Thursday, December 18, 2014

County airport

Legislator Marie Schadt has some good ideas for the county airport.  Of course, the Republicans aren't going to listen to her because she's a Democrat.

The airport has been a bone of contention for decades. Some claim it's used by only an elite few who act as if they own it-- so why not let them.

The airport was shrouded in controversy back in the 80's and 90's when neighbors complained that planes flew in and out all night-- along with some interesting vehicle traffic.

Many presumed that drugs were being transported via the airport, and before long, apparently the authorities did too.

For months, a man would go sit in the airport lounge, drinking coffee. No one knew what he was doing there and no one asked, after all, it's a public place.

 Chuck Ely, who was somewhat of a fixture at the airport before becoming airport coordinator in 1989, did become suspicious after a while and it wasn't long before it was learned that the mysterious man was Peter Andreoli, a state prosecutor and the man who brought down then-mayor of Syracuse Lee Alexander.

Things quieted down real quickly at the airport-- for a few years. Then, the middle-of-the-night activity started again. Ely kept close watch when the complaints came rolling in.

When Ely was confronted in the mid-1990's about drug running from the airport, he promised it would stop. And he kept his word. He knew it was going on but he, being a loyal Republican, wasn't in a position to blow anyone in. It was something that he would later say he regretted. 

Ely would tell some of those he was close with who was going in and out at night. Back then, the airport wasn't secure as it is today.

Just like a plane, some things go full circle. Timing. It's all about timing.

Monday, December 15, 2014

What a difference a few miles makes

If you're going to put in for time not worked, you may as well do it in Oswego County.

These Onondaga County deputies were indicted for falsifying time sheets. Now, here in Oswego County it's apparently not a chargeable offense.

We, like many in the public, are waiting to see what the county legislature does about the discrepancies in the time sheets and GPS records of highway employees Brian Kehoe and Ken Wheeler.

To refresh memory, both Wheeler and Kehoe's GPS records show them at various non-work locations when they put down on their time sheets that they were at work.

Kehoe lost his take-home county pickup as the result of highway superintendent Kurt Ospelt's half-hearted probe, but then Ospelt allowed Kehoe to pick up the truck at the Pulaski Garage every morning so that he doesn't have to drive all the way from his northern Oswego County home to Scriba.  And to add insult to the injury the taxpayers have already suffered, Kehoe is on the call-in list for overtime.

It's pathetic that the legislators and Ospelt have turned a blind-eye on this. There's a group of residents ready to bring the county to court, but they have been told to hold off as an outside agency is investigating. 

Whether it's done by an outside agency or residents taking the county to court, chances are something will happen. What a shame that the DA in Oswego County doesn't act as efficiently as the DA in Onondaga County.

Friday, December 12, 2014

County's false budget

Well... the Oswego County Legislature passed the 2015 budget last night (all Democrats opposed) with a 1.5 percent tax increase. What people don't understand is that the 1.5 percent is the generic tax rate and their tax increase will be more than that.

The tax rate was lowered due to false budgeting, by inflating revenue lines even though the chances of meeting the line is next to impossible.

With the price of gas on the decline, sales tax revenue is likely to go down, yet they raised the anticipated revenue line.

The treasurer's office raised three revenue lines. Fat chance they'll meet that.

The nuclear plants weren't taken into consideration either. That could come back to take a big bite out of taxpayers.

Legislators made no real cuts or taxpayer accountability and there seems to be some mistakes in the budget that no one caught.

Legislator Shane Broadwell, who we hear will be the next majority leader, tried to insult the Democrats when they proposed some budget cuts, claiming that they wait to do it on the floor instead of in committee.

Minority Leader Mike Kunzwiler set him straight mighty quick.  The Dems are always proposing cuts- the Republicans just never listen. They're too busy worrying about who's going to be the majority leader, the legislature chairman, and who's going to kiss Mike Backus' feet and who isn't.

Following the afternoon session, the Beardsley gang-- Bob Hayes, Steve Walpole, John Martino, David Holtz, et al, went to Vona's together. Probably enough for a committee quorum.

We hope the Dems run someone against Broadwell. Talk to people in his district and they'll tell you they can't stand him. He's a pompous ass on the legislature floor and he's condescending to anyone who doesn't have as much money as he- although doesn't most of his come from the state and federal government? A welfare of sorts?

Back to the budget. You folks in Hannibal reading this had best watch your tax bill. The amount figured for the community college costs seem exorbitant and could be incorrect. It's $1.9o more than the Town of Scriba and is almost equal to the cities. Somethings amiss. 

