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Local 724 Political News
Keep it right here for you latest Team 724 news and events.
Political Director Chuck Flynn will posting vital info to the campaign
and Team 724's next move..

NOVEMBER UPDATE

Connecticut finally approved a $41 billion two year budget after a record setting 118 days late. No raise in income or sales tax and New London came away with minimal loss in state funding. This essentially veto proof budget now rests with the governor to dot the 'I's, cross the 'T's and move on. While our elected officials in Hartford preen their feathers while congratulate each other on finally approving a budget they enacted unnecessary pain on their constituents and voters should remember these days when they face re-election in November 2018.

With a budget finally in place and no gubernatorial candidates with statewide name recognition our money is on Lt. Governor Nancy Wyman to enter the race. Wyman has been described as certainly partisan when she has to be but she's instinctively fair with incredible inner strength and self deprecating charm compared to Dan Malloy's wonkish intensity. Harford insiders continue to suggest Governor Dan Malloy will step down in early 2018 and allow Wyman to become governor allowing her to run for the office as an incumbent.

This past fall the state came to an agreement with hospitals on a new tax plan. The complicated back-and-forth arrangement of state taxes and payments back to the hospitals actually is employed by most states as a means to leverage federal aid. In 2011 the industry paid $350 million in taxes and got back $400 million in supplemental payments. As state government struggled frequently with budget deficits over the past six years, the tax grew while the supplemental payments shrank.

Hospitals paid $556 million in total last fiscal year and received $118 million back. So while the state will make money from hospital taxes localities get none of that revenue and the payment in lieu of taxes (PILOT) program has never worked as promised and essentially dead for any real reimbursement to municipalities.
L&M Hospital and its affiliation with Yale New Haven Health provides an invaluable service to the community, but are they also a large corporation making millions of dollars and getting even richer off the tax breaks afforded by their exempt status?

While we don’t pretend to know that answer we do know L&M is another city tax exempt entity that places a huge demand on our police/fire services with over 500 calls for services in 2017 alone. Calls ranging from assaults on staff, unruly combative patients, found street drugs and or patients with arrest warrants and fire alarms. The sector car assigned to the south part of the city routinely spends much of each shift at the hospital instead of patrolling the assigned area. Bottom line we tie up a lot of manpower and city expenses each week at the hospital while the city gets no tax revenues in return. Maybe it's time for City Hall to have discussions with hospital officials for voluntary payments.

Municipal elections are just days away with many incumbents and former councilors vying for another term to serve with the usual platitudes used for the past 40 years: ", New London is a diamond in the rough, waiting to be discovered, on the cusp of turning around, etc, etc, etc. Reality is the city can't figure out what it wants to be or how to get there and faces dire fiscal challenges.
Councilors should be tasked to develop a five and ten year plans of what the future of the city should be then actually implement it to enhance revenues, increase city services and become attractive to new development. Because the status quo for the last two generations is strangling New London. You can't complain if you don't vote, so shape tomorrow by voting this Election Day.

Taxpayers claim the city budget is excessive demanding lower spending in hopes of lower taxes but city municipal spending is already thread bare with understaffed departments citywide leaving it unable to improve upon city services. With almost one third of the annual operating budget from state handouts, is taxpayer rationale that city spending cuts will be backfilled by the state? Are residents willing to accept even less city services and if so, what services are next to be eliminated? Will those cuts make the City even more unattractive?
Some share the idealistic political stance that government should be run like a business. But reality is business exists to make a profit with the luxury of dumping a line of business that’s not profitable or streamline offerings to serve a particular sector of the population. Government agencies don't have that option and provides services for all citizens through "the common good"– things like roads, schools, and police protection.

We want to thank our City Councilors for recently voting unanimously 6-0 (one abstention) approving our three year labor contract. The lack of a state budget makes for hard choices but this council realized our challenges and how hard our members work trying to preserve public safety in the city by accepting the agreement.

