In an article “New fitness center gaining ground,” published in the July 4, 2013, edition of the Ravena News Herald, Marlene McTigue manages again to sugar – coat an otherwise bitter pill. McTigue does this by irresponsibily reporting—a chronic fault of the Ravena News Herald—only the one side of a very suspect operation, the Ravena Health and FitnessCenter.
The Ravena Health and Fitness Center has been under scrutiny since the village of Ravena spent more than $40,000 on used fitness center equipment from an insider (Robert “Bob” Fisk) through insiders (village of Ravena mayor John T. Bruno, village trustee Nancy Biscone – Warner, and local opportunist Catherine M. “Cathy” Deluca, wife of Coeymans BoBo Cop, Gerald “Dirty – Hands Jerry” Deluca) in 2013.
Village of Ravena, Deluca: Risk-taking and Arrogance Finally Backfire!
Is this the Long-Overdue Beginning of the End for the Bruno Empire, the Biscone Orgy, the Deluca Picnic at RCS Expense?
Not only was the $40,000 purchase of used equipment scandalous, the fact that the RCS Community Library was being raped by the village of Ravena, mainly by mayor John T. Bruno and boardmember Nancy Biscone – Warner, was even more embarrassing. And for what: a misconceived idea that the village of Ravena needed a fitness center..or rather, someone needed to be paid off or the path had to be cleared for some horrendous political move to benefit the Mafiosi in charge.
What McTigue, the village of Ravena, mayor John T. Bruno, board member Nancy Biscone – Warner, and Cathy Deluca and chubby – hubby Dirty – Hands Jerry don’t want anyone to know is that the entire idea is built on sand.
One of the most ridiculous statements made by Marlene McTigue in her misleading article is that the Ravena Health and FitnessCenter has “nearly 70 members.” That may seem like a lot in Bruno’s ghost town but look at it from the financial, the money point of view:
Just to break even, the fitness center would have to attract about 425 – 450 paying members
The village of Ravena has been stuffing the Ravena Health and FitnessCenter down locals’ throats for almost a year now. Ravena has invested tons of taxpayer money in the facility and has allocated $115,500 in the 2013 – 14 budget. So what do these “nearly 70 members,” really mean? Zilch!
First of all, the village of Ravena hasn’t got the population to make the thing work. That’s obvious, since the last one—also “managed” by Cathy Deluca—failed. It went down in flames when member cancellations soared.
Just to break even, the fitness center would have to attract about 425 – 450 paying members; that means, Ravena and the surrounding area would have to attract at least 425 persons who would be willing to fork over between $250–300 a year to join the fitness center, which pales in comparison to other local chain centers with all the facilities like tanning, certified trainers, fitness programs, ultra – modern equipment, men’s and women’s changing rooms, showers, swimming pools, etc. The Ravena Health and FitnessCenter has none of these but membership is far more expensive than any of the major local clubs. So where are these 425 – 450 members going to come from in Ravena or Coeymans? Answer: They aren’t!
The Ravena Health and FitnessCenter is restricted to members over 18 years old. But even so, the statistics don’t bode well for tiny operations like the Ravena one. Here are some national statistics from the fitness industry:
Some more fitness industry survey information may help you to understand why we feel your money is being wasted, literally stolen: Most people who think they want to join, do so but then don’t go and don’t pay…especially if the place isn’t super cool!
But it’s not just the basic knowledge of the industry that Bruno, Warner, and Deluca lack. The real problem that taxpayers and members of the Ravena Health and FitnessCenter is even more sinister and insidious: The village of Ravena through mayor John T. Bruno, boardmember Nancy Biscone – Warner, Cathy Deluca, and others don’t know what they’re doing. We have received information based on disclosure made by the village of Ravena under the New York State Freedom of Information Law that the village of Ravena never did any studies to determine the need or survivability of a village health club. NONE! The village of Ravena never created a solid business plan establishing targets and goals for the fitness center. NONE! The village of Ravena back in mid – 2012 had already decided who was going to run things and didn’t bother to put the job of director out for competitive applications, instead they “appointed” Cathy Deluca to be the fitness center director at a salary of $30,000 a year.
When asked to produce any documents like diplomas, certificates, training, experience that would qualify Cathy Deluca for the position of fitness center director, the village of Ravena responded that they have no documents on file, that her qualifications were established by interview only. In other words: NONE! Nice.
It gets even worse because shortly after having appointed Cathy Deluca to the position of fitness center director, the village of Ravena filed an application for the creation of a new civil service job title for Deluca. Ravena filed the application on about April 5, 2013, days after having appointed Deluca at a village “organizational meeting. The Albany County Department of Civil Service approved the job title on about May 10, 2013. The problem is that the application was defective and didn’t include most of the justifications and documents required for approval! How did it get approved as a non – competitive, exempt job title when half the required documentation was never submitted. We know this because we have been provided information obtained from the village of Ravena that no other documents were attached to the application! There’s more than just a hint of illegality here, too!
Here are just some of the deficiencies of the application:
The application asks for specific descriptions of the work and responsibilities, the Ravena says:
“Director will be responsible to provide residents with the opportunity to exercise & improve health in a community based facility. Must have strong interest & experience in health & fitness industry, as well as, an interest in wellbeing of the development of the community. 100 % responsible for day to day operations of center and supervision of all staff.”
The application asks for a description of typical work activities in “sufficient detail to form a clear word picture of the job” and instructs the applicant to “avoid general terms.” Ravena writes:
“Oversee day to day operations of fitness center to include, but not limited to: staffing, scheduling, training of staff, member orientation & evaluations. Avertising and publicity, AR / AP, monthly receipt and bank statement reconciliation. Monthly reports to village board, preparing center’s budget, weekly / monthly meetings with village board liaison. Set up computer programs, maintain & increase membership, search grants, work with local agencies (school, police, etc) to offer joint programs.”
