Monday, September 14, 2009

The availability of Town Hall staff: What's the reality?

Do any of you remember the August 12, 2009 Council meeting where the discussion to waste spend $250,000 on another ad hoc pool fix began? You may recall Jimmy Sima's questions about the use of two different contractors. In particular, he asked who would act as the coordinator or "general contractor" (GC) for the job?

The response given to Jimmy and the taxpayers was that "somebody on our staff" would take care of it.

Yet during the August 2008 vote to waste spend $50,000 on a PMS consultant, the taxpayers were told that due to budgetary constraints and head count reductions over the past few years... the DPW department had no time available:

Well, which is it? Is there time available or not?

Tim White


Anonymous said...


You are digging here. There is a big difference between GCing a project with 2 contractors and taking on the whole PMS system in house.

Tim White said...

But we've learned that the PMS information can change "dramatically" between now and March. Therefore, one must conclude that staff will be revisiting much of the work that was already done by the consultant, right? If they don't revisit all those roads and conduct some sort of comparative analysis, then our tax dollars may not be spent wisely. And isn't that the reason that the list of 2010 roads cannot be revealed?... because we want to ensure the best use of tax dollars?

Anonymous said...


You had the chance to ask that question (will reinspection of roads happen) to the TM.

You are assuming to make your argument.

Just ask the needed questions, get the information and then call foul.

tim white said...

You had the chance to ask that question

The current Chairman's rules allow for questions, but not necessarily at a Council meeting. Literally, I've been told before that questions are ok, but not at Council meetings. But I feel there are times when questions are most appropriate during meetings of the full Council.

FWIW, this post relates to other issues. I just didn't want to get into all of them last night.

Anonymous said...

"the taxpayers were told that due to budgetary constraints and head count reductions over the past few years... the DPW department had no time available:"

So, they don't have time to do their job? Maybe if we had a town engineer that lived in town, they would take more interest and make the time to insure we don't constantly get screwed.

Anonymous said...

As far as the roads go, and it's been said before, the police, fire, public works, and school busses should be the people asked about road conditions. Let the people that use the most roads on a daily basis have some input into the repairs and upgrades. How many residents really travel more than 5 roads a day in town (not counting routes 10, 68, 70)?

Anonymous said...

If the DPW does not have the time to commit to this, then what exactly are they working on? How does their workload get prioritized? Are they working on the right priorities? The Town Manager is not managing anyone here. The Town Council, perhaps the majority, is not managing the Town Manager.

It's surprising and baffling that the Town Council itslef does not know which priorities town personnel are working on, their status or performance of these priorities. Neither the head of DPW, the Town Manager or the Town Council can substantiate this information. In the private sector, folks get fired for this.

BTW, I'm not trying to pick on the DPW, almost every department in Cheshire has the same problem. When there's lack of accountability up top it tends to flow throughout the rest of the organization as well.