Friday, February 13, 2009

The Gravy Train Has Left the Station...

The ax fell at Town Hall yesterday. Plainclothes cops were there to keep the peace while the laid-off workers were told to put their personal belongings in a cardboard box and leave the premises. Most had years of service with the Town; some had decades.

Time was, dear reader, when a job with Greenwich Town Government was a sinecure for life. Decent salary, nice bennies, and nobody ever seemed to work too hard. Guaranteed pay raises regardless of level of competence, and a nice retirement package. Those were the days, my friend, we thought they'd never end....

And now they have. Greenwich is no longer vying with the Federal Government as the employer of last resort. And frankly, despite the personal pain involved on the part of those who have been laid off, it's probably a good thing.

Your scribe has personal knowledge of one Town employee, who finally "retired" last year, who confessed to him that she could do her job in one day a week, and had to spend the rest of her time trying to look busy. For this she was being paid over $100,000 a year. After her path and your scribe's diverged, she took to filling her idle moments with hanky-panky in the workplace. Her flagrant goings-on led to more than one attempt to fire her, but the union always intervened and managed to protect her. After the grumblings in her particular Town department could no longer be ignored, she was finally persuaded to leave, taking with her a $50,000+ annual pension.

And she was far from the only one to use the workplace for trysting. There is a certain desk in Town Hall which, if it were to put its history on YouTube, would be immediately censored and taken off the Internet. And who knows how many other Town employees spend hours of the day goofing off at taxpayer expense? Or spend other hours each day trying to look busy while they calculate the days left before they can retire with a hefty pension?

Greenwich has more municipal employees per citizen - by far - than any other town or city in Connecticut. For years, the gravy train has been an open secret in Town. Now, at last, the train is leaving the station, and in your scribe's view, it's high time. If we're in a fiscal mess here in Greenwich - and we are - one has only to look at the bloated personnel costs, which are by far the biggest item in the Town's budget. Yesterday was a start in the right direction, but it was only a start. Not until we've pruned the workforce by some fifty percent will we be in line with the rest of the municipalities in this State. We've got a long way to go....


Blogger Malicious Intent said...

I smell another book coming.

The state government has been laying off here too. No one is safe.

I am scared because I work for a fully self funding via fundraisers non-profit. The old, the disabled and the kids get hacked first.

February 15, 2009 12:00 AM  
Blogger Bill Clark said...

Chin up, M. I. You do great work, and there will always be a place for it in our society. In fact, in the current environment, your skills may be more in demand than ever!

February 15, 2009 1:45 PM  

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