Welcome to the 2013 – 2014 Page for tracking the Lies told by Manager Rooney, his administration AND Village Hall. As residents, we have to be able to trust our Public Officials – elected and appointed. When we can’t, Our Village Board either needs to appoint a new Public Official or we need to elect a new Board. Ultimately though, the problem with lies, is that eventually it becomes so easy that lies will be told about bigger things that involve more than just our local government, and that will be disaster for our Village. If our Board isn’t looking at whats being said, then we must in order to protect our own Village. This list will be continually updated to reflect new and of course interesting lies. If you find a lie, please feel free to add them to the comments and i’ll update the list. (you don’t have to post to facebook, but it would certainly be interesting to see how many people know information that hasn’t been shared.)
Current Lie Count: 15
Merriam-Weber Dictionary defines Dishonesty as: lack of honesty : the quality of being untruthful or deceitful and lack of honesty or integrity : disposition to defraud or deceive. In addition, it defines a Lie as: : to make an untrue statement with intent to deceive 2: to create a false or misleading impression. I will be using Lie to also indicate dishonesty, as in most of these cases the circumstances can be viewed using either definition.
VILLAGE PRESS RELEASE, 2/29/2014, “The village has been diligent in taking steps to address the structural deficit of that resulted from the Great Recession of 2008…” Um, yes, not by eliminating positions, but by increasing revenues so that the total amount of revenues was nearly identical in all but 1 year – eliminating positions only increased the savings to the expenditures, increasing the contingency funds. He goes on to say “Over that time frame [since 2008] we have managed to spare public safety departments from layoffs while other essential departments were cut.” Actually, The Fire Department in 2007 had 36 Authorized Full Time Employees, today, it’s only 32 (and soon to be 30); The Police department had 69 authorized full time positions, today it is 60 and Public Works (streets and water departments) lost 9 people.
VILLAGE PRESS RELEASE, 2/29/2014, “These moves will reduce our anticipated budget deficit by over 50%.” Let’s examine this – based on the contract and amendments as they were laid out in the board agendas, laying off 2 full time employees will result in 108 days of over time due to the contract signed. There is already 54 days because of a vacancy never filled. That totals 162 days of overtime, and using the manager’s own calculations, it’s 1087 per day, or 176,000 per year. The village already pays unemployment as a result of all the previous layoffs, meaning the full amount for both layoffs, or about 64,000 will be due for these 2, bringing the total that the village must spend in order to lay these 2 employees off to $240,000.00. Now, the contract states that layoffs may only be made for bonefide economic hardship and it’s safe to say that a contingency fund well above the required amount as stated by the trustees AND the ability to pay off a 565k bond payment 22 months earlier don’t exactly lend itself to believe the village is in a bonefide economic hardship – so, another contract violation – and if the union wins in arbitration, the employees get back pay, cobra reimbursement and reinstatement, not to mention the lawyer fees and arbitration costs. The Manager states “The totals savings for the elimination of the these two firefighter positions is approximately $110,000.00 this year and approximately 150,000 for each subsequent year. The total savings for the elimination of the seven part-time positions is approximately $125,000 this year and approximately $175,000 each subsequent year.” So, Let’s examine this – he’s claiming this year we’ll save 235,000.00, and $325,000 each subsequent year. Um, there is only 2 months left for this year, so how did we arrive at 235k? Not to mention that NOT including legal fees and arbitration, the village has to spend $240,000.00. So, even IF we believe that 2 months of savings is $235,000, we spending a net total of 5,000.00 to lay off all these employees? But lets be honest – the 2 layoffs alone will cause the village to spend $240,000+, and eliminating part time positions isn’t really a layoff. Why not keep the 2 full time firefighters that the board has said we needed (when it filed for the safer grant) which will eliminate the need to spend money on lawyers and arbitration and we get a guaranteed savings of 125,000.00. Or .. better yet, we could just lay off our Village Manager for a $200,000.00 savings, all the other employees get to keep their jobs and the Assistant Manager’s position is eliminated when he moves up. More to the point though. For his refusal to give the whole story and therefore deceive the public, we brand this one a
VILLAGE PRESS RELEASE, 2/29/2014, “In Fact, our Director of Public Safety, Al Popp, has assured me that fire protection and emergency medical service levels will not diminish as a result of the decision to layoff two full time IAFF Members.” Let’s examine this, the response times have gone up, which is factual evidence of diminishing service levels. Our Director of Public Safety receives the monthly reports in which these ever increasing response times are present, so how is it possible for him to have made this evaluation? Let’s not forget that Director Popp has been a 30+ year police officer, and has absolutely no working knowledge or experience in determining the effectiveness or required level of fire protection and emergency medical service levels. While Director Popp is a great man, and an undeniably good police chief, the evidence doesn’t support his assurances. This one is definitely a LIE!
NOTE: After tonight’s board meeting, 3/4/2014, in which Manager Rooney called me an “expert” in the firefighting field, does that not mean that my opinion on the current state of response times and how they pertain to the resident’s needs be of higher weight than that of the Public Safety Director who has no formal firefighting training? Granted, I couldn’t ever overcome the opinion of the Director of Public Safety on police matters – he is after a well decorated officer of 30+ years.