kris wriaghtBefore the council voted for our contract, anti-police agitator-in-residence Kris Wraight pleaded with city councilors to deny the police contract and instead use designated police funding to replenish any BOE cuts being discussed with her outrageous suggestion that to approve the police contract and not take the police funding to restore BOE funding would directly cause New London children to become criminals.
While she has every right to be heard as everyone else, it is troubling that Ms. Wraight a sitting member of the Police Community Relations Committee charged with improving police relations spouts such inflammatory nonsense. But upon closer look of her anti police antics, her views should not come as a surprise since her beliefs revolve around people with power, privilege and oppression in social hierarchy and those that don’t. In fact she offers seminars that, "encourages to interrupt these systems of oppression with an application of anti-oppression framework with those who have a willingness to interrogate power".
karl marxWraight's views mirror similar Marxist class struggle beliefs and trigger words against the establishment (you and me) and sound like phrases often used by Bob Avaian, leader of the Revolutionary Communist Party USA. Avian dreams of a communist overthrow of America where, "Everyone who hungers for a radically different world, free of exploitation and oppression and all the needless suffering caused by this system, needs to work now with a fired determination to make this happen, so we will have a real chance to win". Kris continue to offer your beliefs in public as you have only yourself to blame for becoming more irrelevant every day, keep up the good work.


Executive Board members are grateful for the continued success of our ongoing fundraising campaign to purchase new police K9's. We have raised almost $19,000 of our $28,000 goal allowing us to purchase two dogs named Rocky and Jesse who start a 12 week patrol and drug detection training program this month before deployed to the streets.
However our work is not done, the Union intends to purchase two more patrol K9's in July upon completion of our fundraising efforts. Thanks you everyone who has generously donated to date.
We encourage all of our readers to make your donation today to ensure the future success of our K9 Unit. Any amount is gratefully accepted. Your check can be mailed to: New London Police Union- K9 Fund, PO Box 135, New London, CT or for your convenience utilize our New London K9 Unit gofundme page.

Did you know that one in eight New London County residents is food insecure? That’s 34,670 of your neighbors. In addition, one in six, or 10,840, children is food insecure. Please join Local 724 at the New London Shop Rite on Saturday November 18th from 9:00 am - 4:00 pm for our 2017 Pack the Paddy Wagon Food and Turkey Drive. Come down to Shop Rite and donate nonperishable food items or a frozen turkey, or even both. All donations benefit the Gemma E. Moran United Way/Labor Food Center which are used to fill traditional holiday baskets and support holiday community meal sites in New London County. Our members look forward to meet and greets with our community at large. We also encourage all of our city luminaries to stop by and say hello and maybe even get their photo posted on our web page.

 

 

 

October Update


Pericles was a famous Athenian statesman and orator in the later 5th century who is quoted "just because you do not take an interest in politics does not mean politics won't take an interest in you".
Local 724 has said many times organized labor must have a seat at the politicians table or your probably on their menu. In April 2013 Vice President Joe Biden confirmed those thoughts in a speech to Michigan Democrats was quoted " Labor must have a seat at the table". We believe all politics is local and politics decides who gets what when. Local 724 continues to ensure our members not only have a seat but that we are heard.

In early September Comptroller Kevin Lembo abruptly ended his exploratory campaign for governor removing the best-known Democrat from the field for 2018. The announcement eliminates one of the better known Democrats from a crowded field of candidates mulling a run for the nomination to succeed Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy who is not seeking re-election in 2018. Lembo simultaneously announced his candidacy for re-election as comptroller. His announcement does not signify an entrance into the race by Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman, a former mentor whom Lembo has said he would support for governor. Nancy Wyman continues to consider her options and won't make any decision until the state passes a budget.

Meanwhile persistent rumors from all over Hartford political insiders that Malloy will step down before his term ends in January 2019 and allow Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman to become governor. Malloy, under the scenario, would then take a high-ranking position at UCONN or another college. Malloy calls the rumors crazy insisting he's not going anywhere. But he is known to spin things as in August 2014 when running for a second term told a reporter , “We really don’t have a deficit,” he said. “I know that’s hard to believe.” Yes governor, it's hard to believe that you didn't see what everyone else saw.

With no gubernatorial candidate with statewide name recognition in the race former Secretary of State Susan Bysiewicz is considering entering the field as a potential candidate for governor. Bysiewicz served three terms as secretary of state from 1998 to 2010. This wouldn't be the first time that she sought higher statewide office. However, her prior runs for governor, attorney general, and Senate all ended in spectacular failure. Bysiewicz dropped out of the 2006 gubernatorial race against GOP Gov. Jodi Rell to seek re-election. She ran for governor again in 2010 when Rell retired, but also dropped out of that race before the Democratic primary after spending a year on the campaign trail. Bysiewicz then tried to run for attorney general in 2010, but the state Supreme Court found she lacked the legal qualifications to run because she hadn't actively practiced law for the necessary 10 years.

