The Kessel NYPA Watch, April 19, 2010 – By George J. Marlin

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.

To: Trustees
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.

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17 Comments on “The Kessel NYPA Watch, April 19, 2010 – By George J. Marlin”

  1. Resistance is Futile Says:

    Anybody know how the NYS Furlough proposal will affect the non-F-O-Ks?

    • TakingThePackage Says:

      Here are some of the F-O-K’s Salaries:
      Sarah Barish-Straus – $155,000
      Bert Cunningham – $174,500
      Denise Ellison – $115,500
      Roni Epstein – $130,000
      Francine Evans – $130,000 (but is higher with her recent promotion)
      Rocco Iannarelli – $155,000
      Christine Prichard – $135,000
      Victoria Simon – $140,000

      I am sure there are more but this is enough to get most of NYPA personnel’s blood boiling…..we can’t get raises, but he can accumulate over $1 million dollars in additional salaries…..

  2. O'no thank you Says:

    Could O’Luck be our next Trustee? O’no thank you because he does not sound very smart.

  3. Resistance is Futile Says:

    I’m no fan of Kessel and the F-O-K’s but they are not the reason Succession Planning and Sustainability are a failure. It was already a joke under Vinnie the Shoe, Gil Quinones and Kessel’s Predecessors (Carey, Kelly, etc.).

    Seasoned Engineers were leaving the Engineering Department at record pace for years before Kessel because of Welz’s dumb promotion rules, clueless managers and deadwood. HR enabled Welz to keep good people down while failing to attract talent.

    Kessel and his F-O-K’s merely “cured” the problem and now HR is getting a taste of what the rest of the company has been going through. A classic case of the cure being worse than the problem.

    I feel for the good HR people who now have to suffer under Rocco. Welcome to the club – misery loves company.

  4. pasnytech Says:

    Can StreetCornerConservative FOIL the recent hires? You know what would happen if anyone at NYPA blew the whistle on these guys….

    What about the no-hopes they have employed at the sites, to “enhance” Human Resources dept?

    And yes, I couldn’t believe it when I heard that they had decided the basic skills tests were no longer needed. All I can say is – make sure the last one out turns off the lights.

    • Not a FOKer2 Says:

      Human Resources is being “enhanced” to fix the broken Human Resources department (didn’t you know that?) – you know the department that enforced polices, the law, and tried to fill real, open, pre-existing positions with qualified applicants, promoted on merit, and has put their heart into sustainability and succession planning. No, no, no, they were doing a bad job and needed to be enhanced with the unethical and unqualified doormats so more unqualified people could be hired without adhering to any policies, laws, or job qualifications. Mind you, these new overseers have no clue what human resources does and how much compliance is involved, but hey…who says that’s important? Richie and his new hires brought integrity back to NYPA and fixed HR. God, I’m so pleased with those results.

      It’s almost like I should resign tomorrow, kiss some local political hack’s rear-end, reapply, and get paid about 50 grand more for spreading the news about the census, telling you what the deadbeat governor wants, or projects that are not going to create jobs or REAL sustainability in NY. Just kidding, I wouldn’t do that because I have character and will ride this god forsaken wave with the rest of you knowing that I work with some incredible people who really want the best for NYPA and NY.

    • Blow the whistle Says:

      Yes, please blow the whistle Mr. Marlin by FOILing all new hires since Kessel took over to see if their salaries are commensurate with their experience and if those salaries are at least 5% lower than the person they replaced….like Kessel said they would be.

      Wait, just kidding, those new hires didn’t replace anyone because they don’t have the skills, knowledge, and experience to replace a NYPA employee. How does Richie get around that…he creates nonexistant rubber-room positions for dimwits.

      This egregious exploitation of NYS resources needs to be exposed.

  5. Not A F-O-Ker Says:

    FIRE KESSEL NOW!!!

    • We might as well be a municipality Says:

      with the stupidity we have running this place. Sustainability? Only as far as nonsensical fluff is concerned.

      If all of us could only hear the condescension and inaccuracy that Kessel spreads at his executive management meetings. He reiterates the nonsense that the press spreads about us, but won’t even ask management if any of it is true. He also refuses to refute eroneous yellow journalists who only want NYPA’s money.

      He will be fired and so will his top cronies in due time, but let’s not forget his stupid underlings who also need to have the door hit them in the @ss.

      to whoever started the list of uncredentialed and inexperienced hires….that list has grown exponentially since March.

      I think George Marlin or one of your attorneys (those NYPA employees who are on the verge of a lawsuit) should FOIL all new hires, their salaries, and their resumes since Richie came on board.

