Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Lilac Drive Pump Station discussion 12/09/08

Here's the 50 minute video of the December 9 Council discussion on the Lilac Drive Pump Station:

Tim White


Anonymous said...

Wow, who are they kidding? If ever I have heard an incredible tale of woo and adversity in the line of duty this has got to be it. Sounds to me like the whole exact story is lost in all the hand waving and babbling.

Come on, some retired guy, Jimmy, was called for details, if he could remember what size hole he dug in 1974. If this isn't a blatant case of that old tribal knowledge thing I don't know what is.

Let's look at a short list of issues here.
1. After almost 40 years there still isn't an accurate as-built drawing of the facility to work from.
2. The estimate for this high visibility project - - spelled it had to be approved in a town-wide referendum - - did not take into account the difficulty of deep excavations in a wetlands but it’s surrounded by wetlands.
3. No one at this late date has an exact, not to exceed, additional funding required to complete figure although it just might be 65k, 75k, 85k, 100k, or 150k. They haven't even been able to say exactly what they still need. Could it grow to 300k or 400k more?
4. Transformer issues, like what? Too old, full of PCBs, it leaks, too small, or wrong configuration? How can this not have been known from the work associated with estimating the project in the first place.

Big dysfunctional organizations which must support large infrastructures often times rely on 'tribal knowledge.' Asking old retired Jimmy what he did 40 years ago is a classic sign of tribal knowledge which could be good if it helps but as should be clear to most of us, remembering how deep a hole your personally dug 40 years ago is not something that should be relied upon when spending other people's money.

In most cases of this type there is the immediate problem at hand which of course won't exactly be fun to fix. More important though is the overall extend of the condition causing this issue. How many large mechanical systems does the town possess? How many as-built drawings are, or should be associated with those systems? How many of the existing drawings are as incorrect as the pump station drawing being blamed for the 150k overrun? The new street and road condition software won’t be able to fix the lack of completed as-built drawings for things such as bridges and culverts etc. either.

tim white said...

Please run for Council.

A Rubber Stamp won't fix this problem.

Anonymous said...

After last night there really is not accountability. This project shows it. We need a change in the way projects are managed and handled. We need to change the Director of Public Works and now maybe the consultant; Metcalf & Eddy. This entire deal is sickening.

Anonymous said...

"If this isn't a blatant case of that old tribal knowledge thing I don't know what is."
- anon 4:54pm: the use of the word tribal is a knock on our good friends the "Native Americans"...they would have had this right the first time.

Anonymous said...

There is no accountability anywhere that I can see....wrong financial software, more financial software, communications software, asphalt paving software.THEN, our computeres don't run because we have TOO MUCH software running on them; we need new HARDWARE!! Ever read "The House of Krupp?"

Anonymous said...

The use of the word tribal is not a knock on any particular tribe found anywhere in the world. Let's face it, when I see the word tribe I don't necessarily think Indian from North America. Maybe you do and that's okay. North America did not invent tribes, they are at least as old as the common bible.

Possibly the original user of the term was trying to make an important point concerning work organizations which start failing in their duty to their customers because they function more like a closed inward focused group defending their own selfish personal financial self interests over their customers' financial interests at all costs.

Anonymous said...

the town manager is accountable. he is the one responsible for hiring and then getting Correct info. The town council can not do its job if it doesn't have Correct info.