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Political notes from Free Press staff writers Terri Hallenbeck, Sam Hemingway and Nancy Remsen


7.02.2008

 

About the job cuts

There's a lot going on that will affect the size and shape of state government. Here are some highlights.

Effective yesterday (July 1) there were 150 fewer jobs on the books. The Douglas administration announced last November that it planned to downsize and gave managers six months to find 150 slots that would be eliminated. The list was released yesterday. Seems they succeeded, although some managers put of positions that were fairly recently authorized and not yet filled.

Now those same managers -- plus the constitutional officers who were spared job cuts in the first round -- have new targets. They must find another 250 jobs that can be wiped off the books by the end of December. Deputy Secretary of Administration Linda McIntire said some managers were "shocked" when they saw their targets, but since the state currently has 441 vacant positions, she said there was clearly opportunities.

All these cuts are to be made without layoffs. They are to some when folks retire, are promoted or transferred or leave state government.

It's that process that has legislators worried, since it doesn't lend itself to strategic (an overused word if there ever was one) downsizing, but rather haphazard downsizing. The Legislature told the administration that its off-season oversight committee -- Joint Fiscal -- would have to take a look at the cuts in the fall before they became final.

So that's the 400 job cuts without layoffs.

There have been layoffs. Corrections cut nine jobs, which results in some layoffs, because the budget it was given by the administration wasn't going to cover everybody. The Legislature didn't change the situation and the jobs are cut.

The Legislature added a $500,000 cut to the Commerce Department budget at the last minute and now Secretary Kevin Dorn has laid off four workers (all involved in information technology) and is looking elsewhere for more savings. Sen. Susan Bartlett, D-Lamoille, said she was surprised about these layoffs as Dorn never mentioned that would be a consequence of the budget cut. Commerce, by the way, only had to eliminate one position in the 150-job-cut exercise.

Back to Corrections -- by January, another 40-45 positions will evaporate with the closing of the Dale Correctional Facility in Waterbury. The restructuring that is getting underway -- moving all women to St. Albans and transforming Windsor into a work camp -- was designed to save money and cutting jobs does that.

The Legislature also requires a $2.3 million reduction in spending on temporary and contract workers. And in lawmakers' continuing effort to shrink the pool of public relations staff employed by the administration, there has to be another $250,000 cut from spending for exempt employees.

Then there were the pay freezes. The administration proposed a freeze on the highest paid staff. Lawmakers agreed and expanded it to a few more, including their own staff. The Judiciary went along, too, as did other constitutional officers.

So what does all this add up to? A lot of shifting sand within state government.

More interesting to this blog, is what does it add up to politically?

-- Nancy Remsen

Comments:
Interesting. Vermont civil servants get laid off ... and Douglas's political cronies get $300,000 in bonuses ... complements of the Vermont taxpayer.
 
Pollina thinks we should be adding employees. If private sector employers added employees when business was down, how long would they stay in business?
Douglas is doing the right thing and now is the time to do the downsizing.
 
Pollina brought attention to the fact that merit bonuses were given to Douglas' highly paid staff all the while the cuts were being planned. The Rutland Herald covered it well, but the Freeps ignored it. http://rutlandherald.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080701/NEWS04/807010363/1004/NEWS03

If you did a little digging you'd find it wasn't the governor's idea to freeze salaries. The idea began with the legislature and the governor took credit for it.
 
Once again, NEK is right on target and once again Douglas leads the way in fiscal responsibility.

Taxes are out of control. State revenues are declining. The right thing to do is lower labor costs. I don't see Gaye or Pollina stepping up to the plate to act responsibly. Perhaps that is why the milk coop and the Intervale have been failures. They have no fiscal common sense. And to think Gaye and Pollina both have the audacity to ask us to give them more responsibility.
 
Its time state government was run more like a business. When times are tough (and they are) people and perks gotta go. Bonuses should never have happened during these tough times and I can't imagine what in the world the GOVERNOR was thinking but everyone makes mistakes and maybe its time to admit one was and move on. I also believe its time to cut some social programs. Its time to get back to the teach a man to fish not keep handing out the halibut
 
Gee, I hate to confuse your ignorant, anonymous, coalition of the clueless cretin asses with the facts again, little fellas, but Government is not a Business. It's Government.

It's primary responsibility is to serve the need of its constituents and to preserve, defend and protect the laws under the State and US Constitutions their elected officials and government functionaries are sworn to uphold, defend and protect.

They don't exist to turn a profit. They don't have the option of charging premiums while denying benefits. They're not insurance companies.

Like most gops and all ignorant trash with bupkis, you're confusing running government efficiently with running it as a business. Businesses are often run inefficiently. Many businesses fail whether they're run efficiently or not and go out of business. Government doesn't have that luxury.

Reality. Give us a visit. Just call first.

Always a pleasure.
Dismissed.
 
Coop says.."Like most gops and all ignorant trash with bupkis, you're confusing running government efficiently with running it as a business. Businesses are often run inefficiently. Many businesses fail whether they're run efficiently or not and go out of business. Government doesn't have that luxury."