      I personally can think of one new hire whose online pedigree should make her ashamed. She has no real job here, but she’s paid plenty…google her and you will see how she could never land a job in the real world because her personal shenanigans are a professional disgrace.

      • Not A F-O-Ker Says:

        Are you talking about Roni Epstein? I’m asking because there are so many to choose from in this woeflly unqualified and overpaid regime.

      • Tons of political new hires, but no money for raises B.S. Says:

        How do you explain that dichotomy? If there is no money for raises, then there certainly should be zero money for fictitious positions. NYPA is the only Authority that is not broke because it was run with integrity and like a company with the bottom dollar in mind. Now it is being dragged through the gutter with senseless political chumps with no brain or will. The new hires are so stupid, we had to get rid of basic skills tests in order to hire them. How can you reconcile that?

  6. pasnytech Says:

    Question of the day – when are management going to form a Union?

  7. NYPAWPGuy Says:

    I’m actually emailing this from work – I don’t think they’ve stopped free speech yet, have they?

    I’m one of the core technical people who helps put out the fires. I’m tired of hearing that there are no raises and no promotions, and then I see new hires popping up all over the place – but they are Friends Of Kessel (or FOK’ers, as I heard someone call them).

    Wake up Management. The economy is starting to move upwards again. In 6 months there will be a mass exodus of young people from here. People who don’t have much time in, and who will leave for better paying jobs – especially working for NERC, FERC and NPCC, and the NE and NYISOs.

    I’ve never seen morale this low. But as I told my colleagues, we’ve seen it all before – just not this blatant!

  8. colleague1.0 Says:

    This letter is great! I wish something would happen about it. But it probably want. Unfortunately the Reg Mgrs and other senior staff remember what happened to the first sr mgr who spoke out. Richie and Gil threw the chief risk guy right under the bus almost immediately. They did it to deliver a msg that is still floating the halls. In this economy who can afford to lose their job …even if they are doing the right thing….that doesn’t put food on the table, pay the mortgage or other bills. He cared about the place, tried to do the right thing and look what it got him. It seems pretty clear the gutless Trustee aren’t going to stand up and protect another whisle-blower. So we’re stuck….d**n.

  9. Beaten and Bruised Says:

    Unfortunately the people this letter is addressed to are not only aware but complicit in the downfall of NYPA. Regional managers received promotions and tens of thousands in raises LAST YEAR with no increase in responsibilities. Power Generation restructured it’s management to allow for raises and promotions for all of Ed Welz’ senior management. Meanwhile for years regular staffers has been asked to take on the rolls of retired managers and supervisors without the pay. Nicandri talks a good game but is either ineffective or full of baloney. Can someone explain to me how a Trustee can vote along with all of Kessel’s schemes, leave the board and end up with a $100,000 dollar a year part time job on his staff? This agency is far more rotten than the letter indicates.

  10. Resistance is Futile Says:

    I appreciate this good and courageous letter by whoever wrote it. Tells it like it is and must have been cathartic.

    Sadly the effectiveness of it is questionable. Even if the trustees do see the light, how can they take charge and get rid of a governor appointed Captain Bligh who donates the profits of his sweatshop to subsidize the bloated lifestyle of the politicos in Albany?

    Unless he has done something illegal (does nepotism or cronyism qualify?), I don’t think the Trustees have a case to stick up for NYPA employees in the trenches. Kessel’s behavior being an SOB and making life miserable (economically, intellectually, no career paths, etc) for you and me is the definition of most CEOs (Madoff, Ken Lay/Enron, Arthur Andersen, etc.) Don’t get me wrong, I still despise him, Gil, and all the Exec VPs with a passion, but this “slave” is powerless.

    Even if the trustees WANT to do something, what is to keep them from becoming a casualty of a failed coup d’état? I think they will just sit there quietly serving their terms and let it be the next guys problem. Sigh….

  11. I report to a menagerie of simpletons Says:

    and I cannot disagree with one thing that was written to our Trustees. This comprehensive complaint is right on from White Plains to all of the sites. It is so sad because NYPA veterans (like the letter writer) really do care about the company that we once knew.

    The simpletons have zero discretion and no appreciation of what NYPA employees do…they are here merely to enforce Kessel’s will. If I have to hear another hack say that they should have been informed of this or that….no stupid, you are just a FYI so your input was not needed (smart people know what to delegate). Not because you are a hack, but because the decision wasn’t in your discretion, expertise (like you have any relevant knowledge anyway), or control (from policies, procedures, regulations, or the law…ever hear of those or understand their applicability?).

    Hahahahaha, we’ve had plenty of political people over the years, but they understood their place and either blended in or were thrown out. You people (and I know you read this) will find your place out the door very soon and we won’t be throwing you a party like some relevant political short-comers.


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