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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..

MAY UPDATE



This past month the department said goodbye to three officers and a dispatcher. Master Police Officer Scott Jones retired after 25 years with NLPD. Scott started his police career at 19 years old as a UCONN cop at Avery Point, then left for Groton City Police before landing a job at New London. Scott worked as an Investigator in the vice unit and a main stay for most of his career on the midnight shift in the Patrol Division. He is set to begin his forth chapter in police work with the Mashantucket Tribal Police.

Sergeant Kristy Christina with 19 years of service retired May 1st due to injuries sustained on the job in 2017. Kristy served within each of the three divisions of the department. As a sergeant she supervised both in the Patrol Division and Investigative Services Bureau.  

Officer Patty Kehler with 13 years with the department also retires due to injury.  She served the department as a Patrol Officer, School Resource Officer and Vice Investigator. Patty earned the unique distinction as the first female motor officer to successfully graduate from the State Police Motorcycle Training Class.

Dispatcher Tiffany Shultz following in her mother's Robin Schwarze footsteps as longtime NLPD dispatcher who retired two years ago. Tiffany started a cupcake business on the side that began to require more of her time. Her rotating schedule at NLPD made it difficult to juggle both careers. She accepted a dispatcher job at Groton Town PD with a fixed schedule allowing her to grow her business.
All of these fine people served with dedication, distinction and honor protecting and serving the people of New London. We owe them our gratitude for their combined 60 plus years of police service. On behalf of all our members we wish Kristy, Scott, Patty and Tiffany health, happiness and prosperity in their future endeavors. You're watch is over, we'll take it from here.
Special thanks to Risk Manager Paul Gills for his tireless efforts hashing out an effective agreement between the City and police union of a bridge loan. The loan covers a funding gap from the state that would have created an undue hardship for these injured officers while waiting up to 12 months for their disability pensions to retroactively kick in when the City would be reimbursed.

At the same time we are moving forward after welcoming three new officers; Gus Salas a retired Detective from Connecticut State Police, Chris Rood a retired Detective from Willimantic Police and rookie Jose Pansini who is attending the police academy in Meriden. Additionally Officers Michael Jarvis and Joseph Hajj are expected to begin field training in early July following their graduation from the Milford Police Academy.

Congratulations also in order for Lieutenant Rob Pickett, S/Sergeant Kevin McBride and Sergeant Chuck Flynn who recently completed their 25th year of service at NLPD. They officially are members of the dinosaur squad joining fellow geriatrics: S/Sgt Greg Moreau with 36 years, Lt. Jeff Kaolo, S/Sgt Russ Cavanaugh and Detective Bill Pero with 34 years, MPO Roger Baker with 30 years and Jimmy Suarez 28 years.

In just six months New London voters will decide whether to re-elect Mayor Mike Passero to a second term or give a yet to be determined challenger a chance. We encourage any and all candidates to run for mayor. Challengers can objectify incumbent performance plus create a dialogue for new ideas to old problems and future goals.

One probable challenger is Republican Marty Olsen. Marty an affable lifelong city resident and long time city councilor. A true Whaler who wears his New London pride on his sleeve. Throughout his many years of public service he has been a vocal and consistent critic on the amount of reduced city services and a proponent of charter revision for more checks and balances between Council and Mayor.
Olsen believes the biggest issue facing New London is the school system ranking at the bottom of all measured areas with most people having an acceptance of this mediocrity and failure. His second issue would be lower property values and stagnant Grand List.
In 2011 when Marty ran for mayor and the police department was in upheaval with almost daily battles between the Union and police administration. Many of our best police officers were fleeing the agency for better employment options yet he supported former Chief Ackley over our rank and file concerns and believed the police department was adequately staffed - even though staffing was down a whopping 35%!
Recall if you will all of those lost police positions were fully funded, nobody was laid off. As officers left the City to escape the chaos, the former mayor and councilors used our police officer funding as a windfall for pork barrel spending on their pet projects - at police department expense. While they all parroted police staffing was adequate, the spending continued.
In 2013 as council candidate he stated his education and prior experience made him uniquely qualified to build consensus around a new vision for New London. While Olsen has been outspoken on many issues for over a decade we are not aware of any vision or solutions he has put forward resulting in improvements to the city's condition. New London's success need not only be a pathway to the future but someone capable of accomplishing it. Contrary to Marty's prior campaign propaganda he does not appear to be the candidate to do that.
Incumbent Mayor Mike Passero to his credit has quieted the once daily drama emanating from City Hall during the last administration. He has hired some competent personnel in key positions trying to stem the decades of failure in city government. He has exponentially improved labor relations with city unions, especially our police union with monthly meetings of open dialogue and action on issues we face. He has begun to hire more police and fire fighters, established a capital reserve account, consolidating city offices into one modern building and has increased the city fund balance while mindful of tax increases.
Make no mistake warts and blisters certainly remain throughout the city including crumbling infrastructure, citywide blight issues, low voter turnout and participation, then the bare naked truth of a deserted downtown. The number of streets desperately in need of repaving is a daily call to action, anyone else notice the trolley tracks sticking out of Broad Street? New London trolleys ceased operation in 1934!

Being fair there has been some measurable progress in a few areas: the closing of Crystal Ave high rises, a new construction project at Bank and Howard, continued progress on sidewalk improvements, potential of a huge development project on O'Neil Drive , rehabilitation of State Pier for off shore wind farm and an increase in the Grand List that should give Passero the upper hand to be re-elected and finish the work he has put into place.
If we had a wish list for the Mayor (other than increased police staffing) it would be converting the former Edgerton school or perhaps the vacant property opposite 194 Howard Street into a new, state of the art public safety complex. But If there's a single lesson that life teaches us, it's that wishing doesn't make it so - only in fairy tales.
Ultimately the solution to New London likely lies in creating more economic opportunity -- not just improvements to the physical environment -- in poor neighborhoods, but job creation that can really influence the shape of the city. For that reason alone the city should market itself to encourage new major businesses with good paying jobs to relocate to New London. Unless people who live in their neighborhoods have a way up, all those community development efforts may not do much good.

To do that New London needs to figure out what big businesses needs and wants. Then seriously market the city to attract those employers. If done right it will produce good paying local jobs, create ancillary businesses that improves the grand list and increases desperate tax revenue to reinvest in city services and infrastructure. Overly simplistic? Maybe but the master plan for the past 30 years of doing the same thing over and over hoping for a different outcome is the definition of insanity.

 

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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

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