VILLAGE PRESS RELEASE, 2/29/2014, “During negotiations, the Village offered the union the opportunity to protect all of it’s bargaining unit members from being laid off during the three year term of the agreement. The union instead elected to prioritize it’s lieutenants in both pay increases and staffing assignments…” It’s funny how one man’s view on things is often different than everyone elses. This didn’t actually ever happen. From the Union: “Regarding the issues raised about lieutenant pay and hours, the increase in salary pay for Lt’s was agreed to early on in the negotiations which spanned over 7 months. During the negotiations , there was never direct talk of layoffs whatsoever. The Village Manager advised us it would cost to much in overtime to layoff firefighters because of the minimum manning language. ” So, in light of what the village manager told the union, this one is a
NOTE: from the Board Meeting 3/4/2014. Manager Rooney seems to like repeating this lie. However, it should be noted that the village has claimed an exemption on information regarding these very matters in that releasing them could be a violation of federal/state laws OR are confidential collective bargaining documents. So why does the Manager think it’s ok to reveal information when the Village says it’s not?
VILLAGE PRESS RELEASE, 2/29/2014, Let’s first examine the costs located in this press release: are we to believe that the total cost of the three year agreement AND the “other costs” in the agreement totaled the exact same dollar amount? That would make 1.14 million dollars, and it’s 314,000.00 over what he claimed it would be in the public release on the village’s website in december of 2013 (800,000.00) So, Manager Rooney, which one is it .. 1.14mil, 800k or 572k? Again, for a lack of consistency, we brand this a
DAILY HERALD, 2/27/2014, Manager Rooney told the reporter that “The village is amending its application by asking for two extra firefighters and money to keep the other two, Rooney said.” In fact, the application has not been amended, and it won’t be unless the village can prove a true economic hardship. (the 2013 SAFER Grant Program guidance has a wealth of information.)
DAILY HERALD, 1/8/2014, President Ritter said: “We’ve put some of the biggest disagreements behind us, and we’re moving forward cooperatively,” obviously, this was a LIE! Whether or not it was an intentional lie, we aren’t sure, but clearly, once we think that there have been some agreements, Manager Rooney finds another way to muck it up!
VILLAGE PRESS RELEASE, 1/8/2014, Manager Rooney put out a press release to the public, and in it he stated: “The agreement will increase on-shift staffing levels at each station…” This is false. In fact, the on-shift staffing levels never increased. The same number of personnel were just shifted from the central station to the outlying stations.
VILLAGE PRESS RELEASE 1/8/2014, The Manager also outlined several bullet points in this press release: “Equipment and apparatus will be staffed and available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.” In reality, only one additional vehicle was put in service to respond, not 2 which is what the residents had prior. “The potential for engines to be taken out of service on days when an unusual number of firefighters are out sick or on personal leave is eliminated.” Also untrue. In fact, there have already been several days in which we have dropped staffing down further as a result of firefighters calling in sick. Therefore, we brand this one a:
DAILY HERALD, 1/8/2014, In which the Manager stated: “The settlement, meanwhile, is expected to cost the village less than $50,000 in overtime.” TRUE!!!! So, just to get this straight … the agreement that the full time firefighters signed, the guys that have been vilified by the Village Manager as wanting nothing more than overtime, was for less than 50,000.00 – which was significantly less than that $300,000.00 that the Manager claimed it would be in the herald on dec 4th, 2013 and significantly lower than the budgeted amount was .. very interesting, and it’s the reason i include this in the list.
DAILY HERALD, 11/13/2013 The Manager stated that the full time firefighters had “buyer’s remorse” and went on to state “the real crux of the union’s discontent was his move to cut their overtime.” First, seeing as how Manager Rooney is not any of the full time firefighters, and seeing as how none of the full time firefighters actually said that, this was his supposition. However, it was stated as a fact, and therefore, it is a
DAILY HERALD, 12/4/2013 Village Hall officials stated to the reporter that “mutual aid from other towns is robust.” East Dundee has 5 firefighters to cover it’s 1000 calls, West Dundee has been in a budget crunch and is down to 5 firefighters to cover it’s 1200 calls and Rutland Dundee has 5 firefighters to cover it’s 1000 calls. Seeing as how these towns have all needed to make cuts, it’s quite impossible to describe their ability to make up for the services that we cut and call them robust. At best, our mutual aid from other towns is “available” but should be deemed as unreliable in quick response times as we now are. This one is a
DAILY HERALD, 12/4/2013 Manager Rooney stated: “This allows them to cut $300,000 in overtime expenses within the fire department” when discussing how they were working things out with regards to the 6 grievances filed against the Village. It’s funny that the budget was only for $160,000.00, so it’s pretty evident that it’s not possible to cut more than the entire budget.
VILLAGE WEBSITE, DECEMBER 2013: The Manager said in a statement that “the additional cost to the Village budget for the three year contract was projected to be over $800,000.00 if the current, less efficient scheduling of staff continued unchanged.” So Manager Rooney, which one is it … 800,000.00 or 572,000.00? Because I find it interesting that you aren’t capable of being at least consistent from one month to the next, this one is a
VILLAGE WEBSITE, DECEMBER 2013: An official stated that “All full and part time members are required to pass exactly the same state certifications and are equally qualified at the time of hire.” Actually, all members must pass a physical. Part time new hires are required to possess a FFII certificate and an EMT-Basic certificate. The full time members are required to pass a Police &Fire Commission Testing process, including a written test and oral interview, and the full time members must pass an indepth criminal background test including reference investigation, a polygraph test, a pyschological screening and must possess an EMT-Paramedic certification in addition to the physical and FFII certification. So, this was a