Wednesday, July 22, 2009


Yesterday (July 21, 2009), County Commissioner (nee Freeholder) John D'Amico, Jr., a/k/a "Flippy", expressed his opinion about Sheriff Kim Guadagno's bid for Lieutenant Governor of New Jersey. Flippy took the Sheriff to task on her dealing with public employee unions.
It was reported in the Asbury Park Press.
Here are the pertinent parts of the article:

D'amico said county officials decided in January to ask two-dozen unions to accept wage freezes that would prevent job losses, but Guadagno "essentially sabotaged the county's plan as it related to the unions within the Sheriff's office and made constructive dialogue with other groups virtually impossible," he said.
"For instance, there was a group within the Sheriff's Office about to accept the wage freeze, and she essentially talked them out of doing it. All this spilled over to the other unions," D'Amico said.
A Sheriff's Department spokeswoman denied that Guadagno persuaded a union to turn down an agreement. "That's just nonsense," said the spokeswoman, Cynthia Scott.
At a March 12 freeholder board meeting attended by hundreds of union members, Guadagno was openly defiant to the freeholders, telling them layoffs would lead to overtime costs that would outweigh the savings.
"I'm not going to stop serving warrants on violent criminals, and I'm not going to turn the lights out at the jail because I have fewer officers. I'm just going to run the department on overtime," Guadagno said at the meeting.
D'Amico says he recalls those comments vividly.
"She threatened that jail overtime would more than offset the savings. That was the threat clearly. She grandstanded at the public meeting. In fact, she turned her back on the freeholders, turned to the union members, and said essentially, 'You're right and the freeholders are wrong.' This was while we were trying in good faith to preserve as many jobs as possible," D'Amico said.
According to county figures, overtime within the Monmouth County Sheriff's Office has jumped 40 percent for the first two months since the county's work force was reduced by layoffs.
However, the overtime budgetfor the Sheriff's Office, year to date, is up only 3.6 percent. Guadagno had said the overtime numbers will fall as the department adjusts to the reduced manpower.

Okay, first of all, we know that D'Amico talks out of his ass half the time; I mean, he is known as Flippy, isn't he? He'll say anything to get press.
Secondly, The Monmouth County Republican Blog has reliable sources imbedded deep inside the Hall of Records, and we don't rely on Flippy to provide factual information.
Sheriff Guadagno had consistently attempted to find some common ground between the unions and the freeholders, and in that she clearly demonstrated statesmanlike behavior.
At the meeting in question, Guadagno pleaded with union members to accept the wage freeze so as to avoid layoffs. At the same time, far from being defiant to the freeholders, she simply stated that, for public safety reasons, certain levels of staffing are required to operate a jail and to serve arrest warrants, and that to provide those staffing levels, the Sheriff's department would rely upon overtime. If D'Amico is upset with the unions for not listening to the Sheriff and accepting the freeze, he should be equally upset with himself and his fellow Democratic freeholders in not heeding the Sheriff's warning that overtime would exceed savings.
At the same meeting, it was actually D'Amico who was castigated for interfering in the labor situation in the Sheriff's Department. We will also point out that D'Amico, who seems to think it's okay for prisons to be run on reduced staffing (maybe he feels that prison gangs are just a celebration of diversity), is also a disciple of the Union County Democrats. That's Union County, folks, where jailbreaks are not out of the question.
Finally, we will point to the third paragraph in the Press article, which says, "...Democratic Freeholder John D'Amico, Jr. said Guadagno was too cozy with the unions..."
Too cozy with the unions? Do you really want to go there, Flippy? Well, do you?

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