Kelly & Sciandra
As the old saying goes, “politics make strange bedfellows.” And, it looks like the Pittston Area minority, majority and various factions at this point in time have been turned inside out.
It all revolves around hiring the district’s auditor and the custodian contract.
Shortly after the meeting this past Tuesday, I was quick to receive a call to put their own spin on it because I did not attend.
Here’s what we were able to gather.
First, the custodian contract. Bob Linskey, Rich Gorzkowski, Marylin Starna and Casey Donahue voted to extend the custodial contract with the caveat the district would not fill three existing openings during that period. Along with that concession the union agreed to a one year pay freeze. They will receive a 60 cent per hour increase in the second year.
The other side consisting of Tony Guariglia, Bruce Knick, Charlie Sciandra and Kent Bratley wanted to table the issue. All voted against the extension claiming they were looking for further concessions to have the custodians take a two year pay freeze versus a one year. They also claim that in the contract which was passed the custodians will receive an extra week vacation, extra personal days and seniority for part timers.
The four would have put a moratorium on the three openings as well.
Next, the hiring of the auditor.
As with the custodial contract, Linskey, Gorzkowski, Starna and Donahue voted to appoint Bonita and Rainey as the district’s auditor.
Sciandra, Guariglia, Knick and Bratlee were lobbying for the Aliciene Firm.
The majority vote contends they supported Bonita and Rainey because their bid was $400 lower than that of Aliciene. Further, while the contract was only for one year, Bonita and Rainey had a proposal on the table that would have saved the district $4,000 in three years.
The opposition contends that while there was a $400 savings, Aliciene would have had two CPAs working directly with the district versus staff of Bonita and Rainey being overseen by CPAs.
Please recall Aliciene had been the district’s auditor for 15 years but was bounced out when the majority flipped last year.
Finally, those in opposition contend new developments involving Bonita and Rainey and LAG towing should be considered.
Bonita and Rainey made the Citizens’ Voice (click here to view)
which read, “The accountant (Bonita and Rainey) that LAG Towing's owner claims has been shredding financial records being sought by The Citizens' Voice was revealed in an affidavit filed Wednesday - although the accountant appears to deny any knowledge of documents being shredded.”
In the coming weeks we'll have analysis of what is on the horizon for control of the board.
My hat goes off to the support staff for coming to the table and helping with the budget.
How come the teachers did not come with anything to help. This goes to show you that they are in line with this board and are they are going to get a great contract next year. Sciandra, Guariglia, Knick, Bratlee and Donahue are all in the teachers corner.
So where is Joe Kelly in all of this? Giving part time workers seniority to me is a negative move for management. They seem determined to give up all management rights and with this move, part time employees will work their way into far more benefits than this weak school board even begins to anticipate. With regard to the contract, I was told they also put pay scale steps in place which is far better than the money the union lost with the one year pay freeze. The county is killing the employees with a longer work day and cutting time off earned through longevity. We have both ends of the spectrum and both are wrong. What happened to the middle of the road?
I find it hard to believe that a credible accounting group would not keep on computer a copy of a clients tax return. After all their name goes on the return in the prepared by section. Pretty shabby work especially when teir client LAG has no accounability of prior tax returns. We need credible people representing our school district. Aliciene group always has appeared to be a credible organization. CPA's and past history of good accountability why is there even an issue for $400?
I voted to extend the contract for Custodians and save 400 thousand dollars, I also voted to take the lowest bid on the Auditor who did deliver on their deliverable s. Now can i ask you who is telling you this information? with all due respect.
Read the news paper, if this is correct about the aduitor you selected and his mishandling of materials for his client Lag. I don't think you made a wise decision.
Isn't the auditor supose to be free of any doubt of wrong doing?
I would reconsider your vote with recent events.
What was wrong with the local guy who had been there for 15 years prior, I only heard good things about him.
You voted for that contract Joe Kelly, I thought you were for the tax payers?
--more personal days for part timers.
For what so you don't have to hire back three people--if you did not need them then don't.
This was political on your part, people are telling me you made a deal with Linsky and several of the janitor staff.
Come on and then not hire a local firm because they were off by $400.
Read the paper on the firm you hired and next time go to Scranton for a vote.
This is the first time I ever saw a board member come to his own defense on this site.
I had hope for you sevearl months ago but your recent support of the Janitors contract and supporting a questionable firm I read about in the Citizens voice has changed that.
