Money for old rope
It seems that every day a plant is closing or laying people off or a store is going out of business due to the sluggish economy. Families wonder what tomorrow will bring and whether the mortgage will get paid or if the car will be repossessed. It is a 21st Century fact of life, there are no guarantees anymore and everyone is affected. They are affected no matter what level of education, job experience or work ethic, no one's job is safe.... Unless you work for government.
Although the same people who are being laid off are the one's financing government, senior public employees seem isolated from the real world by the endless and guaranteed supply of money. They ignore the hardships of the ordinary family to protect the niceties of public service and the people who work for them.
Disregarding the guaranteed pay raises, cost of living adjustments, medical insurance, vacation pay, sick leave and special holidays associated with public service, some public servants seem to have worked themselves an extra good deal.
Imagine the president of Brown's Stove Works reaction if 85% of his employees signed a petition exposing wrongdoing by one of his managers and among the long list of infractions were possible criminal activities.
It would be reasonable to assume that Mr. Brown would investigate the serious accusations but would he be likely, after confirming some of them and calling in the police, to allow the manager to keep his job and place him on paid leave until the law took its course? Would he risk alienating the workers who spoke out to help his company by implying that the manager may possibly return?
In private industry these events would seem unthinkable, yet in Cleveland government they are actually happening. City Manager Joe Cate received a signed petition by 85% of the uniformed personnel at the Cleveland Police Department highlighting serious managerial deficiencies and possible criminal infractions by Chief Lee Reese. Cate conducted an investigation and placed Reese on paid leave until the culmination of a TBI criminal investigation, leaving the CPD dangling. Joe Cate knows that Reese's work contract, titled Memorandum of Understanding, dated January 23rd 1994, places Reese's employment at the discretion of the city manager and affords him no allowance for severance pay or terms of notice.
If Cate found enough credence in the allegations to place Reese on leave, why is he allowing him a paid vacation when Reese's return is unlikely? For so many officers to expose their boss must be a rare occurrence, if not unique and it is certain they didn't risk losing their jobs on a whim, so it is unlikely their accusations are a fabrication, yet still Reese is on vacation at taxpayer's expense. The community owes Reese nothing. Any self respecting man would have resigned under the circumstances but as he chose not to he should have been fired by Cate, as Mr. Brown would have done.
In most respects Joe Cate has proven himself an able city manager. His work on the 2003-2004 budget was one of the highlights but the CPD scandal has placed his managerial capabilities in question. The indecisiveness he has exhibited in the Reese case is costing the taxpayer money and rewarding a disgraced police chief.
If a deal was struck with Reese so that he would receive severance pay that he was not entitled in the form of paid leave before resigning, then that deal is also fraud and Cate is overstepping his authority. If no deal was made then it still looks bad for Cate's managerial abilities.
Reese needs to go, and go now. The pay check should be severed. Cate should not be allowed to stretch this out until the TBI finishes it's investigation... we all know how long that could take.
What do you think?
Do you trust Cleveland's Mayor, Tom Rowland?
Would you trust him with your financial future?
Would you trust him to protect your wife?
Would you trust him to tell you the truth or even be straight with you?
Would you trust him to safeguard your freedoms?
Tom Rowland has been entrusted with the responsibility of being a major official for Tennessee's Homeland Security by Governor Phil Bredesen and is part of the team that decides what freedoms you keep and what groups of people are likely to be a threat to the well-being of our state.
Last month he was part of a secret meeting that agreed the biggest threat to the well-being of Bradley County are the residents themselves and anyone who opposes a tax increase and owns a gun should be targeted as a possible terrorist.
Next month it may include those who don't support the revitalization of the Five Points area, or people who don't belong to the Cleveland Country Club, or the Cleveland/Bradley Cha-mber of Commerce, or who are not enthusiastic over a new airport, or who don't read the Cleveland Daily Banner, or who are not active socialists. Heck it won't be long before 99.99% of Bradley County will be locked in the new jail.
Thanks Mr. Bredesen for choosing the one man that can be trusted to do the job.
What do you think?