I try not to take the blog too seriously, most times, at least. I am starting to realize what people have been telling me for a while. "We the People" has definitely become an engine for change in Hartford.
As much as I appreciate that though, I really do have to ask...Why?
I have some excellent partners and sources that make it all possible, but it would be so much easier if the City was just run right.
With the number of high priced, most of them in the six figure salary, so called managers, it seems as though very little managing is taking place.Whether it is the p-card abuse or Kupiec's joy ride, why does it come out here first. Shouldn't our managers and our double dipping COO have a handle on the operation first?
I just wonder what the outcome would have been if I didn't develop the information regarding the former Chief of Staff and his apparent theft of a City vehicle. Would anyone have even known?
And when would the vehicle he took without permission have been noticed as missing? Maybe when the dust on it from the parking garage got too thick that it bothered some city Hall manager with allergies?
As the incident unfolded Monday morning it was amazing that no one, not even the HPD Fleet manager knew who the vehicle was issued to. Cops were saying the registration cam back to HPD but apparently no one had a record of who the vehicle had been issued to.. That is just amazing that there is no vehicle data base that should show any City vehicle at a moments notice. If people are being paid to manage a fleet, then damn it, manage the fleet.
That would also require though that those in power play by the rules and allow the people being paid to do their jobs. You can't bypass the rules and hand out vehicles or cellphones or I-pads like candy without following a process in place. To the best of my knowledge there is no small asset inventory in place for the City of Hartford. I have asked for it and no one has provided it.
That means if you are a City of Hartford employee and are issued an I-pad or a cellphone or in the Case of Jared Kupiec, a car. No one even knows you have it, so there is no procedure to protect the city's assets to make sure that property eventually makes it back to City Hall, unless someone remembers to ask for it back.
This just crazy that we run a half a billion dollar corporation like this, if you can even call it "running". It is a free for all allowed to flail out of control because of misplaced loyalties to law school study buddies and chronies rather than qualified professionals.
Council President Shawn Wooden today requested an Audit into City Vehicles based on the Kupiec incident. An incident that was revealed through a blog posting, not an observant City employee or even a highly paid Department head doing their job.
Even more troubling though is the comment in Wooden's letter that " I understand that an audit of this scope will likely be a labor intensive one, so I am asking that it be completed by September 30, 2013". This report would most likely be a few key strokes on a computer to generate for management at any properly operated business.
The report would probably also tell you the last time it was serviced, the mileage etc, etc. And if it was a really well run business, the entire fleet would be tracked by GPS and able to tell you where that vehicle was at that exact moment and how fast it was travelling.
It is definitely time to start reviewing the City Vehicle policy. There should be three people with City take home privileges, the mayor, the police Chief and the Fire Chief, period. In addition all other City vehicles should be clearly marked with city seals and markings. What is the need for stealth by the Fire Chief or the Fire Department. no HFD markings and in most cases not even municipal plates. Why?
In a City struggling with the need for additional police presence and visibility , other than detective's vehicles, every other vehicle should be clearly and very visibly marked a s a police vehicle. If you don't want a marked police vehicle in your driveway, don't take it home.
And as far as DPW, no one is owed a ride back and forth to work by the taxpayers. Follow the Weather Channel, if a blizzard is predicted, either stay local or take an SUV home for the night, but there is no need for vehicles to go home on a daily basis.
There is no reason for the Chief of Staff , the COO or even Department heads to have take home cars
The City of Hartford residents deserve so much more from those who are supposed to be running the operation. Allowing the direction and management of the city to be dictated by a blog is wrong.