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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..

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!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SEPTEMBER UPDATE


A recent story from CT Mirror revealed the state of Connecticut economy for each city and town thru graphs and charts. New London is ranked 164 out of 169 as poorest in state. Local tax revenue amounts to 53% of the $82.5 million budget with 41% coming from state and federal subsidies. New London municipal spending increased 18% since 2002 while education spending rose a whopping 42% since 2006 yet city spending increased by only 1.5% from 2011-2015. That number representing flat line budgeting was significantly lower than all other cities and towns. Tax exempt property account for 40.5% of all city property while New haven and Hartford are at 49% and 51% respectively. The current 40.5 mill rate is slightly higher than median 38.5 mills for the state's poorest communities. The current rate means a $200k house would realize a tax bill of $5,222 in New London. That same house would be taxed in New Britain at $6,680, Hartford $7,372, Bridgeport $7,504 and Waterbury $8,142.

Our question for municipal spending in not necessarily how much is being spent but how efficient was the expense, another words was there a good return on the money spent. While New London limped along these past six years with curtailed city side spending did the BOE realize a 42% improvement in education results to match the increase in spending. Unfortunately academic results don’t match the spending. So how much money do you throw at a problem before you realize it is not achieving the required results. This is not meant to pit the BOE against City government, rather seek a more holistic approach to improve all facets of essential government services instead of education exclusively.

As municipalities brace for a massive hit in state assistance this fall, absent a new budget, House Speaker Joe Aresimowicz announced in between his many rounds of golf that a mid September vote on a fiscal plan is a last chance to avert budget disaster for towns and cities. We ask why did they waste the month of August by waiting - call them back now sit down figure it out and pass a budget.

This budget mess was caused by this Legislature and they act like somebody dumped this hot mess in their lap to fix. The newest wrinkle in raising revenue versus cutting spending is over what form that added revenue should take. Both wants to see $800-900 million from revenue and spending cuts. The governor insists $400 million for the teachers retirement must come from municipalities which he wants to consider a revenue stream with less emphasis on generating new taxes. The Legislature wants to raise sales tax by 1/2 percent to fund the gap and not further burden the towns with more mandated spending.

Each and every House and Senate member owns this and if they fail to do what they were elected to do - represent their districts- who are all struggling without a state budget in place, then vote each and every one of them out this next election. Hey, Chris Soto you've been pretty quiet- what's your solution?

US Senator Chris Murphy with his 2018 re-election in sight took another long walk this August from Killingly to Danbury to see firsthand what his constituent concerns are. He reported their concerns were about health care, deportation cases of illegal immigrants and all that’s wrong with Trump and Republicans. We would have hoped he had found plans to help fix the state economy with a big jobs program, significant boost for infrastructure improvements, federal income tax relief, ideas to combat terrorism home and abroad, peace in the middle east or what the United States should do with Iran or North Korean nuclear programs. Instead it's all Trump's fault. Meanwhile Democratic party "Cheerleader in Chief" Howard Dean tweeted Murphy could be our next President to which Mr. Murphy humbly professes is way too early for consideration with his own senate race just over the horizon.

While we don’t agree with 24/7 presidential tweeting especially all the vitriolic attacks, however one story did catch our attention. President Donald Trump has disparaged other U.S. senators, but no one has been targeted more than our own Dick, Senator Richard Blumenthal who has gotten under the president’s skin. Blumenthal is one of the most liberal senators in Congress and much too often appears on television to just criticize Trump’s policies, which led to Trump recently tweeting “I think Senator Blumenthal should take a nice long vacation in Vietnam, where he lied about his service, so he can at least say he was there,”.
Blumenthal had in 2008 implied that he’d served in Vietnam, even though he had not actually been deployed abroad as a member of the Marine Reserve. Blumenthal says he doesn’t know what is prompting Trump’s attacks. Really Senator?!

