To the Editor:
The Mayor has been forced to announce a proposed incentive plan and there are too many questions one must ask but none so illuminating as "Why & Why Now?"
The head of the Legislative Council, Judy Kozak, claimed no knowledge of the proposal when it was clearly available administration outsiders. It was made available to me and the Head of the RTC made it public before the Mayor did. Is there something to hide, 'Why and Why Now'?
The Mayor has asked for and retained two consultants for a total taxpayer cost of $170,000 and the first one has not been publicly disclosed and the second one is not completed. The timing is poor and suspect so 'Why and Why Now'?
The pension plan is publicly acknowledged to be underfunded, the Legislative Council and the Mayor want us to think that they were blameless when the Auditors have told them for years what was required but they still over spent, agreed to expensive union contracts for votes and made poor management decisions for political favors rather than for good government. It makes no sense to encourage withdrawals from the pension plan without guaranteed savings. Very suspect and bad government so 'Why and Why Now'?
When campaigning for Mayor, Jackson made statements that the pension plan could not be terminated in order to safeguard the votes from labor obtained through contract negotiations. It is clear the pension plan can be terminated and bad politics are continuing to plague Hamden. Who will benefit from this plan, 'Why and Why Now'?
There is no detailed information offered as to how many or who is eligible and to whether their positions are those that would be laid off. Very suspect and bad government so 'Why and Why Now'?
We are told that new hires would be hired at a lower salary but the Legislative Council has a record of paying more than necessary ("can't get steak with a hamburger budget") and the Board of Education wishes to escalate the retired superintendent and suggests the new superintendent from $155,000 to over $200,000. No guaranteed savings from new hires. Very suspect and bad government so 'Why and Why Now'?
Businesses use incentive plans only when they know that the positions will not be filled. This has not been shown to be the case here so we have to ask 'Why and Why Now'?
The answer must be "Politics" as there is no rational, good business motive here. The taxpayer stands to lose (again), some are sure to gain at their expense and for no good reason. The politics has to stop as Hamden can not exist with its current high taxes and poor returns on taxpayer dollars.
The Legislative Council must vote "No" and send a message to the administration that the taxpayer and residents have to come first and foremost!
Charles M. Baltayan