We are hard-working, small business owners. We have extensive business and financial expertise and we are using those skills for the benefit of New Castle taxpayers.
The 2016 budget still reflects the benefits of the Town’s aggressive negotiation of three major contracts:
• Saved $3,300,000 over 7 years for our refuse contract.
• Saved $1,000,000 in workers compensation premiums over the past 4 years!.
• Saved $40,000 on our liability insurance renewal
As far as our Union Contracts, we will not allow the lavish benefits that public-sector unions previously negotiated at our expense. Under the contract negotiated by our predecessors, there was real negotiation. No labor counsel present. Town Hall employee given 33.75/hour work week. Some union employees were gratuitously paid above scale.
Our former Town Administrator became the second New Castle retiree with a six-figure pension, joining an exclusive club of “century” pensioners in the Lower Hudson Valley. Their contract expired on December 31, 2015. We’ve been renegotiating the Civil Service Employees Association contract for over a year – with labor counsel! We are seeking continued contributions for health care. We’re installing a time clock to ensure that employees work the hours they are paid to work.
The current Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association (“PBA”) contract was negotiated by our predecessors. One of the many problems with that contract is that it contained an ineffective mechanism to address police officers receiving 207-c benefits. Those benefits are available to police officers who were injured in the line of duty and unable to return to work. 207-c starts after workers compensation benefits are exhausted. 207-c benefits are more generous than workers compensation. The Town is required to keep the officer on their payroll – pay their full salary and pay for all medical treatment and hospital care. 207-c benefits end when the officer is able to return to work. If they are not able to return to work, 207-c benefits end when the officer becomes eligible for disability retirement. The problem is that our current PBA contract had no effective mechanism to force an employee to either return to work or apply for disability retirement. We had 4 officers in this state of limbo. They weren’t working but we were paying their full salary. We were also incurring significant overtime covering their shifts. Despite the ineffective PBA contract, we worked diligently to move three of the four officers off 207-c and onto disability retirement. We were able to hire 3 new police officers who are working and protecting our residents. We reduced our overtime! Our PBA contract expires on December 31, 2016. We look forward to addressing this issue.
With Chappaqua Crossing, unless our predecessors, we entered into aggressive negotations with the developer. As a result, Summit Greenfield will do the following:
• Provide the Town with a $1,500,000 payment to create recreational trails and other recreational opportunities; to improve the Town’s existing business hamlets; or to undertake other initiatives to mitigate impacts associated with the Chappaqua Crossing development.
• Improve the HGHS entrance drive (estimated cost $1,300,000)
• Donate the Wallace Auditorium to the Town
• Convey title of four parcels of land along Roaring Brook Road which are currently owned by Summit Greenfield to the Town, and use that land to create a green space and buffer for residents who live near the site
We will continue to aggressively negotiate all contracts. We owe it to our taxpayers.