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.