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Thread: Waste Water Treatment Plant Criminal Investigation

  1. #1
    Tony Fracasso - Admin
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    Waste Water Treatment Plant Criminal Investigation

    This was posted up on www.amhersttimes.com


    ---------------------------------

    CSEA

    Local 1000 AFSCME, AFL-ClO

    July 18, 2005



    Susan Grelick, Town Supervisor

    Town of Amherst

    5583 Main Street

    Williamsville, NY 14221



    RE: Waste Water Treatment Plant Criminal Investigation

    Wayne Gradle Letter and Buffalo News Article



    Dear Susan,



    I am writing this letter as I am extremely offended and frustrated that the Town of

    Amherst would make accusations of our members at the Plant, stating that they are engaged in sabotage, cover-ups, and other illegal activities without having facts to back up that claim. This issue NEVER should have gone this route. I thought that CSEA and the Town had a working relationship to handle employee issues. The Town has conducted improper interrogations, and has threatened our members. This shows that the Town's attitude has changed significantly on our working relationship, and the gloves have come off, we now will be playing hardball. We have filed charges with PERB on the activities of the Town.



    As you know, we are in the midst of contract negotiations. With these most recent Town actions, I find it extremely difficult to have a working relationship to settle any of our differences. It appears that the Town wants to spend time and money on legal challenges, instead of trying to reach agreements.



    CSEA hereby demands that the Town of Amherst make an immediate retraction in the Buffalo News regarding this issue, and that CSEA be present with any and all

    questioning of employees as requiredby law.

    Sincerely,

    Thomas Finger

    Labor relations Specialist



    TF/kat

    cc: Nick Paolini, CSEA President

    Toni Black, CSEA Grievance Chair

    Flo Tripi, CSEA Region President

    Roger Sherrie, CSEA Region Director

    Robert McCarthy, Personnel Director

    Town Board Members

    File



    WESTERNREGIONOFFICE' 120PINEVIEWDRIVE.AMHERST.NEWYORK14228' (716) 691-65557FAX716) 691-5430

  2. #2
    Tony Fracasso - Admin
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    This shows that the Town's attitude has changed significantly on our working relationship, and the gloves have come off, we now will be playing hardball. We have filed charges with PERB on the activities of the Town.



    As you know, we are in the midst of contract negotiations. With these most recent Town actions, I find it extremely difficult to have a working relationship to settle any of our differences. It appears that the Town wants to spend time and money on legal challenges, instead of trying to reach agreements.

    So this is the mentality of people us tax payers have to work with?

  3. #3
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    Wait a minute

    From what I understand this is not a criminal investigation. t is an investigation to see if all the wild charges flying around have any merit. For instance JT claimed that a $5k piece of equipment is missing. Now they can ask him where did you get your information and what proof do you have?
    That will maker the snake squirm!
    dono

  4. #4
    Tony Fracasso - Admin
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    I'm just surprized at thier attitude " the gloves come off" Even the union should know that there are dishonest people in general. Thier attitude should be we will work with you and get to the bottom of things. They automatically go on the defense.

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    After watching the Town Board meeting last night on television, I can say without a doubt that I have little doubt there would be missing equipment. Amherst must have the biggest batch of confused managers in WNY. I was stunned at the obvious disarray the Town BOard was in during a discussion about the bondng of Sewer District finances. There was noone that even knew if it involved $200,000 or $400,000! It was eye opening to say the least. There was an amount of $160,000 that was already in place in the budget. But noone could or would say if it was going to be bonded.

    So, if all the talent on that stage didn't know left from right about $160,000, what makes anyone believe that people know where a $5,000 item is?

  6. #6
    Tony Fracasso - Admin
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    Originally posted by |- Amherst Stakeholder -|
    After watching the Town Board meeting last night on television, I can say without a doubt that I have little doubt there would be missing equipment. Amherst must have the biggest batch of confused managers in WNY. I was stunned at the obvious disarray the Town BOard was in during a discussion about the bondng of Sewer District finances. There was noone that even knew if it involved $200,000 or $400,000! It was eye opening to say the least. There was an amount of $160,000 that was already in place in the budget. But noone could or would say if it was going to be bonded.

    So, if all the talent on that stage didn't know left from right about $160,000, what makes anyone believe that people know where a $5,000 item is?