It really gets good when we get to the section, “Full Performance Knowledge, Skills, Abilities and Personal Characteristics.” This is going to be really short because Ravena writes: “Knowledge of aerobic conditioning, strength training, flexibility & behavioral protocols.” Gibberish, purest double – talk, superior level bullshit!
The minimum qualifications are either: “Graduation form a New York State or regionally accredited college with a Bachelor’s degree in Exercise Physiology, Recreation or closely related field; OR Four (4) years of experience in fitness programming, two (2) years of which shall have been in a supervisory capacity.” But no one seems to know anything about Deluca’s qualifications. The village of Ravena has no documents and says that she was hired based on information obtained at an “interview.” An “interview”? That seems very unlikely.
There is also a special requirement: “Possession of a personal training certificate within 60 days of the appointment date.” There is NONE, according to the village of Ravena. So, basically, that nice cozy photo in McTigue’s article with Cathy Deluca showing Craig Youmans how to use the exercise equipment is really an ambulance-chasers dream: an apparently undocumented, unqualified, uncertified, fraudulently appointed fitness center director “showing” a member how to use the fitness equipment! Hello! Lawsuits!
Guess who Deluca’s immediate supervisors are: Nancy Warner (trustee) and John Bruno (mayor). Surprising?
The “Requested Civil Service Jurisdictional Class” can be competitive, non – competitive, exempt or labor. Ravena checks off “exempt,” which includes “certain positions for which competitive or non-competitive examinations are deemed not to be practicable.” Seems that fitness center director would lend itself to examination, wouldn’t it? It does everywhere else…but not in Ravena! But then, Deluca would have to compete with qualified applicants, wouldn’t she?
But the exempt classification requires that the applicant, village of Ravena, to justify the class. Here’s what the instructions on the form require: “If you request non – competitive, exempt or labor, state detailed reasons in a letter why competitive examination is impractical and attach it to this application.” According to Ravena, no documents accompanied the application.
Finally, the form requires that the applicant “[s]ubmit any other information not covered above. Items of particular interest include a description of a new program…, the nature of any increase in work load or change in organization which necessitates the creation of this new position.” We repeat: Ravena says nothing was attached to the application.
The application is signed and submitted by Ravena mayor John Bruno, mayor, on April 5, 2013, and approved by the Albany County Civil Service Director, Michael Cummings on May 10, 2013. Your tax dollars at work supporting crooks and incompetence.
So, there you have it. An application that should have been TRASHED because it is so deficient that it cannot be realistically considered to be a serious submission is approved by the Albany County Civil Service Department himself, Michael Cummings. Please tell me, Does anyone else smell a pack of rats here? Where’s accountability? Where’s transparency? Where’s integrity? We do know where the corruption is! That there’s fraud, graft, conspiracy, corruption, deceit at work here.
Back to Marlene McTigue’s misleading and untruthful article: McTigue, a member of the in-crowd, card-carrying Coeymanazi supporter, is very careful not to mention that even before the Ravena Health and Fitness Center opened its doors on Monday, June 3, 2013, Cathy Deluca had already caused the first Notice of Claim to be filed against the village of Ravena for her misconduct as fitness center director. A Notice of Claim is the first step to a lawsuit against the village of Ravena because Cathy Deluca could not keep her mouth shut and just be a good public employee. Ravena faces another lawsuit for employee misconduct and guess who pays?
We have information that another Notice of Claim is going to be served on the village of Ravena because Cathy Deluca allegedly falsely reported an incident to the Coeymans Police Department, causing the investigating officer to start an investigation, to interview witnesses, etc. because Deluca lied about the incident. That’s a misdemeanor under New York State Penal Law § 240.50. What’s more, it appears that Deluca may have involved one of the fitness center employees who she supervises and controls to cooperate and corroborate her alleged false statements to the police and that means conspiracy, another misdemeanor under New York Penal Law § 105.00.
Wait a minute! Isn’t Cathy Deluca’s chubby-hubby Gerald “Dirty-Hands Jerry” Deluca, the shame of the Coeymans Police Department, a police investigator? Wouldn’t Cathy know about harassment, falsely reporting an incident, conspiracy? Don’t you think she’d call chubby-hubby Jerry for advice on what to do? Maybe Cathy Deluca, John Bruno, Nancy Warner have become just a little too confident that they’ll get away with their dirty tricks forever, so now they don’t even care.
We understand that the village can be made liable for these alleged crimes, too, because the village of Ravena has waived its immunity by taking out insurance to cover some of these claims, although the alleged criminal misconduct may simply be dumped on Deluca’s and her accomplices’ laps by the village when the going gets too rough.
This is called moral hazard when discussing risk – taking, which is what Ravena and Deluca are doing at public expense. A moral hazard is a situation where a party, DELUCA and the RAVENA GANG, will have a tendency to take risks because the costs that could incur will not be felt by the party taking the risk, DELUCA and the RAVENA GANG. In other words, it is a tendency to be more willing to take a risk, knowing that the potential costs or burdens of taking such risk will be borne, in whole or in part, by others, YOU, TAXPAYERS and COMMUNITY. Public institutions created to protect citizens from risk create a moral hazard wherein the costs of risks are not borne by those who would engage in risky practices, DELUCA, BRUNO, WARNER. This relieves risk-takers from responsibility for their actions, which would otherwise act as a deterrent. Moral hazard arises because an individual or institution does not take the full consequences and responsibilities of its actions, and therefore has a tendency to act less carefully than it otherwise would, leaving another party, THE COMMUNITY, to hold some responsibility for the consequences of those actions.
Do you get it now?
“Qui tacet consentire videtur ubi loqui debuit ac potuit.”
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