JEERS - To overkill. The new biometric time clock has arrived in the town of Broadalbin. Town employees' hours now will be recorded by a device that recognizes their faces and fingerprints. It is supposed to eliminate "buddy punching," in which a late or absent employee has a co-worker punch the time clock for him. But that doesn't seem to be the main reason it's being brought into the town. It appears the action is a result of a resident, a former town employee, complaining about the highway department not repairing equipment, taking long breaks in local restaurants and leaving the department garage in sloppy condition. The resident claimed no one was keeping track of employees. The biometric time clock records time, not job performance or work ethics, and it doesn't supervise workers. The device may be more exact about when people are working, but the quality of their work remains fully human.
CHEERS - To young entrepreneurs. A year ago, students involved in Johnstown High School's Young Entrepreneurs Academy gave 11 presentations to local investors, and the winner had an opportunity to compete regionally. On March 27, a new batch of Young Entrepreneurs will present their real business ideas to more than a half-dozen local businesses. Last year's winner, Matthew Smicinski, developed the idea for 56c5 Software, an iPhone application allowing people to design electrical plans. The March 27 presentations are open to the public. If you can, go and observe some outstanding young business minds in action.
JEERS - To the cover of darkness. Once again, while most of us slept, our elected representatives, including our governor, were busy wheeling, dealing and compromising until each got something he wanted. We jeer the process of middle-of-the-night miraculous voting to pass massive sets of bills. The deadline for the budget is still a couple weeks away, so why, under the cover of darkness, did votes need to be taken Thursday? We seem to recall that when the governor ran for office, he voiced his belief in transparency. Most of our state representatives have echoed that claim. The governor, speaking on Albany's WCNY radio, stated, "Transparency, back-room dealings, they talk about this in Albany all the time. They also talk about it in Washington all the time. You can't live your life in a goldfish bowl." We respectfully disagree. All elected officials live in a goldfish bowl, fed, watered - and occasionally cleaned out - by the people.