Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Abramson Ultimatum Ignored by FOP

Louisville Mayor Jerry Abramson's demand that the FOP accept his ham-handed concessions was ignored by the members tonight in a show of solidarity that surprised me. This is truly a management problem, from the top down. It reminds me of the management at Ford Motor Company. Always willing to place the blame for mismanagement at the feet of their employees, and never willing to share in the sacrifices . The employees were given an unfair ultimatum and, thankfully, decided against it. Now the mayor and Chief White are promising to do whatever it takes to shove some type of concession down the throats of the police officers. Perhaps Chief White could take a pay cut as a show of good faith. Maybe the mayor could lower his salary to a dollar a year until this is over. The people running this city want it to be run as a business, so we had damn sure better start acting like the shareholders and make our demands clear.

FOP members, I applaud you for standing up to the bad management of the city and LMPD. As I have said many times before, the mayor simply MUST lead by example. Abramson has to eliminate or cut the number of deputy mayors, spokespersons, department heads and their staff and their take-home cars first.

Although I proposed eliminating the take-home cars for the police, it was just one part of the equation that must include deep cuts at the executive level. The chief and the mayor will impose new, higher fees for the take-home car program, and I'm guessing that few will pony up. So eliminate the program all together instead of placing the blame for the demise of the program on police that cannot afford an extra $200 a month. I am sure there is waste in the police department that needs to be dealt with. But I am an Ironworker, not a city manager. The mayor is now on notice that he cannot continue to rely only on concessions from union employees to fill the gap in the budget.

Thanks, FOP, and good luck.

UPDATE 11/25/2008, 10:50pm: Mark Hebert at WHAS-11 did a story today on the subject. View it HERE.

UPDATE 11/25/2008, 11:15pm: Watch the mayor threaten layoffs in this video from WAVE-3.

UPDATE 11/26/2008, 6:15pm: The Mayor stated in a phone interview with WHAS-11's Mark Hebert that he has done all he is going to do with regard to cuts at the top level of his administration, alluding to keeping jobs unfilled and the 10% pay cut, despite calls for substantial cuts comparable to what he is asking from other departments. Metro Council President Jim King is now involved in the fiasco. See the story HERE.

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