    Makes you wonder doesn't it. The sad part is elected officials seem insulted when the public questions them.

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    I was just wondering if some of the individuals that post on this website were confronted by an attorney, assistant department head, police, etc. without representation, how would you feel? It would make it awful difficult to refute answers to questions that were provided by a group vs an individual. When political positions are under scrutiny, millions of dollars spent on legal fees w/o any solution, some individuals may be getting desperate so close to an election. Just something to ponder (true or not).

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    Originally posted by |- Amherst Stakeholder -|
    After watching the Town Board meeting last night on television.
    ... Amherst must have the biggest batch of confused managers in WNY ... obvious disarray the Town BOard was in during a discussion about the bondng of Sewer District finances ... noone that even knew if it involved $200,000 or $400,000! ... But noone could or would say if it was going to be bonded.
    Hahahahahah! Yepper. I saw that. It was hi-larious. It's a keeper. They didn't have a freekin' clue. Oh, wait, that's not really anything noteworthy.

    Cheers!
    "Let's Kick The Hell Out Of The Status Quo!"

  9. #9
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    WNY Resident, Don't be so hard on the mentality of the Elected Officials. OK...So the Town is not doing so good with the Section 75 hearing for Canna, but is it that bad that you now need to attempt to blame the Plant Employees ? It appears that the Plant Employees are falling victim to the Town's inability to prove their case against Canna. Improper interrogations, Threats by the Town, Procedures ?? What procedures ?? Sounds like the employees and the Union have a right to sound bitter and go on the defense. Makes you wonder...who really is the bad guy, Canna?

  10. #10
    Member absolivious's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Smiley
    ... It appears that the Plant Employees are falling victim to the Town's inability to prove their case against Canna....Sounds like the employees and the Union have a right to sound bitter and go on the defense. ...who really is the bad guy, Canna?
    Good question - long overdue!
    Don't be suprised to see a head (or two) rolling... Not at 455 Tonawanda Creek Rd but at 1100 North Forest, with shock waves that will also likely be felt at 5583 Main -- just in time for election day.

    To -sort of- borrow campaign mantra of yore:
    "It's about the L-E-A-D-E-R-S-H-I-P stupid."

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    What should concern most people is the cost of the original court procedings then the rehearing of the case, then if it is found that the Town acted wrongly with their questioning of the employees, without cause, this could cost the taxpayers dearly. Alot of this (along with some nonapproved purchases) it has been said, are partially the doing of one assistant department head.

  12. #12
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    I can only inagine how difficult it must be, not only for the employees at the plant to be viewed by Town Management as criminals without a shred of evidence, but also for the Unions to work with the Town Officials. Is it any surprise to see the article in the Buffalo News tonight, which reports that another Union within the Town has started the process to take the Town to court over their actions that appear to be stemming from their frustration related to the Canna hearing. More legal problems and money to be spent. WOW !!! Where does the Town get all the money needed to do damage control from the action of the two attorney's that they hired to get rid of Canna. They even messed up the section 75 procedures so that entire process had to start all over again. Over $1 mil. for the section 75 (Canna) and how much more will be spent defending their action to the various judges that they will face from the legal actions filed by the CSEA and AEA. Hey....don't worry. It's only the Tax Payers money. When they run low they can find an excuse to just raise taxes to pay for their antics.

    Are we having fun yet ???

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    You can't possibly think ALL the councilmembers enjoy seeing tax payers' money wasted. They are tax payers, too. There is a very strong rumor that ONE of the councilmembers was well aware of the procedural error in the Canna Section 75 hearing and kept it to himself. Someone who would know better than ANYONE else on the Board when a legal mistake was being made. This individual - heralded as the advocate for the little guy - could have prevented the waste of hundreds of thousands of dollars. But he prefers the trouble and chaos this has caused. He knew if the hearing went against his pal, that he could raise this issue and it would be back to the drawing boards.

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    From what I have heard, the increased costs of this court action is the basis for the great increase in the Town sewer tax. The Town Board was so worried about a general Town tax increase, but this was like adding double or triple an increase on a house valued at around $100,000.

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    A legal expense could not be allocated to the sewer tax. That is a general fund expense. The state auditors would not allow it.

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