Sunday, September 13, 2009

Slocum (Council, at-large) on the PMS & road improvements

Councilman Tim Slocum offers some thoughts on the PMS and road improvements:

Tim White


Anonymous said...

Still voted for it....
Is there any way that they can get the roads prioritized using this software? Or is it a complete waste of $50K?

I still think it will be those with power who will get their streets repaired before the rest of us.

What were Tim and Tom's reasoning for voting for this? Did Tim W. and Jim discuss it with the the other 2 before the vote?
Can't understand their reasong for voting to waste our tax dollars.

I don't see any benefit in this software, especially after the TM stated that the roads can change dramatically between now and February. Will we need to do another survey in February? What if they change from February till June or whenever they begin the paving???

Anonymous said...

Tim Slocum,

Thank you for responding in video to your reasoning about supporting this software.

For all the doubters please review the presentation at

If this presentation is to be considered reliable, which I have not heard that it was not. Then the TC has recommended to underfund the needed amount to maintain the current cumulative road conditions (this is called PCI in the presentation). So this means it is just going to cost more to fix in the future, just look at the Pavement Deterioration Curve.

I can't wait until we get that mathematician elected to the TC; you go Anne Giddings.

I think the TC should be questioning the person in charge of the software for the town and what "engineering judgement" is used to generate a final list. My fear is that the town will let the data in the PMS software get outdated.

Anonymous said...

Anon. 6:52

This town can certainly benefit from practical thinking Anne Giddings on Town Council but it doesn't take a mathematician to understand the 5 year capital budget plan for roads beginning with 1 mil in year 1 followed by 4 years at 1.3mil. will never bring all roads up to speed.

There simply isn't the funds to do evrything to that level of perfection. We can do better though and the PMS will help as long as the TM and PW Dept. utilize the tool most effectively. It is my job along with my colleagues on TC to see that happens.

The town has spent approx. $325 to assess every mile of town owned roads. Maybe that's steep but based on the level of service discussions more road miles can be serviced in a given year utilizing preventitive measures on many miles of roads as well as resurfacing the poorest ones.

There will be a need in 3-4 years to update the list and there will be cost. By that time we should have a clear understanding of its value.

Tim Slocum

Anonymous said...

Anon 4:56

The four of us did discuss this as a caucus prior to the meeting. We always do and at times we don't agree on every action item. That's good governance I'd say. Lockstep is not our job and certianly not in your best interest.

As to your rather cynical point about the influential or wealthier getting their roads done first I can only say that is not a metric used and I don't believe you could make a case for it. By case I mean a pavement history list of road repair projects. Now on the other hand your claim could be born out if the current PMS is ignored entirely going forward and the rich and famous receive more than their fair share of road repairs.

Tim Slocum

Anonymous said...

Tim Slocum,

Can you clarify your $325 figure? Is that $325 per mile?

Also your comment that in 3 to 4 years the list will need to be updated. However TM indicates that the list could change by the end of winter. That means the roads would have to be re-evaluated and the list updated.

So that does draw suspicion to the TM's position and I can appreciate 4:56's "cynical" comment; given that we cannot get a list of roads. If the method is fair and explained well then there should be no problem disclosing. This non-transparency is the problem.

What I do not see figures for is if we keep underfunding the roads (such that we maintain the current condition) how much more will it cost us down the line; maybe Anne can help us with a little depreciation cost calculations as the depreciation of the road is not linear. Meaning we cannot add on 300K that we underfunded this year to some future year and get the same bang for our buck.

Anonymous said...

Tim Slocum
4:56 here.
I as basically reiterating what Elizabeth Esty said when she was discussing the purchase of this software. When a TC member actually states that the days of the "Squeaky wheel gets the oil" or people were getting preferential tratment, what are we, the citizens suppose to think?
I don't go out and see what roads are being paved and who lives on them, all I can go by is what TC members say.

Bottom line Tim, how do we fix this so roads are prioritized and this was not a complete waste of money?
The TM already said that they can't prioritize now since things can change by February. How will we know if they change if we don't send people out to physically inspect? What do we do with all the data that was collected so far?

Don't worry Tim, you still have my vote, I just like to keep you honest. I appreciate the fact that you aren't a rubber stamp, just need an explanation on your thinking sometimes.

Anonymous said...

Easy solution that has worked in other states in the past... get rid of public workds and contract with a paving company to pave X number of miles a year at $X per mile. Public works can be a seasonal position for plowing and the contract company has to maintain the roads.