My Town-A Letter from Mayor Finizio
Recently, the New London City Council gave its OK to RE-instating a “Responsible Contractor Ordinance”/law/thing…whatever. What should be a no-brainer is, of course instead, a political toilet bowl.
“The Day” paper came out AGAINST this ordinance which actually surprised me even though I know it shouldn’t have. In my heart of hearts I’m starting to believe that FOX ‘news’ took over control of the Bodenwein Foundation owner/operator/funding source for “The Day” and several charities, of which “The Day” is swiftly becoming one. When people talk about ‘the liberal media’ they ain’t talkin’ about “The Day”.
It’s no secret that I’m a Union Supporter. I don’t belong to one. I’m not offered one where I work–sort of ironic, huh? I believe in the Middle Class. I believe in the Right to Work. I believe in making a decent honest wage for a decent honest day’s work. I also believe companies/corporations are more out for themselves and would rather line their own pockets as thickly as possible…no matter the human cost or cost to the American Economy…then part with a proportionate share of the wealth it workers are earning for it. I believe the only way We get that is by banding together, standing firm, and very loudly saying; We will not sell our souls to the company store. We will be paid a fair wage. We will not beg at the feet of the Master. We are human beings with pride and dignity. We are not dogs.
As such, I present to you a Letter from Mayor Finizio which appeared in “The Day” paper on September 9, 2013
Why union labor is better
By DARYL JUSTIN FINIZIO
Publication: The Day
Published 09/08/2013 12:00 AM
Updated 09/06/2013 05:12 PM
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I have always considered myself to be financially responsible when it concerns the expenditure of public funds. I believe in lowering costs, creating efficiencies, and balancing budgets. I believe my actions over the course of two years as mayor of New London have proven this and, during this time, the editorials of The Day and my administration have agreed on most financial matters. Such was not the case, however, concerning the Sept. 5 editorial, “Costly favoritism,” urging me to be veto the recently passed, “Ordinance Regulating Bidding on Public Construction Projects.”
I would note that my financial decisions as mayor have often brought me into opposition with employee unions in New London. I do not, and would not, support a union position for political reasons, but I will gladly stand with unions when I believe they are advancing the right policies.
Regarding the City Council’s passage of the responsible contractor ordinance, I believe building and trades unions are advancing a good policy and I believe the Day has taken a short term, rather than a long term, view of cost savings and economic growth in our city.
Low bidder rules for construction projects, without the protections that this ordinance provides, favor the success of bids that use lower quality and less trained workers. While a bid awarded may, in today’s dollars, be less than a union construction bid, the buildings built are not of the same quality.
How often have we seen buildings constructed only to see them have major costly deficiencies arise within a short time frame? This requires buildings to be repaired, or outright replaced, more frequently, at great cost to city taxpayers.
A responsible contractor ordinance, combined with appropriate budgeting for routine maintenance, will lower costs to city taxpayers in the long term by building, and maintaining, better quality buildings.
I believe the Day’s opposition to this ordinance is also short sighted from an economic development standpoint. The greatest form of economic empowerment for our city and state is job creation. Without this ordinance, these multi-million dollar projects often go to companies, and workers, outside our city, and often, outside our state.
When local middle-class union laborers are employed, the money expended on local construction goes back into our local economy. Local workers buy homes in New London, go to New London restaurants and shops, and participate in New London’s civic and religious community. The apprenticeship program by our local trade unions affords a pathway to the middle class for young New Londoners. Providing infrastructure work to local labor is the best way to address unemployment in our region, and lift up our regional economy.
If the City of New London is to spend tens of millions of dollars in bonding for construction projects in the coming years, I firmly believe the best way to invest that money wisely is to invest in good quality work that will last, done by local laborers who contribute to our local economy. For the reasons I have stated, when the ordinance passed by council reaches my desk, and over the editorial objections of this newspaper, I will sign it.
Daryl Justin Finizio is the mayor of New London.
I’m going to say this for the first and probably last time in my life where any politician is concerned; Mayor Finizio I’m proud of you.
