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Monday, December 21, 2015


  A reader earlier this evening posted a question for me on the blog. "Kevin- I know this is slightly off topic. Do you have any opinion on mayor-elect Bronin's first round of appointments that were announced today? "

I have to say ,quite honestly, I have no opinion on those announced so far. I am encouraged that there are names that I am not familiar with.  What we really need at City hall is a new way of doing business , and that is only going to come with new ideas and fresh people at the helm.

I have to say that one of the first things I find very encouraging is that Luke appears to be ready to hit the ground running. Unlike our current Mayor who many times seemed as though he couldn't make a decision if his life depended on it. Think about how many "acting" Directors we had in key management positions. Maybe that is why there never seemed to be a lot of managing going on.

Name one position in the Corporate world that would allow a position like that of our embattled Fire Chief to go unchanged after the history of mismanagement and poor decision making that we have seen the last couple years.

From the Finance Director  who apparently kept receipts in a shoebox on a shelf  to the COO who had no problem signing off on numerous apparently fraudulent invoices for duplicate work or work that was never done in the first place. The next Administration needs consistency. Key positions can not be left vacant for extended periods like Segarra was always ready to do.

Many of our problems under Pedro Segarra could have been averted with basic management principles and adherence to policy and procedures, many of which were already in place, just never followed.

People throughout City Government should be mentored ,trained and groomed for advancement. That is a basic business management concept. If any one of us drops dead tomorrow, it is nice to know that work continues on, that is called proper management. And most City Departments are staffed by good people who just want to be properly managed. We haven't seen that in recent years, whether it is the Fire Department  DPW or the Public Safety Dispatch Center, supervision and management is key.

We also need to bring sound customer service concepts back to City Government. Phones need to be answered, calls need to be returned and most importantly, constituents need to feel as though they are being listened to and respected by their government. When a resident is promised a response, they deserve that appropriate response on a timely basis. Not everyone can be kept happy. Being in business myself I realize that, but I wouldn't have remained in the same business for over 25 years if I treated my customers like City Hall treats many of its customers.

With the number of cell phones, laptops, I-pads and communication devices paid for each month by the City, there should never be an excuse that "no one ever got back to me"

Although 311 seems to be managed better now that it has been placed under the umbrella of MHIS, I am sure there is still room for improvement. When people call 311, the results need to be tracked and followed up on. With technology today, there is no excuse for residents saying "no one got back to them" when they have called. ( as a sidenote, MHIS is probably one of the best run departments in City Government with progressive ideas and a real interest to be part of the solution with their "out of the box" thinking)

 Unfortunately those unhappy customers, especially on the the business and corporate side , and to some degree our residents, voice their disgust by leaving the City. We can no longer afford that. We need to send a clear message that we are open for business and we want you to grow and rebuild with us.

That growth is going to rest on the shoulders of our new Mayor and to a large part on the Council and the support they give him to complete his rebuilding tasks. We also need to all play a  role in that effort and make others realize the foundation that we have here to build on.

It is not going to be an easy job, we all have a lot of work to do. Now lets give it a chance. Keep an open mind but also don't be afraid to hold those at the top accountable. This needs to be a true partnership if we are going to make it work. At this stage, failure is not an option.


Anonymous said...

Kevin, I have nothing further to add. You expressed it perfectly and I thank you for that. I am an ole cynic. I don't know if one man can be so hands on efficient as to right the city ship because hands on is what it will take. I hope he can. We don't need a guy to cut ribbons and kiss babies. Or to waste time at a fire. Let's hope Bronin is successful.

Anonymous said...

I want to put in a positive word about DPW. I am active in one of the "Friends" groups for the city parks. Under the current management, my volunteer colleagues and I have seen a dramatic improvement in care and attention given to our parks. I am not familiar with other sectors of the department, but in my view, the people responsible for the parks are doing an excellent job.


Thank you 11:47am for your comments. We do have plenty of hard working City employees, but we also have some problems that need to be weeded out and a proper tone of accountability needs to be set. Stay tuned.

Anonymous said...

Hey vinney miss seeing on the roster collecting you're unionizes. Where you been I really miss your round table discussions with the guys at all the companies you worked on your leisure. Hey 760 Google your Iffa president and his past spendings.

Anonymous said...

Vinny. You really must hate Kissane first you never notified him about the retirement party he was supposed to be part of then you send him a certificate
Acknowledging his years of service and then wrongly saying he left as the chiefs flunky He retired as Captain of strategic planning a position he held after being a LT. Locak 760 class act

While were talking all you guys look at the web and see what the cops get for retirement in their 2012 contract
Then see if vinny can BS you how great the HFD has it. With strait time OT
Cops laugh at us

Anonymous said...

you get issued beds at work. all have enough time for 2nd jobs. get real.