Sunday, October 17, 2010

Discovery of pre-Revolutionary War wharf may delay project » Local News » NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Discovery of pre-Revolutionary War wharf may delay project » Local News » NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA
As with most offerings from this administration there are accusations of ‘cover up’ and ‘hiding information’ on this discovery.
But, as I have said in the past, most of the ‘FLASH’ of this Mayor is from ignorance and lack of procedural knowledge, to apply favoritism.
I don’t think this would even be a question if Brendan O’Regan was still leading the DPS. NOW, this will be just another COST to the rate payers, even if it is another loan from another entity, due to ‘management styles’ of a first time Mayor. Add all these misunderstandings u and we are going to pay through higher rates for things that don’t concern Sewer Operations. Will the Sewer Commission or the City exempt Newbury for their costs in this mismanaged department? Will this Mayor rebate costs to ratepayers that have paid in full for many years and now cover those who will not pay? Can she? As this is an enterprise Department run by a commission!

Add this mistake of reporting to the mess at the industrial park when the drains were destroyed due to ignorance and attitude! Causing our own DPW to be put under an ‘order of conditions’ because of substandard leadership. And they are expected to oversee others that are allowed to work in our city.
I think it is time that the Mayor readjust her management style and dismiss these goofs that she puts our safety and taxes into and hire qualified personnel to run the city.
LAMO

http://www.dunbarlawpc.com/index11.php?gclid=CMHVhaPQ2qQCFeFM5QodijTMLg

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

NEWBURYPORT 01950

NEWBURYPORT 01950
Since the Mayor and the Daily News  want the shock effect of headlines, yet comments are restricted to post comments to the story, I have my own outlet to write my opinions. If one does not like what is posted here, they can comment or just leave and believe everything the Daily Snooze and City Mayor puts out in the public with no chance of correction or rebuttal. As I cannot post on the Daily News site due to the editor blocking my opinions at their site.

ildivo,
As per your moniker,I do not remember 'growing up with you' as I did not grow up here in Newburyport.
It is true that some consider their 'city Jobs as a gravy train and would do ANYTHING to keep working on the doll, you will find a few honest employees that say no to being used or abused. There are a few of us that Will not take the public for a ride or allow others to do so also. That is why we 'Boobs' leave good jobs.
Maybe some 'boobs' cannot work under the pressures of dishonest politicians and their relatives. There are still some employees that are honest to their selves prior to questionable orders from dishonest leaders that have the protection of wrongful actions and procedures in mind. Now the statements on the 'legal' recordings will be made public, as they always were as part of meeting records. Kept on a City Sewer secured Hard Drive.

As the Sewer Commission required (and I believe may still require the recording of their meetings and business) all of their meetings to be taped since prior to 2000. These tapes and electronic records are transcribed to minutes and the minutes are not verbatim. The not so secret recordings are for research only.
But, lets leave the issue for the court room and a jury to hear and decide.


OldeTymeNbptDude Today 08:19 AM
All of the recordings are public records of open meetings. You may ask for them. Some are interdepartmental meetings where many issues were discussed among managers and personnel.
Others were Executive Sessions of commissions and should not have been accessed by even the mayor.
But, when one plays GOD………..with a very personal outcome planned.

Friday, October 8, 2010

BENEFITS OF EMPLOYMENT OF RELATIVES

OK,


Easy math (I hope).



Say a city employee is hired in 2005.



10 years at 1 day per month earnings equals (12 x 1) x 10) or near 120 days in sick benefit days should be a qualification noted as available to an employee that remains recommended for advancement with in their expected field. Good standing makes good employees and is eligible for responsible positions. Along with proper attendance and performance. Ah, but for unions. The CEO choices get mottled along the way. Parents become elected Officials and out side sources take over the process. A few light fibs on the resume and things happen that normally would not pass muster in a real world situation.





Benefits package for new employees are basically 2 weeks vacation 2 personal days (4 max days for some senior members as seniority kicks in).

Vacation is prorated so that the time cannot be taken until a 90 day trial period is met.

We depend upon the " CEO"-Mayor to fairly enforce these benefits to prevent abuse time off and requiring other employees to cover the lost person's time away!



The language referring or restricting the use of these benefits varies from union and department as policies. The City does have basic notifications requirements for reporting and using these benefits.



There is language referring to job bidding and replacement needing to be compared the use (or misuse) of benefit. I hear this implemented all the time with DPS Employees' relating to the mis -use of this benefit.