You are showing your ignorance Coopy- Businesses have the LUXURY of going out of business? Who's got bupkis?
You admit above that it is okay to run a government inefficient!
You, Sanders, Polina and Obama are all satisfied to run inefficient as long as you can grab someone's income to support your inefficiencies.
What happens when there is no one left with income to support the necessary government hand-out programs? - say nothing about the unnecessary ones!
 
Anonymous said...

"Its time state government was run more like a business. When times are tough (and they are) people and perks gotta go. Bonuses should never have happened during these tough times and I can't imagine what in the world the GOVERNOR was thinking but everyone makes mistakes and maybe its time to admit one was and move on..."

Again, I hate to confuse your ignorant anonymous ass with the facts, little fella, but by handing out bonuses to his top aids after continuing to run Vermont into the ground, Douglas clearly is granting your clueless-cretin cabeza's wish and running Government as a business in the utmost, incompetent-trash, gop-like manner.

For example:

"May 24, 2006: 9:17 AM EDT

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) - A showdown could occur at Home Depot's annual shareholder meeting Wednesday as some shareholders and activist groups prepare to seek the right to vote on CEO Robert Nardelli and other executives' annual compensation packages, according to a report published Wednesday.

The New York Times reported that some firms that advise large shareholders are also urging shareholders to withhold votes from several directors and plan a rally outside the meeting in Wilmington, Del., to protest Nardelli's "excessive pay" package.

According to the report, Home Depot (Research)'s board has awarded him $245 million in his five years at the helm. Yet during that time, the company's stock has slid 12 percent while shares of its archrival, Lowe's (Research), have climbed 173 percent..."

Gee, just think what they woulda paid him if he really ran the joint into the ground, little fella.

So much for ignorant, ill-informed gop-scum notions of running government as a business.

Always a pleasure.
Dismissed.
 
Nancy: please let us know when doogie starts downsizing his PR team. don't think that's happened yet. will make a good story.
 
NEK has left a new comment on the post "Brock decides":

"Randy Brock would be an excellent Senator. From this blog, it appears
the only concern is his residency. Your "carpetbagger" comments work
both ways.
I think you are all worried that Randy can -and will- win this seat."

Ya do, eh? That's a good one, nekwit.

Leaving aside the absurd notion of you thinking at all, nekkie boy, for the sake of argument, let's say Brock wins himself a Senate Seat, which Democrat would he replace and what makes you think that shifting the balance of power in the Vermont Senate from 23 Dems - 7 gops to 22 Dems - 8 gops is gonna reap immediate dividends the for gop-scum minority in the Senate and the gop-scum minority in the electorate when the biggest question remains whether Vermont will go 2-1 or 3-1 for Obama at the top of the ticket?

Don't fear the reaper.

Now by all means, nekwit, do spew the gop goo that you spew so well.

That's entertainment.

Always a pleasure.
Dismissed.
 
LOL Coop! "By gum, we got them on the run," said NEK. "Ten more seats and we'll have 'em right where we want 'em, by jingo."
 
Anonymous has left a new comment on the post "Brock decides":

"After all, who want to pay $2.25/gallon for gas when you can spend
$4.50/gallon or more for that same gallon of gas"

"Cool huh and the left opposes expanding our oil drilling efforts. I think they actually like gas at this point because it rationalize their pet projects ...inefficient wind and solar power..."

Really? Well, little factually-challenged nameless-nitwit fella, given the fact that little Jebbie and Charlie Crist are the gop-scum Florida governors who opposed off-shore drilling until Crist recently reversed himself and came out in favor of it, Arnold is the gop-scum governor of California who still opposes off-shore drilling off the coast of California, gop-scum controlled Congress from 1/95-1/07 including the last six of Clinton's 8 years in Office and the first six years of Bush's 8 years where gop-scum controlled all 3 branches of Government, just how and what did the Dems do to prevent Bush from dealing with the problem?

That's what I thought.

In other words, you're still dumb, you're still scum and your ignorant anonymous ass has still got bupkis.

Thanks for clearin' that up, little factually-challenged nameless-nitwit fella.

Always a pleasure.
Dismissed.
 
I agree that Vermont will go 2-1 or 3-1 for Obama but that only tells me one thing- Vermont is moving left of San Fransisco and that might give some people that "sinking" feeling.
That only goes to show that some people that vote in Vermont do not have to worry about the economy- they have their trust funds.
Other elitist in VT don't worry about the "little" people who have to drive to work and have to keep their thermostats at 60- elitist call this "conserving", us working people call it "survival".
Keep it up Coop & friends, your penchant for alternate energy will arrive AFTER most of us had to leave because we can't afford Vermont.
Thank god we have Douglas & Dubie to pay defense against your left wing legislature.
 
So much nekwit-nonsense, so little time.

NEK said...
Coop says.."Like most gops and all ignorant trash with bupkis, you're confusing running government efficiently with running it as a business. Businesses are often run inefficiently. Many businesses fail whether they're run efficiently or not and go out of business. Government doesn't have that luxury.""

"You are showing your ignorance Coopy- Businesses have the LUXURY of going out of business? Who's got bupkis?.."

