Transparency – Employment Matters

When we ran four years ago, we knew the Town needed a change. We knew that the Town needed a new approach.  What we didn’t know was some of the employment skeletons in the closet.

Did you know that New Castle taxpayers were forced to eat $628,000 in legal & consulting fees by failing to follow established escrow procedures with Chappaqua Crossing?

Did you know that an outgoing employee slipped out the door with $93,000 in a series of payments for unused vacation time, unused sick time and what is known as “terminal pay.”  Contrary to the law, the payments had not been authorized by the Town Board.  When our new Town attorneys examined the matter, they concluded there was no contractual or statutory basis upon which the Town could have paid this prior employee for unused sick time and terminal pay.   Eventually, the former employee agreed to return the sum of $30,000.00 to the Town!

Unfortunately, those weren’t the only skeletons left behind by the outgoing administration.  We were handed things like –

  • Multiple pending lawsuits involving age discrimination, religious discrimination and alleged civil rights violations.
  • An unpaid $60,000 judgment against the Town accruing interest at 9% annually.
  • Nepotism with preferential treatment that had caused morale problems and legal exposure for the Town.
  • A union contract with riddled with discrepancies and senseless benefits.  How’d you like to work a 33.75/hour work?
  • We had four police officers out on 207(c). Four police officers not protecting the community but receiving full salaries (not taxed) while out on disability. We currently have 1 remaining officer out on 207(c).

We’ve been proactive and smart in terms of dealing with employment matters, so we’ve avoided the kind of costly and embarrassing problems that prior Town administrations swept under the rug.