Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Council mtg 8/12

There's not much online yet from tonight's meeting... though the MRJs Jesse Buchanan is reporting on both the pension changes and the underage drinking grant.

Did any of you watch tonight? I thought the meeting went well. And it was nice to not have to get too berated about an honest critique of the TM... more on that later though.

Information learned tonight:

1) Though Brentwood Drive was repaved (curb to curb) last year... and it's already collapsed in one spot... the new $46,000 Pavement Management Software would've helped us avoid that pothole. Frankly, how this new software would've ensured proper compaction underneath the new pavement boggles my mind. But I'm not an engineer.

2) Moving newly hired non-union employees from two pension options (defined benefit or defined contribution) to only one option (defined contribution) has, apparently, not yet been addressed. Though it was only seven weeks ago that I first asked.

3) Performance contracting has not yet been considered... though assurance was given a year ago that it would be considered by the budget committee. As for the logical followup question "when?" Well, I have to admit... when I asked... my jaw kinda hit the ground in amazement at the answer. (In fairness though... there was a meeting on December 17, 2007 that included discussion of Performance Contracting... so it has been discussed.)

4) Fireworks at the Fall Festival... hmmm... apparently no one knows if the fireworks will happen. But doesn't the Fire Department need to know?

I think the meeting was a good one. And I think there was a whole bunch of useful information imparted, particularly on a very serious topic... CRRA. Though I'm not sure why the Solid Waste Committee hasn't met directly with CRRA yet... I do recall that was how we left the July 8 meeting.

And as I'm going to bed I see the NHR article by Luther Turmelle on the TMs raise has been posted online here.

The Democratic-controlled Town Council rebuffeed an attempt by the Republican minority to reduce the proposed 3.4 percent salary increase for Town Manager Michael Milone Tuesday night.

By a 5-4 vote, the council defeated a motion by Republican council member Thomas Ruocco to reduce Milone’s proposed salary increase from 3.4 percent to 2.4 percent. The council then voted 5-4 to increase Milone’s salary to $131,000 a year, a $4,325 increase over his current annual pay.

Tim White


Anonymous said...

The minority resolution was the right one for these times. Too bad our council majority members seem to be living in an economic dream world. Too bad too that the council chairman seemed to just babble on and on about the concept of O-N-L-Y giving a 2.4% raise instead of a 3.4% raise. After watching and listening I had to conclude the chairman is out of touch with economic reality.

I also am not surprised that such a majority allows the ongoing pool bubble fiasco to continue unabated while they have apparently now turned some of their idle attention and energies to the pressing issues of converting playing fields from real grass to trashed tire artificial turf. The town council majority is now spending unabated while waiting for the tax revenues to start rolling in from the proposed north end mall.

A smaller then anticipated raise for the town manager would have provided a message to all concerning the current state of the regional economy. But then again, a town that heats the great outdoors every winter to the tune of hundreds of thousands of dollars at its removable pool bubble isn’t going to quibble about adding a per cent or so to an employee’s pay raise.

Anonymous said...

The only tough times are for the taxpayers. Give me a break.

Estey says Milone works 70 hrs a week. Ha, Ha, Ha, .......... What does she consider work?

There definitely is a love relationship between the TM and the party controlled 5 council Dems. Cheshire's Good Old Boys love this team. They certainly work hard for the special interests. Whatever the Good Old Boys want they get.

Anonymous said...

It's tough getting your review in public,but that comes with the job. He(TM) could pick another profession as the Chairman said. One fault that was brought out by a TC member was the poor job he did with the impact study of the ND. He let the Town down on that one and caved in to majority presssure. All the good that is being done by him could be wiped out with that study. He must avoid politics at all cost even if it means his job. There are a small pool of TMs but we should not be held hostage because of that fear. I read that there were over 50 applicants for the Asst Town Planner position so I would not worry about a replacement. I believe the TC and TM goals should be agreed upon at the start of every fiscal year. They both must be on the same page and keep what is best for the Town and taxpayers NUMBER 1.

Anonymous said...

I missed the specifics regarding the ordinance that was passed allowing active service people a free pass to school or town events. Did it refer to "those who lived in Cheshire when they entered the service" or must they still reside in Cheshire? Was it just for the service person or was it including their families?
Seems it might have been an even better idea to extend it to all veterans who entered the service while living in Cheshire.
Tim, can you post the wording of the ordinance?

Anonymous said...

I watched the meeting and learned that there are many types of "cracks" in the road that can only be identified by experienced professionals. There's traverse cracks, spider cracks, alligator cracks, etc. We have to spend $46,000 to get our cracks rated, catergorized, etc.
Who's the crackpot who thought this one up?

Anonymous said...

Speaking of CRRA and trash - With the bulky waste pickup this fall that does not allow tires to be put out at the curb, is it OK to drop our old tires off at the CHS field?

Michael Donahue said...

I am a conservative republican and find myself agreeing with the majority on this one. (I cant believe that I would agree with Esty on anything). We have a very smart, intuitive and capable Town Manager here in Cheshire from what I have seen over the years. Though I am sure that there are back room politics at play in every local government, the bottom line for me is fiscal prudence, sound management and the ability of an individual to handle a number of different agendas at once. I think that Mr. Milone is a very capable administrator and certainly deserves a COLA. In addition, I am also taken aback that such a review and debate can be seen in my living room. Such personnel issues should be held in executive session where everyone should say their peace...including the subject of the discussion. While the cameras are rolling however, everyone is reserved and Milone is not going to bite back. That is not how this process should be. I hope that at least he is given a performance appraisal in private with all of you and that he can defend himself rather than sit there and hold his tongue. And you Tim...say that you are not going to list his shortcomings and then....go forward and list some of his 'perceived' shortcomings... What the hell was that??? What if your boss did that to you in front of your peers and subordinates? Politics should not play a role in this discussion and yet, the vote went right down party lines. That speaks volumes to me. And Mr. Hall should have shut this discussion down when it started getting personal. The issue was the percentage of a raise for the Town Manager and the republican caucus stated it was for fiscal prudence...when it turned personal..someone on that dias should have had the sense (balls) to shut it down. That message got lost with the four on the right.