(That almost hurt! LOL)
Look if we, as a City, budget X amount of dollars for Project Whatever then that’s the budget. We ARE going to spent THAT. Oh yes we are. No matter who the bids go out, we WILL spend pretty much every last shiny penny. So the COST isn’t going to go up. The COST will stay the same. It will still be X amount of dollars. The difference is now in how that money gets moved around. Who gets it. Where does it go. Who ultimately benefits from the CASH spent.
I’d like it to be New London and New London County. If they’re going to spend x amount of my tax dollars on Project Whatever to start with then I’d like those tax dollars to stay as close to home as humanly possible. I want those tax dollars staying right here where they will be pumped back into THIS economy and not benefit people in other states. Does that make sense to you?
As far as I understand, this Ordinance only effects “Prevailing Wage Jobs”. For others of you, we used to call it “Chasing Rate Work” when my husband was in the asbestos removal and demolition businesses. They mean the job pays the ‘prevailing wage’…no matter who gets it, Union or Non-Union those on a “prevailing wage job” are paid by a set standard, say $30.00 an hour. So if you’re in a Union you get the $30.00/hr. If you’re not in a Union you still get the $30.00/hr.
So again the actual COST is not going up. The rate is already set by The Powers That Be and out of the control of the City of New London and, well, everybody else.
The difference here between the Union and the Non-Union guy, especially in this particular business in this particular state, is that a portion of the Union Man’s dues goes to FUND a training program with actual accreditation from the state. That means they give young people…and older people…the opportunity to learn a skilled trade by the sides of people who know what they’re doing and actually care about what they’re doing. I don’t know about other unions but the one I’m closest to takes a heck of a lot of pride in its work and rightly so. They work hard to produce the highest quality product possible. As a side note, there’s little to nothing preventing the Non-Union Contractor from having their own Apprenticeship Programs. All they have to do is pay for it. Make an investment, not in your own bank account, but in the future of your community and your industry. Pretty simple.
And on another plus side for the Union Guys…they’re HERE. Just right up the street. Right here. The City will never have to go chasing after them and tracking them down. Because…they’re here. They’ve been HERE for a very long time and they’re not going anywhere. They work with contractors from the six New England States so getting competitive bids shouldn’t be a big problem. After all, even though they’re all on the same ‘team’ they’re still competing against each other for the work. Free Market and all that, you know.
I’m really having problems seeing the Big Down Side here.
Yeah, there’s ‘comments’ on the article, most are the same tired, worn, even haggard, limp argument “The Day” set forth and I’ve done a good job of rebuffing here. I skimmed the ‘comments’ and closed out. What’s the point in anything else? It’s the same people over and over again setting forth the same old boring agendas. I can only read one argument so many times before it all blurs together into something hazy and best forgotten.
I know…I hear you…go on so say it…
But Moonie, what about the Non-Union guy trying to make a living?
I do get into a bit of sticky-wicket there. I have several Non-Union-Guy friends in this business. Some of them have families. Some don’t. All of them manage to make a fairly good living…even through the worst of the economic recession…so I’m not worried about them. None of them do this particular type of work anyway they’re all ‘residential’ to ‘small building’ so they wouldn’t be after any of these projects. I must say, each of these men is extremely talented at what they do and I’d recommend them to anyone building/renovating a house or something like that.
To those Non-Union-Guys who work Big Construction jobs, I gotta say…guys…I seen a lot of fruity shit go down since I’ve been at my new job. Shit I never would have thought possible. You probably haven’t either. I’d suggest you educate yourselves because for every ‘good’ Non-Union Contractor there are at least 2 more who suck salty monkey balls and will not hesitate to stab you in the back the very first chance they get.
I know that seems a little cryptic but, given my job, that’s all I’m going to say on the matter; Educate Yourselves.
And never ever under any circumstances whatsoever…not even under pain of penalty of DEATH…shop at Wal-Mart! Fruity shit? Man have I seen it! And, let me tell, I’ve never been righter about anything in my entire life. You want to Save Money, Live Better…SHOP LOCAL! Keep your money in your town. Among other things.
That’s it. That’s Auntie Moon’s Sermon for Today.
Once more; thank you, Mayor Finizio, I will not forget you come election day.