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How the Game is Played: New Rochelle BoE Quietly Reinstates Locksmith Position

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How the Game is Played: New Rochelle BoE Quietly Reinstates Locksmith Position

September 02, 2009 - 15:25
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F90AF7CC-ED40-4035-A7B9-155D048EA3EF.jpgLike vampires, obsolete Buildings & Grounds positions have a nasty habit of coming back from the dead. Case in point -- the previously eliminated position of locksmith has now be reinstated by the New Rochelle school board because, get this, Schools Superintendent Richard Organisciak says that John Gallagher says the position of locksmith is "definitely needed". Readers will recall this is the same Organisciak who has been got caught red-handed in lie after lie telling the school board to take his word that the same Gallagher who allowed school vans, trucks and even HVAC engineers to go missing on his watch has given him his word that the district definitely needs a locksmith.

The Two Locksmiths Resolutions

  • Resolution 10-82 Reinstates Locksmith position
  • Resolution 10-81 Accepts the Resignation of Master Locksmith Edward Graefe

Readers will recall that the school board moved quickly to eliminate the position of Master Locksmith and Locksmith after Talk of the Sound reported on the father-son team that was raking in a call $153,667 a year for working as full-time locksmiths while having a partial ownership interest in locksmith companies that do business with the district.

New Rochelle School District Funds Obsolete Locksmith Positions to the Tune of $153,667

In a gross misuse of funds, the City School District shells out a whooping $153,667 a year for two positions of locksmith. Eduard and Werner Graefe (yes you guessed it, they are father and son) both hold the title of "Master Locksmith" (someone define that for me please). Eduard, hired to the position in 1986, rakes in a grand total of $82,000+. Werner (Warner) comes in at just under $72,000.
How can the BOE justify paying these salaries? Years ago changing locks and things of the like were handled by the carpenters. Would the District not save a large sum of money by having an outside company perform the same duties? And if it's a Union issue, then why have TWO positions? One person to hold the screw gun while the other pushes??
On another note, I would love to see any paid District expenditures relating to the above positions. Would any of the paid bills perhaps have a Mt. Vernon address? Eduard Graefe owns a locksmith company in MT. Vernon.

As F.U.S.E. President Marty Daly lurked in the background, Board member David Lacher asked why this position was being reinstated when the position was just eliminated back in June. Schools Superintendent Richard Organisciak

There are 4 Comments

This is absolutely disgusting. If an occasional lock must be changed or set of keys made, I'm sure the custodians could learn how to change a lock or get a set of keys made. And if they can't a short course could be given for them. BOE- USE YOUR HEADS!

Robert Cox's picture

Installing a lock in a door is something a carpenter would do; the only jobs for a locksmith would be making keys or, if someone is locked out, to pick a lock.

A good school board would have asked a few obvious questions:

1. How many locks are there in the district?

2. How many keys are there?

3. How many new keys are made each year?

4. How many "lock out" calls are made each year.

5. How many new locks are installed per year?

6. How much does it cost to call a locksmith in the event of a "lockout"?

7. How much does it cost to make a key?

8. How much does it cost to install or replace a lock?

I cannot imagine there would much need for any locksmith services but if there were it would certainly cost less than $10,000 per year.

So why were we paying $150k plus benefits and now a new 37 year pension for Graef Sr.?

These jobs and many like it are make-work jobs designed to spread public money around, slosh some of it up the food chain, and deliver votes and dues for the union.

While the District throws away a million dollars on locksmiths over the past 5 years parents are told they have to buy cleaning supplies and photo copier paper for elementary schools. Consider that next time you hear the school board tell you a budget must be passed for the "sake of the children".

It's all about the adults, people. The children are just a pretext to line pockets.

BTW, you think the district will eliminate Vito Costa's old HVAC position. It was so "necessary" that supposedly no one knew he was disappearing every day.

were is cruchfield when you need him he was the best. i worked with him for yrs. no nonsence type of guy.

This seems to be cost ineffective. Who on the BOE will dispute that? What is the procedure for eliminating positions that are no longer needed?

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