Saratoga County

Saratoga Springs public safety jobs spared by retirements

Two police officers and one firefighter will keep their jobs in a last minute transfer because of


Two police officers and one firefighter will keep their jobs in a last minute transfer because of promotions within the departments.

The affected Department of Public Safety employees — police officers Amy Evertsen and Justin Ahigian and firefighter Russell Robinson — were slated to be laid off Jan. 1.

Some officers were bumped up the ranks after the retirement of both chiefs brought replacements from within. Police Chief Christopher Cole and fire Chief Robert Williams left open slots when they retired.

The resulting domino-effect promotions were announced Tuesday during a special City Council meeting.

In the police department, Capt. Michael Biss was promoted to assistant chief, Lt. Michael Chowske to captain, Sgt. Sean Briscoe to lieutenant and Investigator Tim Sicko was moved to sergeant.

In the fire department, firefighter Bob Murphy was bumped up to lieutenant and Lt. Tom Knight was promoted to captain.

Public safety commissioner Ron Kim said the city will hold a swearing-in ceremony for the newly-promoted supervisors at noon Thursday.

“They understand there’s some significant challenges in the next year or two. I think they will all do a fine job,” Kim said.

Besides the three workers whose jobs were spared, another police officer, John Guzek, was taken off the layoff list because he got a job with another agency.

That leaves four officers slated to be laid off at the end of the year: Kurt Nolan, Arianna Richards, Adam French and Jason Cadoret.

Collectively, they will be paid $8,136 in accrued sick time.

Firefighters slated to be laid off are Jason Yourdon, Robert Decelle, Matthew Fogarty, Seth Coye, Brett Carpenter and Keith Phillips.

They will be paid a total of $28,683 in sick time.

The following Department of Public Works full-time employees are scheduled to be laid off: Gregg Cherry, Larry Baldwin, Connie Brewer, Donald Degan, Shelley Dumas, James Heeney and Dave Saunders. All the part-timers also will be let go.

The full-timers will be paid $4,499 in vacation time and $8,584 in sick time.

The contracts for those three unions were unclear about the payment of sick time in the event someone is laid off, so the City Council voted on Tuesday to award them the funds.

Deputy finance commissioner Kate Jarosh said the CSEA City Hall unit’s contract was clear that employees get paid for their accrued sick time in the event of a layoff.

The other union employees don’t get vacation pay because they are required to use their vacation time by the end of the calendar year or they lose it. But the DPW union members are awarded their full vacation time for the year on their anniversary date, so the city will pay what the workers are owed.

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