Stop the Resistance crap and political posturing for Democrats in 2018 elections and tackle the many issues facing your constituents at home instead of your latest consumer crisis demanding a media frenzy like calling for the banning menthol cigarettes. We believe compromise is needed by both sides to find solutions on the country's many pressing issues. Regrettably compromise is one word not often used by many in Washington anymore, because to break ranks with your party mantra and compromise means your vote is no longer reliable with party bosses.

Speaking of Washington hypocrisy, the liberals hate Trump at all costs campaign surfaced when former Obama Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes had a phony furious hissy fit slamming President Trump for issuing his first presidential pardon to former Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio with 65 years of public service to his country for a misdemeanor. Rhodes wrote on twitter, "Obama used his pardon and commutation power to give a second chance to people who deserved empathy, not racists who showed none".
Mr. Rhodes your selective moral outrage is questionable on what is clearly a double standard. You may recall Ben, Mr. Obama pardoned or commuted 1,912 prisoners during his term, compared to 163 for G.W. Bush. Many Obama commuted sentences were highly criticized for freeing serious drug dealers. But they also Included treasonous [Bradley] Chelsea Manning who leaked highly classified NSA files to Wiki Leaks and dangerous Oscar Lopez Rivera the FALN terrorist responsible for over 100 bombings who refused to renounce violence as condition of pardon and was released anyway. The progressive agenda will stop at nothing to undo this election.

It's been a almost three weeks since citizens demanded more police officers from our elected leaders who were seemingly caught off guard that such a problem even existed. Some local headlines since then have included: Woman Dragged as Suspect [homeless shelter client] Steals Truck in New London, Resident says man exposed himself to young girls, Man in serious condition after New London stabbing, Friday quiet after 14 K2 overdoses in 48 hours, Officers seize gun from New London felon home, Suspect charged in New London robbery, Man to serve 7 years for bank robbery, 100 grams of heroin found in New London woods and New London man charged with possession of heroin, Police arrest 2 after gun fired on Block Island ferry. These were just the incidents that made the paper certainly just the tip of the iceberg. All of which have kept our haggard cops very busy despite the indifference from many in the public. In the words of the infamous Police Squad character Lt. Frank Drebin "Alright, move along… nothing to see here, please disperse".

Unions built the middle class, made this country great, protect your right to speak, and still have a job the next day. We pride ourselves on carrying on the traditions of protecting all our members to the best of our abilities. This November is our next election cycle for Local 724 Officers and Executive Board members with nominations scheduled for our October meeting. We encourage all, especially our younger members, to become the next generation and get involved in their Union representing their members.
Local 724 Union leaders are pleased to report the last of lingering contract grievances and municipal prohibited practice complaints from the prior police administration are almost concluded with what we hope to be an amicable resolution.

Likewise after many months of negotiations the Union is pleased to announce a three year tentative agreement has been reached with City administration. As in any contract talks you don't get what you deserve; you get what you negotiate that requires many details and compromises. The City faces serious fiscal challenges but they also realized our members work very hard and deserved hard fought raises. We did our due diligence to bring back the best outcome possible within the boundaries of what the city could reasonably afford. Members will then be asked to ratify the agreement in mid September followed up with City Council vote of approval in early October. We want to thank CAO Steve Fields, HR Director Tina Collins, Finance Director Don Gray and Chief Pete Richard for their patience and sometimes painfully frank discussions during negotiations.

More good news to report, Officers Chris Bunkley and Joe Kondash were named the newest K9 handlers as the City prepares to restart the canine program with two new dog handler teams this year. The two dogs will be German shepherds, cross trained for patrol and narcotics detection. These dogs will be a great asset to the agency trained in evidence recovery, building searches, tracking & trailing for not only wanted suspects but also lost children or elderly. We hope to have both teams should be operational by early 2018.
The dogs will be purchased fully trained from the breeder to significantly cut down on training times. To purchase both dogs will cost $28,000. The Union has agreed to assist the City seeking donations from the public to help fund the purchase.

Any of our readers interested in donating can make a check in any amount payable to: New London Police Union -K9 Fund- , PO Box 135 New London, CT 06320 . Every dollar collected by the Union for the K9 Fund will be turned over to the City to purchase these new dogs.

 

 

 


 

 

 



 


   


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