OSWEGO – Local businessman/developer Anthony Pauldine is upset. And, Monday night, he told the Common Council so.
Developing and restoring buildings in his hometown is “intensely satisfying” and is his “passion,” he told the councilors
He listed many of the projects he has done over the years. In many cases they were properties that nobody else would touch, he added.
“I pay a couple hundred thousand dollars in taxes and fees to the city of Oswego. We donate to causes and charities,” he said. “We hire high school kids, local college students; $450 a week, that’s not bad for someone who’s a junior in high school. We help the homeless.”
“Why in the world am I telling you all of this? It’s because I am pissed. Pissed that the Cahill Building was picketed. “
Just today, he said, he had to press charges and have two union guys arrested for “just willy-nilly walking into the YMCA building … walking right past ‘No Trespass’ and ‘Do Not Enter’ signs.
“I’m a local owner. I’m the owner of the property. I hire all local labor. I purchase all local materials. Is there anyone here in their right mind that really thinks that I should be picketed?” Pauldine said. “Why would I hire a union contractor or hire union guys so that I could simply double my costs? It’s absolutely against what we’re trying to do. It makes no sense.”
He added that everyone, except one person, would agree with that.
The one person was Councilor Rob Wilmott, a member of the United Brotherhood of Carpenters’ Local 277.
Pauldine claimed Wilmott was among the group that picketed nearby the opening of the renovated Cahill Building late last year.
Wilmott wasn’t at the picket.
Pauldine said Wilmott told him it wasn’t personal; they were trying to get the Governor to have the Downtown Revitalization Initiative projects paid union wages.
“I will never hire a union guy and pay local blackmail,” Pauldine vowed.
He also claimed that he heard “I have to picket or I’ll get fined $250.”
Pauldine passed an envelope to Councilor Ron Tesoriero to present to Wilmott.
Inside was a check for $250 made out to cash. Pauldine said he wanted Wilmott to use it “so you don’t have to picket somewhere in Oswego, the city that I happen to love and I assume that the councilmen and mayor feel the same way.
Following the meeting, Wilmott said he applauded all the good work Pauldine has done for the city over the years.
But otherwise, didn’t have any comment.