Kim Izzarelli has an extensive professional background in employee pension and benefits and she wants each voter to know that 70 cents of every budget dollar by spent by local governments goes to employee compensation programs. “I believe that we are in difficult times because a lot of people that sit on boards, and specifically the Town of Ossining’s Council, don’t understand how compensation and benefits work,” she said during a recent interview.
When asked if compensation and benefit programs for employees were not within the control of local government but actually set by New York State, Izzarelli was quick to counter. “That’s not true. There is nothing in State law that says employees can’t pay into their health care funds.” She mentioned that the current Town Council under Supervisor Catherine Borgia is free-wheeling when it comes to giving free health care to part- time employees. “The reason people work part-time is so that they can do something else. When you work full-time you are rewarded with a benefits package,” she added. She went on to say that the part-time person was Judge Shapiro who was given free health insurance for life when he retired earlier this year. “Not including Peter Tripodi, the attitude of this current Ossining Council is to give things away. There is another employee who Catherine Borgia brought in to work on a limited-time basis and now this individual is working indefinitely. There is a reason that civil service rules exist. The Ossining Town Council does a lot of circumventing of employee relations law.”
“Another place where labor is being abused is the Ossining Boat and Canoe Club at the foot of the train station. The building they occupy belongs to the Town of Ossining. The Town Council allows work to be done on that building by non-union people and work done there does not go out to bid. That building needs a roof and they will allow members of the club to get out ladders and go onto the roof and do repair work,” Izzarelli said. Her point about all of this is, “What if something happens to one of the members while performing work on a Town-owned building? What liabilities could the Town of Ossining face?”
A word that is almost synonymous with local, regional and federal government is “transparency” or the lack of it. Kim Izzarelli questions the Ossining Town Council, “ I have a real issue with the way that they conduct themselves and the real conflict of interest that they have due to close ties to many of the people who work for the Town and bill for their services. There is a lot of money between friends,” she said. “This is all the more reason why residents need to have new people in government who are not affiliated with this group or any of their friends,” she added. “We have to put an end to this patronage stuff. It’s out of control.”
When asked what she would do differently if elected to the Ossining Town Council, Izzarelli said, “I would like to see a top- to-bottom review of the entire Council and what they are doing. Ask the Town’s auditor to identify all areas of spending. I would also like to see relations with the Village of Briarcliff repaired and I personally would like to spend time with Mayor Vescio [to mend fences].”
According to Kim Izzarelli, the good way to solve problems is to acknowledge that you have them. By her own account she is a problem solver and is asking voters to support her bid to “serve them” as an elected member of the Ossining Town Council on November 8.