You have a political agenda that is not what I want to support.
I agree with Truthsayer, how could we have hired a firm like this? I will give you the benefit of the doubt and say you did not know but now you do so fix it.
Let see what you are really made of.
Joe Kelly, I agree that your probably voted by simply looking at the dollar cost but now yu hve had time to evaluate your decision and keep in mind that it takes big man to acknowledge his mistake and then correct it. Aliciene is a local firm and they have NEVER had the type of publicity the other firm has received. Itis unheard of that an accounting firm would destroy tax records less than 7 years old. They do not deserve this contract and we the taxpayers don't deserve to have them looking at our records. I have no faith in them but I do have faith in you and I'm certain you will correct your error in judgement. Just keep in mind that it is not always about money.
Guys give me a call i will give the WHOLE story!
Shab since 1951 has been awfully quiet. Where the heck has he been?
I have nothing against any local firm, the news came out in the paper after i voted for the lowest bid, i contacted the proper authority s to verify this was only an allegation in the news paper. i am not going to violate some ones civil rights due to something i read in the paper. i am for the kids and the tax-payers i am a tax payer and have a child in the district. I DO THE RIGHT THING, and will defend myself on any forum that anyone who attempts to discredit me. time for all the nonsense to stop enough already we need to move forward and do whats right for the District and taxpayers. That is my only agenda1 Check it out.
Mr. Kelly, only one question. If there was a $400 savings and they have to be overseen by a CPA will that cost the district money? It seems like for a $400 savings we got a piece of fruit from the basket instead of the basket of fruit.
I was at the meeting. The district saved $422,000 (School Accountants numbers). on the Custodial Contract. They did not give the workers an extra week vacation they leveled out the amount of years it took to get vacation. Who ever eye in the sky is is very dis-honest. Another thing the part-timers always had seniority it was always in the contract the former administrations were ignorant and arrogant to not recongnize this. They would have lost the Unfair labour practice anyway. I applaud the directors who voted for all of this. These directors saved also on costs to fight a Unfair labour practice of $15,000 in which they would have spent the money and lost.
I am laughing at all of those people against Joe Kelly for voting to save the district $422,000 (School Accountant numbers). I am glad the Joe Kelly is not being effected by those directors who voted "no" to save the district $422,000. This Joe Kelly maybe the most honorable director we have seen in years. The directors who voted "no" to save the district $422,000 are the ones being political.
Thanks judge u did your homework !
Judge were you at the same meeting as I was at.
The discusssion I heard was that janitors recived their raises, got additional vacationa and personal days even for part time. I work part time and don't receive a personal day.
The savings when asked was tied to three people that have not been replaced if true they don't need them!
Do you get it we were already saving that, why make a deal for that. Plus if you also heard the debate there was a clause for no lay offs. Come on in this economy.
I am a little surprised that anyone would try to justify this move by kelly.
It does not have the tax payer at heart.
Sciandra who had been voting with Kelly went the other way. He is the numbers guy from what I can see and he voted no!
Let's face it Linskey and Kelly made a deal with the janitors, just go down to Tony's Cellar and you will see the VP for the janitors along with Linskey and Kelly.
Now I understand Kelly is trying the same thing with the teachers. Hold on to your wallets.
Mirjohn you are right on,I was there as well and heard what you heard.
This was not in our best interest, I am concerned that Kelly has become a deal maker around the tax payers.
If this happens with the teachers as it did with the janitors then I am going to follow Shab.
Something happened here to make this deal and don't forget Casey was invoved in it as well not to forget he and Kelly went against a very fine local company in their back yard for pennies.
How do they justify it?
Sounds like Kelly speaks from both sides of his mouth, he was boasting that he will not support any deals where anyone received a raise.
What happened? I also see that a deal was made and probably at the expense of the local auditor.
I was very surprised that Donahue went along with both votes especially when his business depends on local people as well.
Isn't he from Jenkins.
OK - I have to jump in here. It's Tony Guariglia and Bruce Knick who are tight with the teachers. If anyone is in their corner its those two. Remember the article I penned where we wrote Guariglia and Knick made a super double top secret deal with the teachers at a local pizza shop (BTW - I luv their pizza). Trust me, Linskey is the last one to make a deal with the teachers. Joe V
Mirjohn, who is the VP of the Janitors? I didn't know there was such a position. But maybe that is why I am not a school director.