As the fall season settles in we have endured over 90 days without a state budget caused by our feckless representatives in the Legislature unable to accomplish anything. This stalemate has compounded the usual fiscal crisis in New London already paralyzed by many years of severe belt tightening due to frail city budgets. While tax payers rightfully bicker over their tax rate and its impact on them, the city can't or won't raise enough revenue to properly fund their obligations for the cost of doing business. Their perpetual mantra of deferred maintenance and procurement until catastrophic failure is a disturbing reality. Not even squeaky wheels get the attention around here anymore. There comes a time and place where it's simply is no longer safe to continue as usual and by all accounts - we're there.

New London like many distressed cities is on the brink of collapse given the sky-high unemployment, crime issues and array of social woes that afflict us , many people have given us up for dead. Just look at the number of houses for sale south of the hospital. What's more, traditional city services have been overwhelmed. In fact just this past week the public learned what we have been saying for quite some time. While crime rate in surrounding areas has declined New London has increased. Violent crime up 26% and property crimes up 17%. It's time for a municipal turn around before New London is the new Detroit and there is not much time left on the clock.

New London can watch things happen, make things happen or wonder what happened. The City needs to make things happen with a definitive five and ten year plan to attract developers and business that bring in real jobs. Develop our deep water port, develop Ft. Trumbull, attract bio-medical fields that compliment the hospital, go after defense industries that can synergize efforts from EB projects, sell Ocean Beach to the right developer that can make it the sparkling gem it once was. Take for example where was New London's bid to attract Amazon wishing to expand with a new facility?
New jobs will bring in a workforce that wants to move close to their employer, provides city new tax revenues and people with disposable income that will support city small businesses. Decide what downtown wants to look like and find ways to redevelop it. Or… continue to wonder what happened wishing New London realizes it's untapped potential all by itself as it sinks into insolvency.

Our friends Sherman and Mr. Peabody fired up the Way Back Machine again, this time we set the dial to our October 2016 update where news articles regarding an OSHA inspection on our mold infested and dilapidated police headquarters conditions made news. At the time risk manager Paul Gills was quoted then that issues inside the police department as "this is a top priority from a liability and safety standpoint". We reminded Paul then he would have a chance to see if his words actually translate into deeds. So how's he doing?
Well, first the good news: the building is moderately cleaner with a more focused daily maintenance schedule, the lunch room and men's locker room bathroom were remodeled, some wooden booking area doors were replaced with metal ones and some new basement florescent lighting was installed.

Then there's bad news:: building still leaks during rain storms, cell blocks require significant safety upgrades, rodent/bug infestation, radio system still not been upgraded, no emergency alarm in processing area, report room not remodeled, broken furniture still exists or cheap replacements being utilized, outdated and obsolete IT system/hardware with almost daily failures, and police parking lot too small. Paul you may need to refocus your efforts or explain to us what just your meaning of top priority is.

While we're on the topic of our daily challenges, police fleet management best practices recommends city police patrol car replacement every 4 years. Reasons include significant wear and tear of these emergency vehicles which makes it cost prohibitive to keep them safe and reliable for the officers or the public should a catastrophic part failure occur. Similarly managers recommend a 7 year life span for detective and support staff vehicles while police motorcycles average 3-4 years of service.

So as we take a peek behind the curtain here in the Whaling City we see our Patrol fleet numbers 25 vehicles, the average age is 5.3 years. However 19 patrol vehicles are 6 years or older with the oldest (2006) being 11 years old. Support Services has 12 vehicles average age is 8.3 years, 11 are over 7 years or older with the oldest (2001) being 16 years old. Our two motorcycles average age is 15.5 years with the oldest (2001). Another words 31 of our 39 vehicle fleet or 80% of the police fleet are being utilized beyond their recommended life span.
Recent examples last weekend of August three cruisers downed for overheated engines, second week of September two cruisers downed for blown transmissions, while two others slip badly waiting for transmission repairs.
Another example is our "new" radio system. In May 2013 with much fanfare New London announced it was on the "verge of a new era in radio communication" as part of a $2.38 million system overhaul. This joint venture with Waterford allowed police and fire to utilize the more advanced 800 megahertz digital network with promised better interoperability and coverage and "flawless between our two towns". So here we are 4 1/2 years later no closer to joining Waterford that we were in 2013.

Unfortunately any New London story is ruined by the facts, City Office of Economic Development oversaw the project and went cheap on the actual required costs taking the risk it was to be a quick 12-24 months to regionalize dispatch with Waterford so they never installed enough antennas creating dead spots for city wide coverage and failing to keep up with required periodic system upgrades. Digital radio is black and white -it only works when it has a deliberate signal-or it doesn't work at all. Unlike analog radios like your car radio where you could pick up weaker signals. There are very real dead spots throughout the city where police portable radios don't work.

