Friday, February 18, 2011

Changes Needed

I recently read the report from the New York State Comptroller's Office regarding the allegations of overtime "double dipping". I still believe that it is inappropriate to discuss details of a pending criminal investigation, but there are a few lines of the report that really caught my eye.

The report states:

"Record keeping weaknesses at the City Police Department contributed to the payment of these overlapping hours by the City."

It also states:

"City Police Department officials did not maintain records to document the starting and ending times for shifts worked."

These are 2 troubling statements. Anytime you are dealing with the taxpayers' money, you must be extra careful and maintain a solid paper trail. Whether Matthew is convicted or acquitted, changes need to be made within the department. There must be clear and unambiguous records dealing with payroll and overtime. This is for the protection of the taxpayers and quite frankly for the officers themselves.

I have said from the beginning that I think the Kingston Police Officers do an excellent job. There may turn out to be a bad apple now and again, but the department as a whole is still to be commended. Clearly, however, there needs to be changes in how overtime is managed, reviewed, assigned, and documented. Our next Mayor must make it a priority to review the budgets, rules, regulations, and paperwork for each and every department to make sure our tax money is being properly used and spent, or better yet saved.


Anonymous said...

Rich, the trouble with undocumented overtime goes beyond just the police dept. The Dpw at the treatment plant does not punch time cards and the supervisors O.K. their own overtime which is what was wrong with KPD and former DPW boss Gorsline. Schupp, it seems, is no better since he oversees the treatment plant and gives cartblanche to subcontractor CAMO. The whole dept. of DPW should be audited as well as all city dept.s under this administration's total dysfunctional practices! Sottile and the common council sure have made a mess of things in our town, man.

Anonymous said...

Rich I remember on your blog some time ago that city hall employees get paid before they complete the week. Pay checks come out on Thursday and the employees have already been paid for Friday.

That can't be legal can it? What happens if an employee calls in sick and doesn't have sick time?

People must be paid for only the time they actually work.

Anonymous said...

We need an outside auditor to come in and look over the books in ALL of our departments is correct in saying. Why not? If everything checks out than we are good; if not... there has been a history of wrong doings in Dpw and the police dept. it logically warrants some looking into.

Anonymous said...

This same problem existed in the Building Dept in 2003 & 2004. The Mayor & Fire Chief were aware of it. An inspector was working for the town of Esopus. When asked about "time on the clock" the city stated these records "are not maintained by the city".