I heard Shab is boycotting his own boycott. Is this true? I also heard that a lot of old school directors still want to have some influence on this board. Why is that? They already have taken everything. There is nothing left. Unless there is something to hide :) . Think about it. Why hang around trying to make deals and trying to control people.
A message to Joe Kelly. Stop defending yourself to people that don't sign their names. If you feel you did the right thing then that is all that counts. Tell them to sign their names then you will answer their posts. Chill brother.
Class of 73
I heard a secret deal that Bratlee, Guariglia, Sciandra, and Knick met secretly with the teachers. This is a violation of the sunshine laws. This happened with the former 2 administrations. There were many secret deals etc. This is the reason why the district is in the money problem it is in. The Cosgrove Administration is trying to correct the problems of the former 2 adminstrations. Good job George. We are wathcing every move of the secret deals and we know that the 4 directors mentioned above are not calling the shots. They have a boss also.
Mr. Lampman, Mr Kelly is an elected official and has put himself in a position to be evaluated by those who voted for him. If he wishes to respond to them in this format it is his choice. As far as people not signing their names. This blog is designed for people to view their opinions without adverse recourse from , employers, customers , neighbors, friends etc. Do not as you and this shab guy seem to) think you are higher or better because you post your name. It only shows you both are arrogant and demeaning individuals. If you do not like Mr.V's protocol start your own blog where people have to post their names. See how far that gets with advertizers.
Hey Lampman, his name is Tommy and he is the Vice President of the Janitors Union, just go to Tony's Cellar and you want to see secret deals then have a beer maybe Bob Linskey will buy and you can see first hand why the janitors got what they got.
Secret meetings with the teachers all this talk yet if true we would have seen something long before the budget passed.
Yes the Cosgrove administration is the savior! Give me a break!
Talk to anyone at the school and you will see the kind of leadership we have had.
We need some one with a set of **********
Joe Kelly can sign his name all he wants he still is what he is against the tax payers and local businessman.
Let's not forget one other guy who voted against the local Auditor, Rich Gorskowski, depends on local people to sell gas to and then turns on a local company.
hey boys gimme a call like I said before, i wont tell anyone your real names on here...
I will say this again. The Cosgrove Administration is by far the best administraton we had in years. The 2 former ones were just run politically for their own political gain. They have put the district in so much long term debt 40 million to be exact. This is why we have such high taxes now. The sins of the past have caught up to Pittston Area thanks to the 2 former Administrations in which 1 superintendent is was in jail.
Pumpguy - if you are talking about Tommy Rome he is the President of the Union. Not the Vice President.
Truthsaver - you say I am arrogrant and that I am a demeaning individual because I sign my name to my post. That is the perfect reason as to why I do sign my name. I am neither arrogrant or demeaning, but you my friend are jealous that I can say what I want and sign my name.
Let me ask you this. Why don't some of you so called experts run for school director? You seem to have all the answers. Put you name out there and see if you have the nuts to come on line and answer for yourself like Mr. Kelley is doing.
Judge, you have to be his brother or relative.
By far that was the worse administration the district has seen.
You mean never be able to make decisions is good for the district.
You most live under a rock.
Masmo 1958 you seem to be jealous of the Cosgrove Administration. Maybe you are a little insecure yourself or for the 2 former administrations. Don't you realize the last superintendent is a felon. The dreamer is you. You think the voters like What Scarantino administration did. I would like you to sign your name to see what kind of idiot would stand up for a felon. Don't think that the administration before Scrantino was any better. Eyes are watching that is all I am saying.
Well thanks for your input everyone,I feel people should voice their opinions, after all a lot of men and women died or were wounded or just put it all on the line for us. so we can have the right of free speech and we should remember them and thank them.! but trust me I don't make deals! I disappointed a lot of people whom assumed I was a puppet or a yes man. They were wrong.........Peace
Login and voice your opinion!
Mr. Lampman, I never critized Mr. Kelly at any time only asked him a question and voiced my own opinion on to the vote for the auditor that was taken by the board. I give Mr. Kelly all the credit in the world for trying to answer some questions in this format. I understand it is difficult to get all his points across here.I may not completely agree with the board decision but his interest in the people's concerns is a plus for him. You sir, on the other hand, have proven time and time again your attitude (better than others because I sign my name personality) has proven the people do not want you to represent them. You are unelectable, proven many times over, even Red O'Brien is more electable than you because he is respectful to others.