Member gorja's Avatar
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    What I find interesting is the new payroll supervisor hiree with all this vast knowledge of school district payroll.
    Yet, she resigned her Account clerk typist position from Lancaster schools in Feb 2018 which she began in 2016 (according to seethroughny).

    Have a GREAT day,
    Georgia Schlager

  8. #8
    Member mark blazejewski's Avatar
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    I just read The Sun article on the July 15 Town Council meeting.

    Concerning the Speyer matter, I have a question: "Are there additional Speyer family members currently employed by the Town of Lancaster and/or the villages of Lancaster and Depew, and if so, how many members?"

    0 current members?

    5 current members?

    8 current members?

    More than 8 current members?

    What gives?

    Just askin'.
    Last edited by mark blazejewski; July 18th, 2019 at 01:29 PM.
    "With all due respect Ron, you don't know what you're talking about."---Supervisor Johanna Coleman, September, 2018

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    Well Gorga, the cat is out of the bag. I don’t subscribe to the Lancaster Sun but did pick up a copy at the vet’s office today. The undercurrent speculation that the Speyer hiring for Parks laborer position was patronage sponsored had teeth to it was confirmed by Councilmember Dawn Gaczewski when she is quoted as saying: “I’m really kind of sick of the nepotism and the friends and family hiring.”

    That’s a good thing to make public, but only if Gaczewski and Dickman were honest in their opinion that the other two candidates being considered were ‘more experienced / qualified and deserving for the position, and where they are not guilty of playing the same game. You (Gorga) have already alluded to Wilczak being a Conservative. Yet, he was unanimously approved for the position, where Speyer was not. Not if the board sees the need for a second hire and proposes a resolution to do just that and gives no reason as to need or staff adjustments – I understand that all three candidates hold part-time positions in the Parks Department – I would find that very disturbing. As Councilmember Ruffino pointed out: “Two part-time positions were already created in the Parks Department that were not in the budget.”
    If we are hiring two employees who already part-time laborers in the Parks Department to full-time positions, one would have to believe those two part-time positions would not be filled.

    As I have often stated: I see nothing wrong with friends and family patronage as long as the candidate selected is found to be the most qualified for the position.

    This is but one of the many rumors circulating about future hiring and replacement positions. Time will tell which are, rumors of fact. just that.
    Last edited by Lee Chowaniec; July 18th, 2019 at 03:02 PM.

  10. #10
    Member gorja's Avatar
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    Are you saying Lee that there was not 2 open FT positions in the park's department from resignations, retirements or terminations?

    Originally posted by Lee Chowaniec:
    Well Gorga, the cat is out of the bag. I don’t subscribe to the Lancaster Sun but did pick up a copy at the vet’s office today. The undercurrent speculation that the Speyer hiring for Parks laborer position was patronage sponsored had teeth to it was confirmed by Councilmember Dawn Gaczewski when she is quoted as saying: “I’m really kind of sick of the nepotism and the friends and family hiring.”
    Yet, she asked no questions of the department head. It very well could be patronage as I believe the one brother is an LPD officer. I still feel that
    Amatura and Barbaro know that they have to work with who they hire. Therefore, they would choose the best candidate or suffer the consequences.


    Gaczewski, “I’m really kind of sick of the nepotism and the friends and family hiring.”
    But it was okay in the village.
    On April 11, 2013, Village trustee Schroeder became co-owner of a property at 182 Central Ave



    11 days later, April 22, 2013 -


    In my eyes, that's patronage and Schroeder didn't even 'abstain'
    for personal or business reasons.

    Have a GREAT day,
    Georgia Schlager

  11. #11
    Member gorja's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mark blazejewski View Post
    I just read The Sun article on the July 15 Town Council meeting.

    Concerning the Speyer matter, I have a question: "Are there additional Speyer family members currently employed by the Town of Lancaster and/or the villages of Lancaster and Depew, and if so, how many members?"

    0 current members?

    5 current members?

    8 current members?

    More than 8 current members?

    What gives?

    Just askin'.
    From a Cheektowaga Chronicle article-

    It stated that former Cheektowaga Assistant Police chief James Speyer has 4 sons, three of whom are police officers.

    https://cheektowagachronicle.com/jam...-cop-31-years/

    Have a GREAT day,
    Georgia Schlager

  12. #12
    Member mark blazejewski's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gorja View Post
    From a Cheektowaga Chronicle article-

    It stated that former Cheektowaga Assistant Police chief James Speyer has 4 sons, three of whom are police officers.

    https://cheektowagachronicle.com/jam...-cop-31-years/
    A sincere thanx for the information Gorja. If you can find any further circumstances, let the readers know.
    "With all due respect Ron, you don't know what you're talking about."---Supervisor Johanna Coleman, September, 2018

  13. #13
    Member mark blazejewski's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gorja View Post
    Are you saying Lee that there was not 2 open FT positions in the park's department from resignations, retirements or terminations?



