Sunday, March 28, 2010

Budget of the TMs Office - what should be defunded?

Several people have voiced concerns over the years about the cost of overtime consumed by the Town Manager's Office. In relation to those concerns, the TM offered this spreadsheet at a budget meeting to defend the use of OT in his office:He defended the overtime by saying it's been decreasing over the years.

Nonsense. Though true, it's simply a diversionary tactic.

For someone who needs to control every aspect of information* that comes out of Town Hall and for someone who weighs in on every aspect of the budget... does it really make sense to have an hourly employee come to a budget meeting to present the budget for the TM's Office?


It doesn't make any sense. So is it a sincere effort on the part of the TM to reduce overtime in his office?


It's just more wasted money that's being slowly reduced over the years - not due to sincere efforts at cost reductions - but due to public outrage.

Regardless, I don't want to gut the TMO's budget. So I could live with an overtime budget, but stand by my proposal to defund the position of Personnel Director. I think the $103,000-per-year position is not nearly as valuable as a teacher in the classroom and cop on the streets. And the Council needs to set priorities.

But barring my ability to find five votes to defund the position completely, perhaps it could be reduced to 20 hours / week... or maybe there should be a reorganization of the TMs office? I wonder if anyone will speak to this proposal at the public hearing next week?

Tim White

P.S. - Can't wait to see the comments on this post!

* Anyone notice the Herald editorial mentioning the lack of comment from the PD Chief? Hmmm... wonder why?? Could it be another example of "control the information, control the agenda" ??


Anonymous said...

Backwards idiot... you complain that the town managers OT budget is too high and it's a scam but you want to remove a position causing more work and OT for everyone else? Where is the logic in that?

"does it really make sense to have an hourly employee come to a budget meeting to present the budget for the TM's Office?"

How about moving the Council meetings to 9:00am once a month? This way everyone in attendance is on the clock at regular pay and no OT. The council members seem to have all the time in the world to stand IN the street around election time so you should have the time to take 1 morning a month off.

Last topic, is the chief being investigated? Why would he comment if he risks showing fault in himself? Until he is reinstated to full power he will not say a word.

And if you are so hell bent on saving money, why is Kerry Deegan on a 5 week suspension at full pay? What kind of punishment is that? Screw up and get rewarded? Ass backwards to me. Same with Cruess. If Popovich is the acting chief at the moment, why is Cruess getting his full paycheck and his town owned vehicle? We are getting nothing from these 2 and paying dearly for it.

Reinstate or fire the both of them!

Anonymous said...

You are 1 angry individual.
You may need to visit one of the many pharmacies in our town and up your meds.
The hate you have will kill you.
I am assuming this isn't your first comment here. I am sure your are responsible for many ot the hother ones, Tim can check and see if they are all coming from the same IP address very simply.

I work in the private sector. In a down economy, we don't allow any overtime. The burden is put on management, in exempt positions, to control costs. Why is it different in the public sector?

So, it makes no sense to send an hourly employee to present the budget if they are being paid overtime to do so.

We depend on the TC members, who volunteer their time, to control the costs in this town and keep our taxes as low as possible while making sure our town has all the services we need. Tim is doing just that. Looking for places where we can save money.
Where do we come up with the money if we don't make cuts?

Finally, do you think Tim has the power to reinstate or fire members of the police department?
Get real.
Tim saw this coming long before any other member of the TC, but they closed their eyes to it.

Tim White said...

With regard to the PD/ATM position, I called for defunding it. The TM disagreed because the position negotiates union contracts. That's fine. But if we get those contracts negotiated by June 30, the negotiations would be done for a while. So no need to fund the position next year... based on the TMs concern.

As for the Chief and Union President, as a Council member I have no input on the employment status of staff... except for the TM - a political appointment. I offer though that a new TM likely wouldn't do a worse job with the PD than the incumbent has done... just look at the Herald's scathing editorial this week.

As for changing the Council meeting schedule, I see no need. The staff who regularly attend are "exempt" (as compared to non-exempt) employees who are salaried, not hourly. But specifically with my concern in this post... just seems to me that a TM (who is also a former finance director) ought to be able to discuss the budget of his own office. Or maybe my expectations are too high?

Tim White said...

11:29 thank you.

Anonymous said...

Response to several posts:

The Chief has not been suspended, so there is no reinstatement and there is no acting-Chief.

Tim, you're still on a fool's errand in continuing your attempts to smear the Town Manager. Since when is someone making a true statement a "diversionary tactic?" And your silly slogan, "control the information, control the agenda." This is not a game, but sounds more like it came from the mouth of Sarah Palin. Grow up, get real!

Anonymous said...


"In the time line memo Mr. White pointed out that the Chief was directed to
delegate much of the day to day operations to Deputy Chief Popovich, and asked
what operations were to be delegated."

I did not mean to say he was suspended but he is not performing the duties assigned to him as Chief. Joe Popovich is doing the Chiefs work at the Deputy pay while Cruess sits back and does very little. Why are we paying Cruess a full paycheck to do partial work?

Anonymous said...

In a P.D. command structure, the Chief shouldn't be taking care of day to day operations - that's the problem - micro-management! The Chief should be the big-picture guy who has a vision for the future of the department. He should be the leader, the communicator and should be setting a proper example for his subordinates.

Anonymous said...

Go look into the overtime in Public Works, that is where mis-management and lunacy happens.

Anonymous said...

how about a personnel director that can help teach managers how to handle personality issues?

Anonymous said...

The Public Works Dept. does have overtime, some needed, some not. During the winter if trucks are always left ready to go, there is no need to call people in to get ready. Currently we pay PW people to come in if a storm is forecast. This year should be a model of not doing that.