Having prior knowledge of DPS benefit usage, and other serious employee actions, I am amazed that the open Assistant position is being awarded by the mayor to the employee that is coming before the City Council for approval. But this is the new management style we heard so much about.



I would access the situation taking in mind that the days available to some employees seeking advance should be better than zero and less than maximum earned. AND I would concede the track record of the employee seeking advancement. Has this employee maybe caused employment peer problems or even filed false claims in order to advance their position? These item never go away, even when removed from personnel files. They exist as a matter of record for all to use as a base to judge upon.



I guess that when management styles change, records do too! But other employees passed over on these positions would be happy for the placement of such an up standing person in an even more position of responsibility, wouldn't they! The  city residents and taxpayers will automatically fall in line with the Mayor in forgetting the documented problems on file with this employee. Because she CAN erase the facts and opinions of the truth.As we know the City Council will not question the event!
 LAMO

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Veteran Employees

As noted in the majority of my posts, I think that the intently  uneducated leadership being provided to the City of Newburyport at present has caused problems that are un-repairable and will be paid for by the citizens of Newburyport sooner than later.



As a non-veteran, the temporary (?) directors (s) of the newly transformed Department of Public Services have such a low knowledge or training base that I can attest to hearing statements from at least two of these city managers on the need to remove veterans from our payroll due to the need for labor and the cost of paying these veterans when they are away defending our country or training to do their jobs in the military.



Recently, these issues were brought up to our 'CEO' and the discrimination continues from management. Certain employees under the direction of the DPS interim director have complained as to their discomfort at statements made by this manager, argumentative atmosphere and job actions taken against certain employees.



Political connections prevent the control of our representatives and it is snowballing into real problems that will need to be addressed or we as taxpayers will incur the bills for these actions.



The Whistling Kettle (Amesbury) seems to be the choice meeting spot of local leadership, thinking that the public does not hear and see the vocal discrimination's being planned and enacted. Some witnessed such an event recently when the interim director went after a city employee that is injured and unfortunately was having a meal at the establishment The Attorney General would only need to record a 'public' conversation of these 'meetings' to challenge and eliminate such illegal activities by Politicians. But they cannot find a case when ten employees report abuses of the same managers this past April. Go figure why there is no trust in our government.



These actions are never seen or heard by the public under the disguise of 'management rights' and 'contractual obligations'. None of which I am contracted to anymore. I find the statements from our  city representatives to be beyond disgusting and even libelous. ESPECIALLY when it concerns violating the protected rights of our military employees.
VETS RIGHTS



Any reasonable person also has some knowledge that engaging in questioning an employee (s) on personal medical questions is a very large 'No-no' when it comes to protecting the city and the manager. Why do I hear that it is a regular and ongoing subject under this administration?
 HIPPA trained? ADDA trained? It  looks  like we taxpayers are not protected from our own  managers actions.


Why have several long term employees made a decision to leave the security of longevity of public employment under this administration? The public will never hear the real reasons. Some politicians are truly surprised when an employee will chose honesty over requested questionable work ethics forced upon them. Why would educated employees leave city employment when confronted with such terms?



Where else can a High School Graduate land a $80k + job and never need to return to school to better their position? Public Service! Where you pat someone on the ass and actually get a raise!



Next stop old history of Manchester Ma. and a dismissal from the police department, many years ago.



And coming up, the Erotic Donut show and why it would be criminal today!






The Boston Housing Authority and some proven actions that can get you fired from a public doll job.


Manchester MA police position? Do they actually have policies that are enforceable? Look like they do!


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Sunday, October 3, 2010

CEO's go figure!

Well, I now know it's not just me, its most that I associate with.


Knowing several CEO's of varying measure has its merits.

I was told that a Chief Executive Officer would be fired by their board if they acted in a manner that put the company at risk. Unsolicited advice that came my way this week. Imagine that! Who could fire a Mayor? The City Council? Recall would be the only measure of evaluating or recourse in terminating an elected official and the time involved to implement such actions would exceed the present life span of Mayors in Newburyport.

Would getting caught at willful / unlawful actions qualify a politician to be recalled? It didn't happen to 'Bossy' so I have my doubts about such a local movement. But 'disbarred' would be a better avenue for observed behavior of a member of the bar (legal that is) if someone was witness to such behavior. Exempt? Nutaah!


