I Am a Chronic Nuisance

You know how you look at a word too long and it suddenly doesn’t look spelled right to you? That’s “nuisance” to me right now. Whew! I heard a great idea yesterday [related to the proposed nuisance ordinance] and ran with it today.

The price tags belong to cafe’press; I am not profiting from the sale of the merchandise. Order right away and you can pay econo shipping and still get your stuff in time for the next City Council meeting. And if there’s anything else you want to see decorated with this declaration, let me know and I’ll add it to the shop.

Free speech rocks!

9 thoughts on “I Am a Chronic Nuisance”

  1. not sure if I am posting this in the right spot but wanted to clarify something


    I wrote last week commenting on the reclassification of two secretary positions and it appears I may have offended some people. If that is the case, I apologize, but I still think they were singled out and not being treated fairly by the two members of the council who voted against the reclassification of their positions.

    Let me try to explain.

    I fully understand the budget crisis, hiring freeze and all the good recommendations of the FAC but really question the fairness when looking at the total picture.

    Please refer to page 60 of the FY09 city budget. The FY09 budget for the Fire Department calls for the creation of 4 new positions called Battalion Chiefs. In order to file these positions there will be one less Captain and 3 less Firefighters. The total number of personnel at the Fire Department will remain constant at 63 but the creation of this new position will ultimately result in promotions for 10 people. (4 Captains to Battalion Chief, 3 Lieutenants to Captain, and 3 Firefighters to Lieutenant.) All of these promotions will result in a higher rate of pay and other compensation benefits when taken as a whole. ( I.E When a Battalion Chief takes a day off a Captain will serve as “acting Battalion Chief and receive Acting BC Pay. Then A LT will serve as acting Captain receiving acting Captain Pay and a Firefighter will serve as Acting Lt and receive acting Lt pay and most likely a firefighter will have to be called in to cover the firefighter position.)

    All of this gets quietly passed without a whisper of comment or complaint from anyone on the Council yet when the lowest paid member of the department ( the secretary) is getting a title change there is a grandstand presentation by a few telling everyone how they cannot support this during a budget crisis and a time the city is under a hiring freeze. How can we afford the promotion of 10 administrators of the fire department yet cannot afford the reclassification of a secretary?

    I do not know who the secretary is but it sure appears to me that she (or he) and that position are being treated differently and I do not feel it is fair.


    I apologize in advance if I offend someone but this is just my opinion of what occurred


  2. Pevo, I think the difference in response may have to do with the difference in scrutiny. Speaking for myself, the x-ray vision has been on Administrative Services and Community Development; with the Fire Dept., the big thing seemed to be the overtime. IOW, it got past me. Maybe it got past Council, too. So much for them being part-time jobs.

    I’m not aware of anyone taking offense but the climate is such that some might be tempted to take a shot at a person who seems sympathetic to certain city employees…

  3. Hey Pevo, the angry AFSME guy giving a speech at the city the other night was correct in saying that police and fire get a pass. The promotions are in fire, not anywhere near Biernacki’s area. The fire chief probably allowed the promotions. The proposed Chronic Nuisance secretaries proposed change to administrative assistants are too close to Biernacki’s area. I think you are correct about there not being fairness about the promotions, but many of us don’t trust Biernacki for one second and those promotions are totally associated with him. If Biernacki wasn’t around, I might be far more inclined to think about promotions elsewhere. If there are any AFSME union members reading this, there are enough of us in the public who don’t like Biernacki. Speaking for myself, I have nothing against AFSME, but lots against Biernacki. Without a contract, Biernacki can run amok. Any employee without a contract cannot say anything about anything for fear of getting canned practically right on the spot. It is in the public interest to make the city get a contract for these people ASAP.

    The T-shirts are hilarious. I enjoyed the “DeKalb, Home of the Barbed Liar” and “I didn’t read it” T-shirts from last year, thanks to John Q. Public for them: http://www.cafepress.com/barbedliar

    We may need another design, Winking Wogen.

    Here’s another fashion statement, and what Flint, Michigan considers a chronic nuisance, saggers:


    Maybe the ACLU can get weeds declared a freedom of expression next.

  4. Young people call this unkempt look a fashion choice. But for David Dicks, Flint’s new police chief, it’s a national nuisance. Dicks has ordered his officers to start arresting “saggers,” as some aficionados of this sartorial style call themselves, on sight, threatening them with jail time and hefty fines for a fad he calls “immoral self expression.” He later told a local paper the style could give officers probable cause to search saggers.

    What’s left to search? And how is this worse than “plumber’s butt?”

    I like the Winking Wogen idea. Maybe John Q. will pick up on that? I think I’m going to work on something in the area of Revoke Home Rule next.

  5. Anon.

    You are correct on the AFSCME statement and speach at the last council meeting. In my opinion, and again I apoligize in advance if I offend someone, the real future of the operating budget is going on right now in these negotiations. Let me try to explain.

    Although allot of issues get mixed together, the real budget problems facing the city fall within the Corporate or Operating budget. This is the fund that covers the day to day operations of the city. And, as has been pointed out on many occasiosn over 85% of the expenses in this fund are employee related. One can cut training, office supplies, coffee funds or whatever but until someone tackles the issues of pay and benefits the “crisis” will continue.

    Given that data one can assume that a large percentage of these personnel costs fall within the three major union contracts or labor agreements. These being the Fire Contract, Police Contract and AFSCME Contract.

    All of these contracts are avaialbe for review in earlier posts on this site and at DeKalb County on Line.

    Expiration dates of these three contracts are
    AFSCME 12-31-2007
    Police 12-31-2008
    Fire 06-30-2001

    Note the the AFSCME contract and the Polcie Contract expire during this fiscal year. It is obvious that the City is presently negotiating with AFSCME but it is unknown if negotiations has started with the Police.

    All of this brings me to this point.

    Why does the AFSCME contract remain open? One can only guess. Is the City finally saying enough for all these pay increase we cannot afford them. Is AFSCME saying you gave the Firemen 10 promotions and pay increase we deserve the same? Is AFSCME saying the fire contract calls for substantial pay increase, step increase and logevity increase every year through 2010 and we want the same? Is the city saying we cannot do for you what we agreed to with the firemen? I realize this is all done under a gag order and we may never know the answers to these questions but in my opinion the real future budget issues are going on right now behind closed doors during these negotiations.

    Mike Larson said it best during the FAC meetings when he described how the city must move away from stagered contracts and have them all come due at the same time. When they all come due at different times the city is always faced with ” you gave it to them why can’t we get it also?”

    Finally, as stated before, the negotiators have probably agreed not to release thier positons to the public but the public can read the existing contract and make their own conclusions as to what is being negotiated. Read the documents and decide for yourself if the cuurent pay and benefits are adequate or not.


    PS. Although the negotiations themselve are confidential the negotiating team is not. I would like to know who is actually sitting at the table representing the city in these negotiations. Who is actually in the room?

    I welcome other thoughts and opinions on this matter.

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