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Mar 30, 2010 7:31 PMPublication: The East Hampton Press

East Hampton plans to cut number of departments in half, offer early retirement

Mar 30, 2010 7:31 PM

“We have to stop thinking of fiefdoms. There are too many projects where people say that’s so and so’s area. We can’t live like that,” said Mr. Wilkinson. “I don’t want to see anybody laid off on an involuntary basis, but that is going to have to involve a change in dynamics in this workplace. We need to have these groups get together for the benefit of all.”

Mr. Wilkinson added that the town had the flexibility to determine if certain groups of employees were ineligible for the program.

“I’d like the CSEA to consider breadth in interpretation of job assignments so we can start moving more closely as a team,” he said. “I want to be able to look any employee in East Hampton straight in the eye and say we came to a mutual decision.”

CSEA president Heath Liebman said Tuesday that he had not yet spoken with Mr. Wilkinson about the planned cuts, and that he plans to refrain from commenting until he has a chance to meet with the supervisor.

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Mr. King was elected to manage a department, now he can prove he can do it.
By hohum123 (91), springs on Mar 30, 10 6:58 PM
A very positive development, although borrowing more money to fund the buy-outs is a concern.
By zaz (197), East Hampton on Mar 30, 10 7:28 PM
Downsizing sounds good, perhaps someone could've said this government is bloated at the top too.
By fix-it-now (216), sag harbor on Mar 30, 10 8:54 PM
1 member liked this comment
It's "chomping at the bit," not "champing at the bit."
By Flyingpoint (2), Bridgehampton on Mar 30, 10 11:58 PM
"Champing at the bit" is in fact the correct idiom. "Chomping at the bit" has arisen as a modern variant, but "champing at the bit" is the original and correct phrase.
By BOReilly (135), 27east Web Editor on Mar 31, 10 8:57 AM
yep - you're right
goes back as early as the 16th century but seems to have taken on its current meeting in the 19th century. There are a number of web sites devoted to the meaning and origin of phrases.
By diogenes (57), westhampton on Apr 1, 10 1:46 PM
Devil's in the details...Town needs to reduce headcount and also packages of those with the bloated union contracts, i.e. police department. Town police department is almost as bad as the county. Some control needs to be exercised...last contract still falls short.
By voter (33), Amagansett on Mar 31, 10 10:00 AM
The Town police provide a necessary sevice that is unique in itself. The work of a police officer is dangerous an demanding, yes even in East Hampton, the public can only see the salary and not what officers do on a daily basis. The point is stop bashing the Police Dept, you cannot put a price tag on the services provided, and lets not forget this is an open competive civil service position open to all.
By BlueStreak (34), East End on Mar 31, 10 1:34 PM
McGintee's crap aside........re-assess the whole damn Town and we wouldn't have a problem affording to run the Town. The McMansions are getting a free ride here and we're forced to deal with this mess.
By YEAROUNDER (81), East Hampton on Mar 31, 10 2:49 PM
This sounds like a great plan! I hope the Town is able to reduce the number of staff without costing too much in "buy outs" -- why not just lay off people? I mean, I can understand wanting to help them out as oppose to just cut them loose, but if you need to borrow money to do it, maybe its not a good idea? I understand too, peoples feelings that the police contract is bad although I don't know the details of it, I don't think you can underpay police and expect to have a good force. I like that ...more
By Rich Morey (368), Brooklyn on Mar 31, 10 3:06 PM
A good idea to reduce staff, but why not consult with Department Heads over what positions are redundant, or can be combined? I have heard that none of the Department Heads were involved in this decision.Also, last year's Budget Advisory Committee had some sound ideas on staff reduction. Evidently those have also been ignored.
Also, if early retirement positions cannot be replaced, what about someone choosing early retirement who is in a pretty important slot, eg. what if our one accountant ...more
By P.A.B. (23), East Hampton on Apr 6, 10 2:44 PM
I disagree. Each dept. will place their own interests above any greater good, and none will offer up anything without being forced. What doesn't work at this crisis stage is more talk, especially the "imaginative" variety.
By zaz (197), East Hampton on Apr 6, 10 6:01 PM
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