Such is politics and some is expected. After all what qualifications does one need to be an elected official, except votes. And how does one acquire votes? Political promises.


I question how many AFSCME members have problems with our temporary DPS Director and have openly hired members of the bar to defend complaints of management of the city? I count six. How many previous managers have been the moving force to employ as many members of the bar in this state? We are good for the economy after all? One union employee clocked more than his basic weekly wage in overtime and no 'emergency' has been recorded to support such needs. That questions the basic amounts we pay some of our help and constitutes a gift to one union employee and not others. May be the reason there are so many employees that will not take the climb up the stairs and communicate with this interim director. Favoritism and nepotism. Who's watching? Not the ones expected to protect the taxpayers.




Another question! How many DPS employees have a higher education than their managers? Does the knowledge factor create uncomfortable situations in employment? Maybe a little envy. Enough to falsify records or protect ones own position by discriminating actions? Or false reporting? Past agreements to hire and train qualified employees and move past the demeanor of the classic unemployable city workers has been reverted to hiring unlicensed and unqualified help, sending the educated and professional labor pool back decades to provide the stipends this management style needs pay out for support. And the public records show the process. Results of studies of available man-hours and good management tracking have been abandoned and personal observations of managers are replaced in the efforts to record the actual value of the city's investment in labor. I would guess the education factor does have a cost. $854,122.04 in projected DPW Labor for fiscal 2011 and $54,808.00 approved overtime budget. Several DPW (listed as HW in the budget) have gone unfilled for a few years now, but the spending matches a full complement of employees available. How so? We have yet to see any city emergency that would explain the need for such expense and would expect to see savings from the 'unfilled' positions, right? Let's see! A quick look at the payroll spread sheet should support a savings trend. I'm sure there are no temporary employees performing in positions that are reported as unfilled and needing overtime to complete, right? Ok, enough! Some people can count. Call the City Auditor, Mr. Bill Squillace and see for yourself. Confirm the savings and management reporting of your investments as you have a right to do. http://cityofnewburyport.com/budget2011/Final%202011%20Budget.pdf See who's making the money and who's not!














LAMO, government at it's best!






Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Laws and expectations

A new story comes my way from the trenches of the city.
It seems the Council on Aging decommissioned a transportation van due to it's poor condition and the fact that it could not legally be certified for use on the roads in Massachusetts. The city pumps a lot of dollars into providing service on vehicles used in the business of servicing the city. The director of the department did well in recognising the life span of the vehicle and made the proper decision for safety reasons to decommission the passenger van when she did. If there was any more life in the van, she would have kept it in her fleet as she needs all the transportation she can get. She is even known to use her personal car to help her clients in need.

Now the kicker. The temporary DPS Director has the seats removed form the van and puts it back into service, expecting the city employees to drive the un-repaired van to transport personnel and equipment to job sites. Not even mentioning the laws of CDL operators being responsible to report unsafe vehicles and to not accept a vehicle that is knowingly unsafe for work. But just the pressure of 'the BOSS' expecting an employee to violate a law and knowingly put the city at risk by using such equipment, is what happens when professionals are allowed to lead with nothing to lose. But the employee takes the chance of losing their operators permit and therefore their job by putting us all at risk. We can thank the employees for refusing to cooperate with this style of management. We hire educated personnel to make such decisions and recently it has been the labor over the managers that are protecting our tax dollars by following the laws. Shame is, this administration is well known to punish the employee for doing the 'right thing' and the manager will get a stipend for doing so.

ps
anybody can ask for city payroll information and one would be really surprised at the overtime paid out to a select few city employees over the past year! This does not even broach the subject of 'stipends' dolled out to specific individuals on the take! One only needs to know the players to see why the city won't see any savings on the management style of this crew. Why the Daily Snooze doesn't report on things like these is beyond me (or maybe it really isn't;) after all they (DN) say I am 'argumentave' and block my comments on-line. But I have seen the invoices and waste first hand and it is a serious issue.

reminds me of the records of the Con Com and an incident (s) in the industrial park.............

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Grievances and mangaement styles

Taking the advice of uneducated managers and 'outsiders' will always be remembered as Donna's downfall. The expense of her actions, due to her lacking common sense management abilities and her favoritism appointing un educated and unlicensed employees to demanding positions will endanger the public and the employees to an impressive mismanagement of resources.A highschool education managing the DPW with an assortment of political advancements was not what I expected in an (overly) 'educated' Mayor, that ran on her knowledge level......LAMO! I am so glad I am out of there.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

LABOUR- THE LACKOF IT, The COST of it.

