Viewpoint: City actions seem bull-headed 8/31/2006 - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Viewpoint: City actions seem bull-headed 8/31/2006

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August 31, 2006

Many of you have told me you are noticing a recurring theme in actions taken by our City Manager's office.

It seems they are making reckless snap decisions, no matter the cost, in the loss of key employees, important city services, and most recently, our citizen's safety.

You remember, I'm sure, the meltdown in March, over the bonuses paid city employees.

Two key employees resigned, and many lost all confidence in an incentive program designed to have a positive influence.

Too late and after the fact, the policies were re-examined for adjustments.

Next it was the debacle over the elimination of sick days accrued by city employees.

We could have had hundreds of veteran city employees take early retirement and basically shut down some of the city's services, at a cost of $6.8 million.

At the last minute, the city's stance was reversed and we averted a disaster.

Most recently, our city manager would not meet and negoiate with our school board on the payment for crossing guards.

I can't even believe our city has verbalized: "The city is not responsible for the safety of your children crossing the city streets on the way to school, and will not agree to shoulder any financial responsibility for crossing guards."

What happened at the 11th hour? You guessed it, the city decides it will pay for one-third of the expense.

There is a need for much more research and dialogue, before such bull-headed actions are taken. There should be much more open and accessible information shared with the media and the public on such important issues.

We should be embarrassed for vistors to our city to hear such actions taken,
and not be surprised when businesses do not want to locate here.

If these "shoot first and ask questions later" actions are sanctioned by the city commission, then it is time for some changes in the next election.

If Albany's Mayor sanctions this, then his bid for re-election is off to a very bad start.

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