Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Union leader rebuts Milone claim

The NHRs Luther Turmelle reports:

The police union president is taking issue with Town Manager Michael Milone’s characterization of efforts made to get union leaders and Chief Michael Cruess in the same room to resolve a dispute.

Police union President Kerry Deegan disputed a claim made by Milone last week that union leaders were reluctant to meet with Cruess to resolve the dispute, which came to head Oct. 2 with a nearly unanimous no-confidence vote against the chief.

“What he (Milone) said is misleading,” Deegan said. “He said to us in May that ‘an intervention needs to happen.’ But the only meeting we ever had was one in which the chief set the agenda and ran the meeting, and he (Milone) came late. It was pretty disappointing.”

Milone declined to respond to Deegan’s comments.

The TM should not be involved in this. The Council needs to take charge.

Hopefully by next Wednesday, October 21... the League of Women Voters' Council Forum will force people to go on the record with their views. This situation has existed for a long time and the Police Union has followed the chain of command appropriately. The least the Council members / candidates can do is let people know what they intend to do about it.

Tim White


Anonymous said...

Milone was late??

That is totally not right and could be the reason this escalated to where it is now.

He needs to answer why he allowed the chief to run the meeting instead of him running it. He tells the union they need someone to intervene, but then stays out of it...
And his contract was renewed why????

Anonymous said...

He may have been late for a good reason. But if the chief ran the agenda, that's not mediation. Now that this is out, the council needs to intervene. Sounds like a good time for someone to say we need to hire a consultant....just kidding.

Anonymous said...

Face it CPD...nothing is going to change. When the culture in the Town is "management is always right" nothing you say will change anything. They will listen, but ultimately, do nothing. Think about it, if you could go to work knowing there is never repercussions for your actions, would you care much about your workers or how you act? The only way to change this culture is to remove a large portion of existing upper management that have enabled this culture. Good Luck.

Anonymous said...

Normally this should be resolved by upper management. But the CPU has tried to work within the chain of command, and upper management (Milone) has not acted in good faith. Therefore the Council needs to get involved, beginning with appointment of an independent facilitator.

Anonymous said...

What a mess. There is plenty of blame to go round. In the end it is clear the police union, like most unions is full of workers who believe they are really special. In this case they are so special that their union believes the organization which employs them can be publicly manipulated for the good of the union.

The TM and the chief no doubt haven't helped this any. Neither appears to bring any real past experience in dealing effectively with unions and neither seems to have much experience beyond their tenure in this town. The TM appointed the current chief from a short list of home grown locals. Now the chief appears to report to the TM.

It is most amazing to just think about this whole thing. No doubt the individual police officers have had their annual performance reviews and on balance all did at least satisfactory. No doubt the same can be said for the chief and the TM. Could this just simply be a case of a town administrative/human resources system which in reality is just broke to begin with?

Now assuming everyone was found to be performing at the satisfactory level and inflated pay raises and massive benefits were dished out out to all playing the game we now hear how unfair and how unhappy everyone really is.

Maybe it's time for a bunch of these unhappy individuals stuck and mired in the town police malaise to move out and move on.

Anonymous said...

Whatis preventing the TC from meeting with the Union to determine what the issues are? Following this meeting they can determine whether the Union issues have merit and whether an outside investigation is warranted or if it should be handled from within. The Town Atty. statments seem very Pro-Chief and appear to be trying to frighten the TC from taking action.
Sometimes hard decisions have to be made. That is why you were appointed.
The TM has no choice but tp back the chief, Cruess was his appointment. The TM should realize that the Chief can fail on his own and it is not neccessarily his failing as well

Anonymous said...

9:21 said:
The TM and the chief no doubt haven't helped this any. Neither appears to bring any real past experience in dealing effectively with unions and neither seems to have much experience beyond their tenure in this town.

How much are we paying Milone? And to do what?

Anonymous said...

Two years worth of meetings to address the Chief's shortcomings????? What did the TM do to address those issues? Training?Counciling?Shadowing?
I would imagine that the CPD represents several hundred years worth of collective experince and training in law, 42 officers see an issue large enough to hold a vote after years of trying to work through the issue, and the answer is to sit down with the Chief "thier boss", who can impact thier daily lives.......
I dont believe this is about manipulation. If it was half the membership you could see that, but when an entire organization sees a problem that is a strong statement, and a call for help.

Anonymous said...

Why do we have a town attorney if we are not going to listen to him? He said the town manager should handle this, not the council. The chief of police needs to remain free of political pressure to do his job. That is why he is appointed by the town manager and not the council. If the council gets involved than the chief will be pressured by political promises that cannot and should not be fulfilled.

Let the town manager do his job per his job discription and legal councils advise

Anonymous said...

"... the town manager should handle this, not the council."

But the town manager has not handled this at all. Two years of meetings and no progress.

Clearly the council and/or an impartial third party need to step in.

And clearly only a new majority on the council can deal with this. If the current Dem majority is re-elected, they and Milone will just continue to sweep it under the rug.

Anne Giddings said...

As I commented a couple of days ago, the Council needs to get involved, but NOT by dealing directly with the CPD. The Council must EFFECTIVELY use the chain of command to insure that action is taken. I think I disagree with Tim here on the kind of action that the Council should take. This situation is reminiscent of some personnel situations that I dealt with as a school district administrator, when for excellent legal reasons the Board of Education could not get directly involved.

The Council did not consider the situation until its special meeting, although Tim did allude to a problem when he voted against the Manager’s contract. That special meeting was a good first step. Now the Council has to ensure, by working through the manager, that the importance of dealing with the situation is clear and that the problem is resolved.

This is a wonderful opportunity for all the Council members to work together. 5-4 does not have to apply here. The Council could unite to ensure that proper management action is taken. Yes, I am an optimist, but I also believe that the Council members can be amenable to reason and to the understanding of their role that I am confident Floyd Dugas gave them.

Anonymous said...

You are right that 5-4 voting does not have to apply, but it will. What ever the ratio is after the election, that will be how 99% of the votes will come out.

Everyone else,
This can be solved between Milone, Creuse, and Deegan. First, they need to get everyone that is not necessary out of the conversation. The council will only hider the outcome. Adding 9 more people to the conversation will make it more of an inquisition than a problem solving meeting. This will not happen over night. This will take time and money.

Anonymous said...

It is unfortunate that is has come down to this.
If it should and could be handled by Milone, Cruess, and Deegan, then why did it get this far?
I am not sure Milone is capable of handling it now or he just didn't think it was that important before.

Anonymous said...

"...If it should and could be handled by Milone, Cruess, and Deegan, then why did it get this far?..."

Clearly a bunch of whiners can play the public relations game to their advantage. if they can get coaching from an outside municipal employee labor union they will be emboldened.

If the TC lets itself get into the middle of this contest of spoiled whiners and push-back do nothing managers the outcome will probably make the pool look like a massive economic success.

The TC needs to stop taking direction from town employees. The TC needs to begin making senior managers accountable for policy level failures of town government.

Anonymous said...

"The TC needs to stop taking direction from town employees. The TC needs to begin making senior managers accountable for policy level failures of town government."