A continuance to fail to meet AFSCME agreements on job posting keeps several DPS positions unfilled. Due to a personal dislike, a temporary manager will not let a union member advance to the position of truck driver and the same politics keeps a position on the water department unfilled. Saving money has hit a new low in management styles. Politics and personalities override contractual issues and end up costing us taxpayers more in lost labor and legal costs. Any educated manager would realize this and work with what the contract gives him/ her.

Contracts are usually clear on the time a position needs to be posted and filled. Some of the most recent positions have gone over a year waiting for decisions from this administration. Employee with special licences to operate the water system are being by-passed due to personal vendettas and political hand shakes.

I blame the union body mostly for this situation. When your working rights are being violated you must file a grievance to settle the matter, early, for the benefit of the whole union. It seems that AFSCME Employees are so afraid of Holaday and Furnari (more so his friends and associates) that not one grievance has been filed to settle differences and get back to operating the city with the funds we give them to accomplish our work.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

SOME COMMUNITIES HAVE HIRING QUALIFICATIONS



And we get managers with no advanced degrees, go figure. Incompatible management styles? Or 'in over her head'! And they pay less than we are offering for city managers!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

West End Neighbors upset

Seems the city has started and stopped several times on flooding issues on Philips Drive, Ryan's and Drew Street that a petition has been started to get some tax dollars to address these 30 year old issues before the Mayor spends anymore on un-needed services and employees. Past Director, Brendan O'Regan found grant money to widen and replace a culvert in this area, but now that his management style is not wanted, these residents in this area are fighting mad that no more action to handle run off is on the books anywhere in the future. The same neighbours do not want even higher sewer bills to fix what our taxes were supposed to repair in the years past. A single house is the culprit in these matters and has been given cart blanch' to divert run off into surrounding yards. Calls to the Mayors office are going unaddressed and who knows if the Ward 6 Councillor is aware of anything past City Hall these days. 50 taxpayers equal about enough income to the city to deserve at least curbing and drainage to protect their property, don't they? Or are social programs and stipends for interim employees more important? Frost heaves causing road damage due to the lack of proper drainage and building foundation issues need to be recognize by educated engineers that we have demanded and paid for, but don't get past route 95! It only took 35 years for the city to address a farm road that was allowed to develop into a transit point for several hundred homes and a back entrance to the industrial park ( past the most prime open land we have left in the city.

Will we need to lose the lives of more children before sidewalks are installed on Story Ave, from the firehouse to the city line, where traffic flows at a posted 50 miles per hour? Priorities on parking and other downtown social issues superseded the West-Newburyport Taxpayers. I saw a resident of Drew Street sweeping the street with a hand broom today. I told him we have several street sweepers in the city. He said he has never seen one on this side of route 95. He is mostly right on that issue. Our taxes purchase services for anybody but us!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Contracts......

I wonder what 2 year is going to give up in the city hall contract to enforce a 'dress code'? As the city turned down a clothing allowance for the city hall workers the last contract? I can say she has been in clear violation of the AFSCME Contract on other labor issues she refuses to recognize and is ignoring. This will cost the taxpayers in many ways. Every 'rule' has it's cost and this one may be the one that will determine IF she runs again. Ties! Sport coats and spit shines for the men, shows her discrimination patterns. How about City Council wear ties too? They affect the public more so than the clerk behind the counter? She could save money by eliminating Thursday evenings and go to a full 8 hour day at city hall. instead she goes public with an issue that is much less important than the taxpayers want addressed. What is next, a hair code? Or make up restrictions? How about she concentrate on filling the labor positions that have been unfilled since she took office? And get back to preforming the summer maintenance on the city before winter stops all building and digging? How about educational requirements and training for her managers? That is in the position requirements of the positions advertised, she should worry how these managers are dragging her down more so than how they are dressed! At last count there are more truck drivers with degrees and licences than there are managers! Where are the Water and Sewer Commissions on their staffing levels? How can they let their responsibilities to oversee these departments be used as a pawn for supporting her DPS temps? The ones without degrees! Odd, isn't it!