    Yet, she asked no questions of the department head. It very well could be patronage as I believe the one brother is an LPD officer. I still feel that
    Amatura and Barbaro know that they have to work with who they hire. Therefore, they would choose the best candidate or suffer the consequences.




    But it was okay in the village.
    On April 11, 2013, Village trustee Schroeder became co-owner of a property at 182 Central Ave



    11 days later, April 22, 2013 -


    In my eyes, that's patronage and Schroeder didn't even 'abstain'
    for personal or business reasons.
    I do not know of any such resident conflict during her tenure as an elected town official, which has impacted the ethical performance of her sworn office.

    If lifetime development suggests anything, it is about extending experience, and applying its import virtuously.
    "With all due respect Ron, you don't know what you're talking about."---Supervisor Johanna Coleman, September, 2018

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    In post #10, Gorga wrote:

    Are you saying Lee that there was not 2 open FT positions in the park's department from resignations, retirements or terminations?
    Not to my knowledge. Are you saying there were resignations, retirements or terminations? If this was the situation, why was it not posted in the body of the resolution language; for either the singular July 1st resolution or the other two July 15th resolutions? Why did Supervisor Coleman make it a point to say there is money in the budget to make this happen if it was a simple replacement?

    It was quite clear at the July 1st meeting that there was only one resolution to hire a Parks laborer position, that Dickman and Walter openly questioned the qualifications of Speyer and why the resolution was tabled – 4 board members present, no majority to approve or deny the resolution. July 15th comes along and now there are two job openings. Speyer gets denied, Wilczak gets hired. But there is no talk of another resolution coming for a second hiring. This may pass your smell test, but not mine.

    Originally posted by Lee Chowaniec:
    Well Gorga, the cat is out of the bag. I don’t subscribe to the Lancaster Sun but did pick up a copy at the vet’s office today. The undercurrent speculation that the Speyer hiring for Parks laborer position was patronage sponsored had teeth to it was confirmed by Councilmember Dawn Gaczewski when she is quoted as saying: “I’m really kind of sick of the nepotism and the friends and family hiring.”

    Yet, she asked no questions of the department head. It very well could be patronage as I believe the one brother is an LPD officer. I still feel that
    Amatura and Barbaro know that they have to work with who they hire. Therefore, they would choose the best candidate or suffer the consequences.

    Gaczewski, “I’m really kind of sick of the nepotism and the friends and family hiring.”
    Amatura, Ruffino and Barbaro collectively made it a point to support Speyer and in doing so characterized him as being qualified for the laborer position. Gaczewski openly challenged that selection arguing that there were other candidates on the list more experienced and qualified, and Gaczewski openly declares that she is sick of the patronage.

    You claim silence on the part of Dickman and Gaczewski, yet you speak nothing of Ruffino’s silence during the resolution consideration; silence by the man who vigorously defended Speyer’s hiring at the July 1st work session meeting and when the resolution was withdrawn.

    So again, my position is that I don’t care who got the job the other night. I question why we are not being informed on the need of this position, publicly informed whether there is another hire coming and what these impacts are going to have on current part-time status and budget impacts. Should it not be expected by the taxpayer that when the town spends their money they get an explanation on need and cost on their money is being spent?

    As to the remainder of your post and the attack on Gaczewski in the light of patronage, I have said repeatedly in the past that patronage in politics is the norm and I find no objection to it as long as the position created is necessary and the individual selected is the most qualified individual.

    What is disturbing here is that the hiring patronage rumor that has been circulating on this appointment bears legitimacy – if indeed the most qualified individual was not selected.

    There are also rumors circulating that should certain candidates win office changes are also coming to certain town appointed positions. That would be particularly disturbing to me as I believe the town’s strength lies in those positions and the individuals now occupying those positions are deserving of keeping those positions.

  15. #15
    Member gorja's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Lee Chowaniec:
    Not to my knowledge. Are you saying there were resignations, retirements or terminations?
    I, honestly don't know. I was asking you because you seemed certain that there was only one position.
    I thought you may have had information from your sources to that fact.

    Have a GREAT day,
    Georgia Schlager

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