Town Firings

I don’t know the names of many of the town employees fired Thursday but the one I do is that of our Traffic Engineer, Garo Garabedian:

Hardest hit of any department was public works, where eight workers were laid off, including, to the shock of many, Garo Garabedian, the town’s traffic engineer.

A 28-year town employee who oversaw a variety of activities, from the installation of speed-limit signs to the design of a multitude of traffic circles, Garabedian gazed stoically at his co-workers after learning his fate and shook several of their hands. A colleague had to drive Garabedian home because the car he came to work in was owned by the town.

Garabedian, who earned an annual salary of about $106,000, according to his union, declined to comment about his status. His union representative was quick to criticize the handling of the situation, however.

“He’s waltzed out the door with no notice, just told, ‘Pack up. Give us your keys. Thank you very much.’ I just think it could have been handled more compassionately,” said Lynn Mason, business manager of Laborers’ International Union of North America Local 136.

Although I never met the man personally I have long admired him from afar, first when I was a young lawyer sitting through interminable P&Z hearings, later as an RTM member and when I did duty on the Riverside Association. The man was a real pro: he knew what he was talking about, he had sensible solutions to citizens’ concerns and he showed the same class and quiet stoicism while listening to the ranting of over-wrought residents as he did Thursday when he was shoved out the door. Whatever the merits of our budget cutting, and I do support First Selectman Tesei’s efforts, I think we’re paying a terrible price to save the $100 grand of Mr. Garabedian’s salary. We’re going to miss him sooner, as well as later.

 

10 Comments

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10 responses to “Town Firings

  1. 100K

    Please emphasize that it is 100K a year saved forever for the taxpayer. Think of it as $1 million of taxpayer dollars saved over a decade or $3 million over 30 years. Oh, and all those PENSIONS for life saved. Can’t forget those. Or is that the only reason people want those “low” paying government jobs?

    I think we can do with all the “services”. Just fix the roads, get rid of the cops, dump a lot of teachers, and we will all be fine.

    Sorry, I disagree with all this sympathy. Government never was the solution. It is bloated, slow, and intolerable. We never needed a stop sign on every road in town. So this is the guy that made back Greenwich look like Glenville with all the stupid stop signs he installed about 4 years ago.

    Towns need to start MERGING services (cops, fire, teachers). Please do not stop here. Do Not just lay off a few people.

    70 POSITIONS, not PEOPLE were dropped out of over 1000 town employees positions. And many cuts were just UNFILLED vacant full time or part time jobs.

    Stop whining and go START some real businesses and start paying some REAL taxes all you laid off workers. I guess its umemployment benefits you want now.

    You have had years to think about what you really like while sitting in your chairs producing little and complaining like children.

    Focus on your passion. Start a landscaping business, lower your prices, and put a few illegal immigrants out of work. There is a start. Get the leaf blowers going and stop whining.

    Maybe you will not make 100K for about 2 or 3 years but you will appreciate the hard work and satisfaction in making money for yourself and supporting yourself, not just depending on a taxpayer to get you through life.

  2. Fire Dept, taxpayer hosed!

    Anybody remember when that Polish fire chief Warhola (?sp) was too drunk to get to a fire. They gave him a slap on the wrist. Then they said that he was working too hard so maybe we need to hire more deputy chiefs. That’s an example of waste. Let’s dump a few fire fighters while we are at it.

  3. have no fear

    the town worker takes a job with the thought it is for life. we are supposed to have sympathy since they are low paid. in reality, many long term townies get a better deal then the rest of it.

    they never realize when a door closes another opens. go take your “talents” elsewhere. the problem is most of us business people see the townie worker as somebody who just believes in entitlement and has few talents to offer a real employer. so go out and start a bix bro

  4. Anonymous

    Garo is a first-class guy and a valued town employee of many years- it’s a shame he was terminated in such an insensitive way. He could have at least been given the option of “retiring” and some recognition of his many years of service- what would that have cost the town?

  5. Town Sewer Dept, ah the smell of waste

    Human waste. Taxpayer dollar waste. Yeah, it all smells the same.

    Ever drop by the Town sewer plant. You will meet a lot of free loaders. Meet the guy who’s only job is to dunk a bucket in the different tanks to measure daily coliform levels. Oh, he has a supervisor too.

    The 5th grade field trip doesn’t count. Go as a taxpaying adult and you’d be astonished at the folks. Some were brought in when the Town had a bright idea to install those pump grinders in Mianus River area. The employee said the Town would probably pay to replace the pump grinder in about 10 years from now when the 6 foot pump breaks. Sure, take that promise to the bank with this Town. Get it in writing.

    Go bring a friend and have lunch over there on this park-like setting. It really doesn’t smell. Or maybe you get used to it.

  6. Anonymous, hey stand up

    If you feel so strongly about the guy, tell him your name. it is the least you can do. stand up.

    now that garo is out, will he tell us why he installed a camera at the glenville intersection near the fire house pointing up riversville rd. it was a creepy thing for the town to do.

  7. anonymous

    Government workers are the modern-day UAW…society’s least productive, least competent workers w/highest relative pay and benefits and job security

    Gotta love the many gvt employees w/taxpayer-funded car and driver

    No surprise why government employee unions are prob biggest organized force lobbying for more taxes on “rich”, to protect their own life of leisure and ineptitude

  8. airport barrier

    A great moment in traffic control was the Town decision to block the road to Westchester airport. Remember those great decisions by Town traffic control?

    Ground control to Major Tom, thank God we are cleaning house in Greenwich.

  9. blumenthal move to htfd

    hey dick-can u pay for your state paid car and state trooper driver daily or stay in htfd overnight during the wk like the rest of the working stiffs who have long commutes.

  10. frank farricker

    Garo is a consummate pro. His diligence and intelligence have saved more lives and property damage in this town over the years than many can imagine. I appreciate the desire to cut salaries, but people of Garo’s capabilities save us money – save us money by requiring safety in everything that gets done in Greenwich. Those who cheer a scalp to strike a blow against those chiseling tax sucks should really know what Garo did for us in his position. He gave us value in the millions. I am afraid the value of the lawsuits that we may incur from improper review of traffic and intersections, and of all the consultants that will take his place will cost many times his salary and benefits.

    Everyone says traffic is in the top 3 of our problems in Greenwich. Firing the traffic engineer is just plain lunacy. I sincerely hope there was no ulterior motive, because it just doesn’t make sense.