We hear that the treasurer's office is still paying overtime to one of its employees. Why? That was only supposed to happen between Mark See leaving and Robin yellow-hair taking over.

What a mess.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Well, this is interesting

We hear that Legislator Shane Broadwell is going to be the next majority leader of the county legislature.  We wonder what will happen to Bucky?  Did he get cast aside? Will he be getting something more important, like chairman of the Bovine Committee? Did the Beckwith Road do him in?

We've also heard that the Republicans are all divided and spar like crazy. Guess  they aren't in the holiday spirit. Michael Backus should get his caucus together, but we hear most of them can't stand him and don't listen to him. 

Passing over Bucky for Broadwell is no improvement for the majority.  


After getting a new chief accountant and changing the independent auditing firm that has been doing the county treasurer's books for years, now treasurer Fred Beardsley wants to move the county's money to another bank.

Why so many changes? 

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Maybe no tax rebate next year

Depending on what the county legislature does with the final budget, residents could lose the rebate checks that were sent out this year. 

If the legislature does an override of the tax cap, even if they end up not going over, there will be no checks in the mail at the end of next year.

The waste in county government is astronomical. County officials won't put in time clocks and employees cheat their hours. Former county administrator Steve Lyman used to go around and make sure employees were where they were supposed to be when they were supposed to be.  We doubt Phil Church does that. Heck, we're told he leaves early plenty of days.

When Mr. Lyman caught someone cheating their hours, he had the employee sign in and out at his office. 

What a shame the taxpayers must pay for so much waste.

Monday, December 8, 2014

It's a small world

Over the weekend, we received some compelling documentation that proves some people who claim they don't know other people, do know one another.

This documentation, including pictures, proves people were together partying years ago.

Yes, we are talking about the Heidi Allen case and no we aren't posting the pictures because we were asked not to because of the upcoming hearing of Gary Thibodeau.

We will say that absent from these partying pictures are Gary and Richard Thibodeau.

Really? No Thibodeau's?
But the people in them...

We're sure will come out at the hearing. And they might have some explaining to do.

Friday, December 5, 2014

So much for the county's new dress code

You might want to pop down to the county treasurer's office before chief accountant Robin McMillen leaves for the day.

We are told she has bright yellow hair and is wearing an orange hunter cap, jeans and pink boots.

The county has a new dress code which they apparently aren't enforcing.

Way to go Republicans. Professionalism at it's finest!

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Judge Hafner may be getting poetic justice

Well it looks as if one of Oswego County's former ADA's is under investigation by the FBI.

Mary Rain, now the DA in St. Lawrence County, may have gotten herself into hot water.  Read the letter about the FBI investigation here.  Rain didn't get along too well with Judge Hafner as you will see here. 

Rain worked for Donald Dodd when he was the DA. Wonder if she had anything to do with the Thibodeau case?

All hell breaks loose in county highway

It's no surprise that the county highway department didn't stay quiet for long.
Highway Superintendent Kurt Ospelt and/or his sidekick deputy Jim Kelley are doling out warning letters about sick time.

The employees earn sick time but apparently aren't allowed to use it all. Once an employee has less than 40 hours of sick time available in a year, they are issued a warning letter and threatened to have a week's vacation taken away.

One employee under the gun for falling under forty hours is the son of a legislator.  Allegedly he requested a day off because he rented a cabin, and was denied.

So, employees are angry that they can't use time off that they rightly earned. The county puts itself in the predicament because they are overly generous with sick and vacation time. Heck, those working downtown pretty much come and go as the please, but some of their on-the-honor-system time sheets never reflect it.  There was an employee in the county clerk's office who would sign in and disappear for the day but you'd never know it by her time sheets. 

And even though he's salaried, the highway employees will tell you that Ospelt comes and goes as he pleases. 

What's irking the employees equally as much is why Brian Kehoe's time sheets and GPS records don't match at all, yet he was never punished other than having his truck taken away, now gets to pick up his truck in Pulaski so he doesn't have to drive all the way to Scriba, and is on a call-in overtime list. 

So... Legislator Weatherup... when are you going to start questioning Kehoe's time sheets? Or are you just going to let your son get the screws put to him? It's pathetic that the public has yet to receive their money back, that they needed to go to an outside investigative agency for help, and that your own son did far less worse and is being more severely punished. When will you be asking the sandman about all of this?

Do your job, Legislator Weatherup.