Posters on this important news release by the Daily Snooze (of which she has had me banned from commenting by the editor) have got her number. Over educated for the job! In over her head. More concerned with 'Ties' for her employees than sidewalks and roads! Maybe there is a grant out there for 'Dress Codes'.

I have never seen the Mayors Office empty more than this term. after all it is more productive to have your employees sorting through public documents than addressing residents concerns. It is just another game government has introduced, only this time it is presented by the "good ole GIRLS" in charge.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

GOLD!

There's GOLD in Dem dare piles! I am really surprised that our financially conservative Mayor is not capitalizing on her 'find' in the basement of Shitty Hall.
The History of the city is in those dumpsters. Many residents (who actually own that material) may be willing to pay a price to keep a few of those unimportant documents that the Mayor is declaring 'Trash'.
Where are our councillors and representatives in this venture, protecting our history?
What is NOT getting done as all this 'freetime' suddenly has become available at Shitty Hall? Seems hours and hours have already been accessed by employees that don't have time to collect taxes and preform other essential functions in a manner serving the taxpayers interests. Especially the families that have long histories here that may not be recognised by the few decision makers involved with this project.
Management style? Compatible? We will only know the damage when someone goes through Holiday's Mayoral box when she's gone!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Ummmmmm Hiring?

So the Fire Department dispatchers are members of the AFSCME Union. So thare is a position opening up in the department. Why would the Mayor NOTwant a local member of the workforce to be able to transfer into the position? Someone who is qualified and has experiance, knows the city and has waited for years on top of the civil service list. It is called Executive Privledge! The same way recent positions, raises and stipends for doing nothing more than your job have been awarded. No boundries on education or experiance needed. It is about time this issue of hiring local people first was settled. Fairly. A few more new positions for friends will be suggested soon.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Odd train of thought?

Reading this forced parking issue and the many segments of the proposals that need to be agreed upon and implemented to accomplish a city project, I find on Councillor Cronin's Blog a statement that highlights the atmosphere of ignorance of our public officials in their thought patterns. Not to say that Mr. Cronin is ignorant, just uninformed as most public representatives are led astray when counting public debt.
In his reporting he several times refers to the 'City' preforming a portion of work on projects as 'savings'. I fail to grasp this theory. The City creates a budget for labor to maintain the city and it's infrastructure for any given year. Department heads submit their estimates on labor, material and other expenses to preform the tasks that need to be completed to keep our city operational and safe. Now items like these need to be progressive Holiday Dreams and Wishes come along and add the need for additional man hours to 'save' money on what are unfunded projects when council passed the present year's budget. New toys with no yard to play with then in.

Realizing that 40 hours of standard labor per employee (35 for City Hall employees) as the needed labor prior to (take your pick as to the need from clerical to lifting (and purchasing the material too) to 'raising the iron) by adding these sweetening 'deals' has not been planned for the present standard FY operations to complete items like repairing our deplorable sidewalks, for only one infrastructure issue that constantly takes a back seat to the 'Dreams and Wishes' of each and every new Newburyport CEO. Where do the extra 'hours' of paid labor come from? Two main choices are apparent. We fall deeper into infrastructure debt by not adding manpower labor and costs to these seemingly 'free' labor tasks. Or, under the new management we pay excessive amounts of overtime to a  very few and select individuals to preform tasks that should be considered as part of the initial presented project plan costs. Expect yet another transfer request to cover the free cash we don't already have in hand. Abusing the laws of overspending in our Snow Overtime Budget now carries year round? To balance the need for free out of contract labor it seems it does.

It doesn't take a financial major to recognize that the reason our city is in such dire financial straights is due to these 'free' project favours that are not balanced in the approved budget. Taking hours away from cleaning your house results in a dirty mess after time away from the real issues. We are so far behind in maintaining our city we are passing our self again to be in the lead with opinions like these from our elected officials.

With the recent stacking of the deck with a crew of uneducated or licensed temporary department managers with  'yes men' will only assure that if you are not politically connected your tax dollar will not be spent on your street or your interests. With no paper trail, anything can be accomplished or 'swept under the rug'! The cost of 'FREE' has proven to be too expensive for us to date and leading the public astray on these types of 'savings' needs correcting up front.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Dreaming of a Holaday.....Nov 2011

I like Paul Breau's comments in the Daily Snooze. If they would let me comment I would support his opinion and then more. They say that Marcone doesn't like my comments so he blocks me out. But in reality, the Daily Snooze gets the story wrong so many times that it cannot be corrected to make real sense at all.
Dan

Water/ sewer Bills?

