This article I wrote appears on The Catholic Thing web site on April 21, 2010.
Archive for April 2010
The following memo, written by a NYPA employee, was sent to Street Corner Conservative. We believe it will be of interest to readers of The Kessel NYPA Watch.
Cc: IBEW Union Leadership, Regional Managers, Selected NYPA Employees,
Frederic Dicker-NY Post
This is my second letter. Obviously it cannot be signed. I wish I could but the climate at NYPA is such that we worry more about who is sending information rather than what is contained in the message.
Richie gave his speech on management raises at the WPO last week. In case you didn’t hear about, ask for a copy of the memo. It should be readily available. To say that he has lost his entire management staff is not entirely true. He still has the friends that he hired over the last couple of months. However it is a true statement that he has lost the majority of his management personnel. (PS: Someone tell Rocco to take down his Receiver of Taxes website. It doesn’t look good. It was on line on Saturday March 20, 2010.)
Who is to blame? If you are getting a copy of this, you are to blame. You are in a position of power and have watched this thing unfold. Whatever happened to the Focus “Lock and Load” bullshit that we spent oodles of money on in the 90’s? Weren’t we supposed to confront wrongdoings when we saw them? Okay, I know, enough about Focus.
We have a President who is bullying his way around the office, casting aside people with many years of experience to get his friends job. We have power plants that produce electricity despite the upper management at the White Plains Office (WPO). We have an upside down organization. Thank goodness for the people in the trenches – the site people (union & management) and the technical people they deal with at the WPO. Without this core group of people putting out the everyday fires, who knows what kinds of messes our grid could get into.
We are at the point now where supervisors are making less money than the people they supervise. Hey gang – this isn’t a good situation. I don’t want to join a union, but if someone brought me a card, I would sign it to see what there is to offer. Richie mentioned at his meeting that the union raises were still going through because they have a contract and they do a good job. I agree with him – they do a good job. However that is a slap in the face to all of the management people in the company that do a good job every day and will get nothing. Kessel is telling us that the only way to make a expect a raise is to either become one of his cronies, or join a union. I think the latter is going to start happening very soon.
How come Trustees Nicandri and Foster are the only ones questioning this? Are they the only two who care about the management staff at NYPA? Trustees – take a walk around the sites. Go and meet the management people making the electricity. We are not town clerks, or receivers of taxes. Quit comparing us with those types of people. We are technical people who do a scientific job. The last time I looked NYPA made enough money to hand out raises to everyone who derved one, give money to the governor and let Kessel give it all away at his luncheons.
Richie Kessel is a buffoon. Talk to any Regional Manager one on one, with no one else around. Ask them for their honest opinion. See what they say. Yet you sit month after month watching this guy lead us down the wrong path. I wish I didn’t care. I wish I could sit back and watch it unfold.
But this is my company and I hate to see fools come in and ruin something that people spend the last 60 years building. Better yet, go to the web site http://www.streetcornerconservative.com. Click on the Kessel link. It’s pretty impressive stuff. He is the kind of guy I would want running my company.
The guy is an embarrassment to our organization. However he must be smarter than all of you because he is the one running the show. He is telling you that everything is fine and all the employees are doing ok. That is nothing but BS. The sad part is that Kessel will be gone and the person following him will have to pick up all the pieces.
The question you need to ask yourself everyday when you look in the mirror is: “Am I doing what is right for everyone involved?” If you feel that you doing the right thing, then I apologize for wasting your time. If you feel that there are things that you could do better, there is still time. Lets put a lasso around this big whale and bring him ashore.
THE KESSEL COUNTDOWN: 257 DAYS UNTIL RICHIE KESSEL IS FIRED BY THE NEW GOVERNOR OF NEW YORK.
The following appears in the April 9-15, 2010 issue of the Long Island Business News:
In the post-World War II era, New York was truly the Empire State, indeed the leading industrial state in the nation. Twenty-five of America’s top 50 companies were headquartered in New York and nearly 2 million people were employed in manufacturing. The state’s industrial base was diverse, both in terms of size and importance: apparel and textiles topped the list followed by printing, food production, machinery of various kinds, sundry chemicals, fabricated metals and transportation equipment.
But beginning in the 1960s, New York began to experience a manufacturing collapse which continues to this day. In 1990, New York’s total manufacturing jobs dropped below 1 million – the lowest number since 1906. Upstate New York, traditionally dependent on blue-collar employment, has been enduring large job losses and the accompanying decline in population and revenues. As a result, today a majority of jobs north of Putnam County are government or health-care related.
Buffalo, for example, once the largest flour milling city in the western world and America’s fourth largest manufacturing city, is now on the edge of bankruptcy. It has lost 48 percent of its population since 1960, lost its heavy industry and manufacturing base, and has 35,000 abandoned single-family homes. In 2006, Buffalo’s mayor even called for the dissolution of his city.
Between 1990 and 2009, manufacturing employment in the United States declined by 33 percent, 17.7 million jobs versus 11.8 million. New York’s numbers for the same period are even more depressing, 911,000 versus 471,000, a 51 percent decline. Long Island fared almost as poorly: 139,000 manufacturing jobs in 1990 versus 75,000 today, a 46 percent decline.
Economists are all over the map as to why New York has been losing the manufacturing battle in both economic downturns and booms. Some point to cheap labor overseas, others to bad research and development decisions. Eastman Kodak, for instance, having missed the digital camera revolution, was forced to downsize its Rochester work force from 60,000 in 1981 to 18,000 today. In my judgment, however, the state government bears the bulk of the blame for years of overtaxing, overspending and overregulating.
In survey after survey, New York’s business climate is rated the worst in the nation. The U.S. Economic Freedom Index listed the state in last place. Compared to the other 49 states, New York’s combined state and local taxes are the highest; state and local government spending per capita, second highest; cost of doing business, second worst; average cost of workmen’s compensation cases, second highest; average retail price of electricity, second most expensive.
Manufacturers have moved to the South, to Europe and to India at an alarming rate to escape New York’s taxes, worker comp costs and burdensome regulations. As a result Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse, Schenectady and Long Island – one-time centers of commerce, industry and technology – are facing financial and economic doom.
While top-tier research institutions in places like Long Island and Buffalo produce cutting-edge research and development, the state and Long Island in particular have done a dismal job in holding on to the companies created from that research. State economic development programs have spent billions over the last 20 years with little to show for it. Those subsidy programs have proved once again that government programs selecting business winners and losers don’t work but do burden the taxpayers with the cost of assisting the politically favored.
Until Albany potentates take responsibility for the cumulative consequences of the bad decisions made during the past 20 years and take steps to lighten the burden on taxpayers and to improve the climate for job producing businesses, expect the state and Long Island manufacturers to continue fleeing to employer-friendly states.