When the USS Cole visited the City last month the Norwich Police Marine Unit provided harbor security because we sold our boat years ago. To witness other agencies doing our work in our own city because once again we lack the manpower/equipment/resources. Subcontracting out our jobs is demoralizing but our reality nonetheless. That’s what happening behind the big curtain no one wants you to see.

The City is very aware of these and other police agency issues but doesn't hasn’t' found the will and/or ability to secure the money and address it in the last five budget years or the new FY17-18 budget. Frankly we don't expect it addressed in the next five years either. However ignoring the problem or feigning ignorance a problem even exists won't make it better by itself. There are very real consequences due to this continued and deliberate failure to act creating liabilities which could very well bite the city in the ass from future civil litigation.

As advocates for our membership we believe it is important for you the taxpayer to know just how your money is and is not being spent on city public safety issues and to hold your elected officials accountable, especially in 2017- when all City Councilors are up for re-election.
Despite these daily hardships our men and women continue to do excellent work the past few weeks where they have interrupted several burglaries in progress with suspects caught in the act, arrested several suspects for assaults, carjacking, robberies and significant drug violators which just scratches the surface of our members continued commitment to protect and serve.


We are excited to announce our K9 Unit fundraising campaign goal of $28,000 to obtain two German shepherd patrol dogs started in mid September and in a just few short weeks have raised almost $14,125 with very generous donations of $3,000 from the Buscetto Family, $5,000 each from Tantor Media of Old Saybrook and Curtin Livery of Waterford. To enhance the campaign and simplify community contributions we started a Go Fund Me page. The link is on the top of Local 724 web site.
Join our team helping our K9 Unit take a bite out of crime by making your contribution on our go fund me link or by check payable to: New London Police K9 Fund, PO Box 135 New London, CT. 06320. Be the real hero and donate today!
click to donate

As an added incentive if your business donates to the K9 Fund we'll post your company logo and web site link on our New London Police Union web page as our way of saying thanks!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 



 


   


Why Political Action

THE DECISIONS that a legislative body makes, whether it is a school board, city council, county board, state legislature, or the U.S. Congress, affect AFSCME members and their families in dramatic ways.

Elected officials vote on budgets that affect employee wages, benefits, working conditions and pensions. They vote on issues of particular concern to AFSCME members, like privatization, and they vote on broader issues of concern to all working families, such as health care reform and workers' compensation. That's why working people need to have allies among elected officials. And that's why working people need to work to elect these allies.

The Local 724 executive board has the collective responsibility to provide vision and direction for the local. It is up to the leadership team to look ahead, set goals and develop a plan to make strategic planning a critical element to having a strong union which can only come about when membership is informed, educated and active.

Unions can never hope to match the hundreds of millions of dollars big business pours into every election. But working people have superior numbers, so they can get out in the streets and work for candidates. And if members pool their cash, unions can help make sure that their endorsed candidates have enough funds to compete against business-backed opponents in the ever-more important media ad wars.

Through the political process we can be involved in setting important public policy. Through the political process public employees can elect representatives who are sensitive to maintaining vital public services and committed to dealing with workers fairly.

Local 724 accomplishes this through political action in conjunction with the exercise of collective bargaining process, growth and community involvement to produce a just and rewarding workplace.

   

Local 724 gets recognized on the national level!

On January 28, 2011 at the Council 4 Campaign for the Middle Class Seminar in Meriden The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), AFL-CIO thanked the New London Police Union- Local 724 for their efforts in the Labor 2010 campaign.

Lee Saunders, International Secretary-Treasurer and AFSCME Council 4's Sal Luciano who is also an International Vice President honored Local 724 with a certificate "In recognition of their tireless work and commitment during the 2010 State of Connecticut general elections". To this day labor leaders throughout the state continue to praise our Malloy/Wyman Pre-Debate Rally as a new benchmark of what local labor can achieve when committed to a goal.

Chuck Flynn was honored to accept the award on behalf of our entire membership which will hang proudly in the 724 "Hall of Justice". I want to personally thank everyone that participated in some way no matter how big or small. Our election success was due to the collective efforts of our TEAM-Together Everyone Accomplishes More.

 


724 helps East Lyme fight the cause

Why Political Action


Shooting from the lip
Political Director C Flynn

4 Crippling Leadership Mistakes