Whats with the citywide consumption numbers of what's pumped at the Treatment (Water in) and the cf ft charged ratepayers? Anyone check the city building usages and what it costs to supply old A/C units at the schools? This has been reported before when the city went enterprise and the city was supposed to start paying bills like us all. All I keep hearing is that is is a fair trade off for services rendered by the City Hall.
Then there is the payback of the Plum Island betterment granted favors to so few that has missed two years now. I call it theft, some others that like spending enterprise fund money invested by the ratepayers to support the over taxed social programs by our daydreaming politicians.

Beer and Whine?

Is there a new policy of serving Beer and While at the Pioneer Park for 'Special Events'?  Saw an officer there and Adults (for the most part) during a softball game imbibing. Don't remember seeing a permit pass the system though! I asked around, but could not find the beer tent, just the Whine Room. Taxable income?

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Insurance costs?

Savings seems to be the going mantra in Newburyport these past few years. Even to the point of dropping people off the life insurance program with out their knowledge? I am hearing that some retirees are no longer seeing the deduction for life insurance taken from their checks anymore due to another one of the executive decisions being made at a desk in city hall. I can say that the Sewer Department and Water Department have fought years to keep our department's costs true and it is a time consuming battle to add or subtract employees when they do not know where everybody belongs and the methods change for the accounting so often. Balancing the BC/BS bills for enterprise departments are a REAL BATTLE.
So let us stick it to the retirees yet again. I'm calling all mine and advising they check themselves as the city will never contact them if they have lapsed, again.

Transportation and the real costs of choice

With all citizens and their public representatives in office and (almost) each and every city employee well versed in the cost of running our city, why is there a given choice to the temporary DPW manager who is now the permanent acting director of not the DPS but the DPW , as assistant assistants to the deputy running the Water and Sewer Plants have been chosen, as to offering a four wheel drive, diesel truck, equipped with siren and police lights? We (as taxpayers footed the  investment in lots of insulation to deaden the road noise from route 95 high speed travel.) Was this a gift from the Sherrifs Department? If so then Why?And why would this temporary assistant to the Directorship need to drive such a vehicel? I would understand the Marshall needing such a ride. Even the Road Foreman on duty 24/7. But a Director in temporary position traveling the most miles of any city employee with city vehicle? A good manager would know this and take action.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Meeting contractual obligations

I have yet to see this city's administration to meet its contractual agreement in effect of keeping our workforce up to date.Ten days from a position being open the process is to begin to fill open positions. Ten days after the position is posted interviews are to be given. The total loss of man hours should be less than 30 days. I suspect that one major reason for this dragging of the feet is to save money on the labor costs of the city. But while saving these costs two things happen. One, work does not get done because of the loss of available man hours and two, the moral of the workforce becomes tainted knowing the administration may look to hire more truck drivers that do not have the proper licences, experience and education to preform in the job. It is called Executive Privilege and it is in violation of an agreed contract. Managers ill equipped in making educated decisions bring the city their own little political workforce that are unprofessional and endanger the safety of our trained workers and citizens. The savings offset the cost of revisiting the work that should have been completed before the politics were reenacted to serve the special interest of the few that are entitled to city services more than us regular taxpayers.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Education required for positions? Not in Newburyport!

PUBLIC WORKS DIRECTOR


About the Job





The Town of South Berwick, Maine (population 7,300, 35 square miles and 82 miles of roads), located in the seacoast region of Southern Maine, is seeking a highly-motivated, experienced professional for the position of Public Works Director.





The Director will lead a staff of 15 full- and part-time employees, plus private contractors and on-call staff, and manage operations, construction and maintenance of the Town's solid waste and recycling services, parks and recreation fields, bridges, roads and sidewalks, storm sewers, public buildings, and engineering functions.







The Director also will be responsible for pursuing and attaining funds from state and federal agencies, providing expertise to other boards/departments on public and private development projects, and proactively directing the Town's response to weather and related emergencies.





Must have an extensive knowledge of modern public works management, construction and maintenance methods, and demonstrated supervisory and customer service skills.





Qualifications include a BS in Civil Engineering or related field, 8 years of progressively responsible civil engineering experience, 5 years of supervisory experience, or an equivalent combination of education and experience.





Salary range begins at $54,900 with excellent benefits.







