Get Liberated ! - not regulated 


The Troy Record

The Troy Record follows the fiscal meltdown in Cohoes more closely than most taxpayers. As you reported, we still face the prospect of  a 15% property tax hike as well as cuts in services. Of course this simply continues the trend of  charging more while providing less. How this can happen remains a mystery to many people. Yet, the first public meeting on the proposed budget provided an example of how this can happen.

Our firemen, speaking through their union president, are unhappy with the prospect of  layoffs. They object to the Chief asking for a new fire truck for $200,000 to replace a rusting 1979 truck which can only be used with limitations. They propose the city should instead buy a cast off truck from another district to save their jobs for another year.

Not one of them pointed out  the important but little known fact that one third of the force now gets paid for nothing. It seems a state law obligates us to continue all pay and benefits (until their 70th birthday) to those who are unable to work as firemen because of any injury received during working hours. Next year this special form of Workers' Compensation/Very Early Retirement With Full Pay for firemen will cost us $400,000. This amount does not include several hundred thousand more paid out of our state tax contributions. Apparently, at least some - perhaps most - of these men could contribute in some other capacity - as dispatchers or as building code inspectors for example .

With those $400,000, firemen could avoid layoffs,  the Chief could buy a brand new fire truck each and every year, and we taxpayers would pay less for better service instead of the other way around.








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