Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Decaprio: "I think it blindsided all of us"


I think it blindsided all of us. I didn't understand that it was at this point yet.

Yup. That's how the MRJ (by Jesse Buchanan, October 6, 2009) quoted her.

I certainly hope she wasn't referring to the full Council when she said that. I can speak for myself, thank you. And I certainly wasn't blindsided by this. Frankly, any Council member who was blindsided shouldn't be on the Council.

But to show just a bit of recent history on the situation, here are some 2009 highlights related to town employees. Though this is a quick recap and certainly incomplete, I think it paints the picture well enough:

January 28, 2009

The Cheshire Police Union got a new President, Lieutenant Kerry Deegan.

February 3, 2009

On the heels of several town residents (who are also town employees) voicing recessionary concerns about payraises for particular individuals, I asked the Personnel Chairman questions about pay increases for non-union employees.

February 7, 2009

The Personnel Chairman made it clear to me that he wasn't interested in the payraises... again... the concerns that were voiced to me by residents / employees.

March 4, 2009

The Council was informed of a proposed early retirement offer for some town unions. The Police were excluded from the offer. Why? I missed this one, but it's just one of many warning signs this year.

March 9, 2009

I again mentioned the disparity in payraises during the recession.

March 12, 2009

The NHR mentioned the early retirement option. Why aren't the police included?

March 22, 2009

I got beat up by a bunch of you for mentioning the new CPD dress code. One person wears a white shirt. Everyone else wears blue. Very minor detail? Yes. Part of a bigger picture? I think time will tell.

April 26, 2009

I asked for a status update on union negotiations.

April 29, 2009

I noted the Southington PD's vote of "no confidence" in their Chief. I then pondered Could such a widespread discontent exist in Cheshire? In the PD? In other unions?

May 8, 2009

I looked forward to learning the status of ongoing union negotiations.

May 13, 2009

We learned that one of our unions had already moved from negotiation to mediation. I wonder how long that negotiation lasted? Any chance it didn't go very well? Could that be part of a larger pattern of a tangentially-related personnel issue?

May 20, 2009

I joked that the teachers' union had agreed to concessions... of course, that was in Guilford... not Cheshire. But I also mentioned that while the Council majority continues to "show so much concern for the union across the street... they continue refusing to acknowledge the very serious morale problems that exist under their own noses... issues of which they've been aware for more than a year... and continue to ignore."

May 26, 2009

Nearly three months after the early retirement offer was proposed, neither I nor any other Council member asks why the option wasn't offered to the Police.

Memorial Day weekend 2009

I didn't mention on this blog, but several cops - who trust me - mentioned some serious concerns to me about the department.

June 15, 2009

Still no questions from the Council majority on the payraises of 5% to 7% during a recession.

Early July 2009

Two meetings had passed since some police officers had mentioned their concerns to me. So I asked staff if there was anything happening with the PD.

July 11, 2009

Just wondering aloud if the unions will agree to 0% increases on the heels of some people getting pay increases of 5% to 7%.

July 14, 2009

I experienced my shortest-ever regular Council meeting, excluding executive session. Hmmm... what might we have been discussing at great length during the executive session?

August 11, 2009

I described part of the evening's Council meeting by writing: The Town Manager's contract extension passed (7-1). I opposed it. I offered several thoughts - both complimentary and constructive. I may elaborate later this week. But in the meantime, if any reporters are reading this... I suggest you call Councilman Ecke to ask for his views. I think it would be interesting to mention to him that I voiced concerns about employee morale, particularly with the CPD. Then ask him if my concerns are legitimate. I'd find his response fascinating. Oh... and... btw, it wouldn't surprise me at all if that was part of why he wasn't there tonight.

My comments from the vote are here. If you scroll to 1:38, you'll hear me mention my concerns with the PD in particular:

October 2, 2009

The Cheshire Police Union, AFSCME 15, Local 1720 unanimously votes "no confidence" in Chief Cruess. The Town Council is personally notified by the union and the press release is withheld out of respect for the Council. The union wanted the Council to be notified before the press.

October 5, 2009

As a reporter is interviewing me for today's story, it's mentioned that the reporter knew about a possible "no confidence" vote back in May 2009.

October 6, 2009

"I think it blindsided all of us." - Council member Laura Decaprio (D-3)

What a bunch of nonsense.

But what may have been even worse than that comment was the apparent attempt to diminish the significance of this unanimous vote by mentioning a dress code grievance!

Anyone think there's going to be any 3rd district CPD officers voting for the incumbent? Heck... anyone think there'll be any union members voting for the incumbent? I suspect AFSCME could get out the word pretty easily, if they so chose.

Tim White


Anonymous said...

DeCaprio is a complete moron.
She doesn't do anything unless Hall, Altieri or Ecke tell her to. Of course she was blindsided, she is clueless to what is happening in this town.
Perhaps she was chatting with friends while all the discussion about personnel issues was going on.

Anyone who votes for her this November deserves to pay higher taxes while the towns debt continues to rise.

It is embarassing for a member of our TC to even say they were blindsided after 42 police officers make a vote of "no confidence" in our chief. That tells me that they are not paying attention to what is going on. What would other towns think of this?

Anonymous said...

Laura, you're in way over your head on the town council.

Anonymous said...

The only issue that blindsides Laura is reality.

Anonymous said...

What is that saying???, "Better to be silent and thought of as a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt!!!

Marc Antony said...
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Anonymous said...

Marc Antony said...
"you republicans are responsible for this police department"

How is that? Nothing in your ramplings supports your point.

FACT: this happened on the watch of the majority Democrats. They have run the town for the last 4 years while ignoring widespread employee discontent in several town departments.

Breachway said...

anon 11:27pm - you are right. It is obvious she is over her head. It has been for awhile.

Breachway said...

Knocking the PD for the Petite crime is just plain crazy. Get off it. I am not a big fan of cops but I don't bash them for just to bash them. I have lived in town for 17 years...been pulled over several times and rightfully so...they are professionals.

Let them harvest said...

Tim - why aren't the sunflowers being picked across from Boulder Knoll? Anything to do with the vote?

Anonymous said...

In today's Record Journal article on this "no confidence" matter, it states that the union gave a list of grievances to Milone back in May and that Creuss/Milone tried to work through it. Did any of the Town Council members see this list? At what point does the Town Manager throw up a warning flag to the Town Council about failed negotiations? Did Milone alert Altieri about this before the no-confidence vote? If so, why wasn't an executive session held to review the state of negotiations between Milone and the police union?

According the article, the Police chose to vote "No Confidence" not to oust the Police Chief but to let the Town Council know their frustrations with with negotiations going nowhere with Milone.

When will we start looking to replace Milone as Town Manager? Does it take a new Town Council, sans-Altieri, to maket his happen?

Marc Antony said...
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BreachwayPD said...

Hey Marc, get a life. My license plate had fallen off one time and i was speeding down Cook Hill the other time. Why are you so angry? Is it your name? Beat downs are a fact of life in a police department...its the American way. I have had a lot of interaction with PDs along the East Coast from a previous career...you should spend a few days with Philly or DC cops. If you arent a wise guy, you have no worries.....

John said...
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Anonymous said...

that why one quit the force and went to michigan??? - lived here my whole life never heard of any police chief moving to Michigan.. Who was that Marc? And as far as beatings and coverups? name names. One would imagine that lawsuits would have been filed. Can you expand on any of this drivel, otherwise you just come off as ignorant.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Marc Antony said...

and the way you are spelling happly hour tells us that you already got a good head start ugly pig