No, I'm letting you show your ignorance and the bonehead bearing bupkis would be your ignorant, ill-informed and evidently not-so-functionally-illiterate ass, nekkie boy.

"You admit above that it is okay to run a government inefficient!"

I do, eh? And just when and where did I do that, nekkie boy?

That's what I thought.

"You, Sanders, Polina and Obama are all satisfied to run inefficient as long as you can grab someone's income to support your inefficiencies."

Really? Once again, nekkie boy, if you can produce evidence of me saying anything in support of Shrub squandering the Federal Surplus that Clinton left him after erasing the one his old man and reagan left him and running up a his own Federal Deficit which is even bigger than the first reagan/bush Deficit while running up more debt as President than all his predecessors combined as he lied us into an unnecessary war in Iraq while handing out no-bid contracts to the likes of Halliburton, KBR and Blackwater and renewing and expanding those contracts and continuing to reward those companies despite their well-documented inefficiencies, illegalities and failures to perform the duties and particulars outlined and called for in said contracts, knock yourself out.

That's what I thought.

In other words, you're still dumb, you're still scum and your ignorant, ill-informed ass has still got bupkis.

Thanks for clearin' that up, nekkie boy.

Always a pleasure.
Dismissed.
 
You have NEVER answered my posts other to bash Bush, Douglas, Cheney and Dubie.
Your post have as much credibility as a 3rd grader!
Where in my last statement did I refer to the WH?
I can see why you lean left- you can't possibly stand up straight with all the hate (and BS)you carry!
 
NEK said...

"I agree that Vermont will go 2-1 or 3-1 for Obama but that only tells me one thing- Vermont is moving left of San Fransisco and that might give some people that "sinking" feeling."

In other words, you're dumb, you're scum, ya got bupkis and your ignorant, ill-informed ass is not representative of the Vermont electorate.

Thanks for clearin' that up, nekkie boy.

"That only goes to show that some people that vote in Vermont do not have to worry about the economy- they have their trust funds."

Given the composition of the Legislature and Vermont's delegation to Washington, is it your clueless-cretin contention that the majority of Vermonters have trust funds who don't and don't need to work for a living, nekwit?

By all means, feel free to substantiate at that utterly-psychotic slop.

"Other elitist in VT don't worry about the "little" people who have to drive to work and have to keep their thermostats at 60- elitist call this "conserving", us working people call it "survival"."

Again, is it your clueless-cretin contention that you represent the "little" Vermont "working people", nekkie boy? If so, again, how do you explain the composition of the Legislature and Vermont's delegation to DC?

If you're representative of the majority of Vermont, nekwit, then why isn't Ruth Dwyer finishing up her first decade as Governor of Vermont, why couldn't hardworkin' little people like Jack McMullen and Richie Tarrant buy themselves Vermont's Senate Seats in DC, why isn't the lunatic-fringe likes of Greg Parke Vermont's Congressman and why can't you get your many like-minded, lunatic-fringe, utterly-psychotic soul-mates to vote, little fella?

That's what I thought.

"Keep it up Coop & friends, your penchant for alternate energy will arrive AFTER most of us had to leave because we can't afford Vermont."

I'm gonna miss ya, nekkie boy, I've seen my share of ignorant, ill-informed trash - both named and anonymous - spewin' the most meshuggah, factually-challenged, gop-slop, nekwit-nonsense come down the pike in joints like this, but few as delightfully-delusional and demented as you.

"Thank god we have Douglas & Dubie to pay defense against your left wing legislature."

Yeah, given the fact that Shrub and Doogie have been able to override all Democratic Legislative attempts to keep them from running the Country and the State of Vermont into the ground whenever they've tried to thwart gop policies and gop efforts to run the joint into the ground, ya can't blame them for stoppin' shrub and doogie from trashing the joint.

When you're right, you're right, nekkie boy.

Always a pleasure.
Dismissed.
 
NEK said...

"You have NEVER answered my posts other to bash Bush, Douglas, Cheney and Dubie."

Well, given the fact that there's rarely anything to answer included in your delusional dreck and the gop swine you mention are easily and deservedly bashed, ya can hardly fault me for that, nekkie boy.

"Your post have as much credibility as a 3rd grader!"

Well, given the fact that a 3rd grader would know that your sentence as written should employ the plural form of post and the possessive form of grader is called for as in "your posts have as much credibility as a 3rd grader's, clearly, in addition to your lack of factual information and your overabundance of psychotic slop, that's yet another standard that your ignorant, ill-informed ass is unable to reach, little fella.

Always a pleasure.
Dismissed.
 
3rd graders have to be nicer to each other
 
3rd graders have to be nicer to each other
 
Anonymous said...

"3rd graders have to be nicer to each other"

Gee, ya gonna give me the be nice to nameless-nitwits with bupkis song and dance, little fella?

No sale, schmuck. Get yourself a case and a clue or get used to it.

Shalom, schmuck.
Dismissed.
 
Vermont can be pro business and pro Vermonters - let's stop fighting with each other.
 
I hear ya.
 
jwCoop10 is an asshole.
 
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