Please, no phone inquiries.





Deadline for applications is August 31, 2010.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

How can we let this man lead a city department?

ARTICLE V. DEPARTMENTS*
Directly out of our own municipal ordnance's.........Mr. Furnari cannot meet the basic requirements of the Director of our Department of Public Services due to his lack of education. He shakes a good political hand but lacks the leadership that the defined job description education requires. The girls all like the attention he gives them though, but it just doesn't support his decisions in fields he has unknowns, but does have political appointment to.
What is this Mayor's plans to replace Furnari once Mr. Andrew returns? As Furnari still has not met his promise of attaining a degree from his last three jobs.


__________

*Cross references: The committee on general government shall be concerned with municipal departments, § 2-34; department of civil defense, § 6-2.



__________





DIVISION 1. GENERALLY

Secs. 2-316--2-325. Reserved.



DIVISION 2. PLANNING AND DEVELOPMENT*



__________

*Cross references: The committee on general government shall be concerned with city finances and municipal departments, § 2-34; responsibilities of the committee on planning and development, § 2-35.



__________





Sec. 2-326. Office established.

There is hereby established an office of planning and development. All employees of the office of community development shall be employees of the office of planning and development.

(Ord. of 4-13-87, § 19-6)



Sec. 2-327. Jurisdiction.

The jurisdiction of the office of planning and development shall include the duties and responsibilities of the director of planning and development, the planning board, the historical commission and, with the concurrence of the mayor, such other boards, committees commissions, agencies or departments as may from time to time be authorized under city, state or federal law to undertake planning and development activities.

(Ord. of 4-13-87, § 19-7; Ord. of 11-14-88(1))



Sec. 2-328. Office of director established; powers, etc.

(a) There is hereby established the position of director of planning and development.

(b) The department of planning and development shall act in an advisory capacity to the following city boards and/or commissions: Planning board, zoning board of appeals, conservation commission, economic development commission, and any other board or commission that the mayor authorizes the department to assist.

(c) The director of planning and development shall be appointed by the mayor and confirmed by the city council. The term of the director shall officially end on January thirty-first following each biennial city election or until a successor is appointed.

(Ord. of 4-13-87, §§ 19-8--19-10; Ord. of 11-14-88(1))

Cross references: Officers and employees, § 2-126 et seq.

Secs. 2-329--2-345. Reserved.



DIVISION 3. POLICE*



__________

*Editor's note: The current collective bargaining agreements made between the city and the police department should be consulted for specific information.

Cross references: The committee on general government shall be concerned with city finances and municipal departments, § 2-34; responsibilities of committee on public safety, § 2-36; board of health may call upon the police department for aid, § 8-44.

State law references: Police generally, M.G.L.A. c. 147; powers and duties of police officers in cities, M.G.L.A. c. 41, § 96 et seq.



__________





Sec. 2-346. Composition of regular police department.

The police department of the city shall consist of the following:

(1) City marshal;

(2) Senior lieutenant, administrative assistant to the marshal;

(3) Lieutenant;

(4) Five (5) sergeants;

(5) Twenty-nine (29) police officers.

(Code 1971, § 21-1; Ord. of 7-13-87(1); Ord. of 9-12-88(1); Ord. of 7-14-97)



Sec. 2-347. Membership of reserve police force.

In addition to the regular police force, the police department shall include a reserve force of ten (10) members.

(Code 1971, § 21-2; Ord. of 2-13-78)



Sec. 2-348. Appointment; manner of holding office.

All of the regular members of the police department as well as the reserve force shall be appointed and shall hold office in the manner provided by the laws of this commonwealth.

(Code 1971, § 21-3)



Sec. 2-349. Promotion procedure.

No officer of the regular or reserve police force shall be promoted without first being appointed by the mayor and confirmed by the city council.

(Code 1971, § 21-4)



Sec. 2-350. Promotions of reserve police officers to the regular force.

(a) No reserve police officer will be promoted to the regular force until the mayor has made such an appointment and the city council has confirmed such appointment.

(b) All selection of the reserve police to be appointed to regular force shall be in accordance to seniority in service.

(Code 1971, § 21-5)



Sec. 2-351. Compensation.

Members of the police department shall receive such compensation as the mayor and city council shall from time to time determine in accordance with applicable federal and state law.

(Code 1971, § 21-6)



Sec. 2-352. Powers and duties of city marshal.

(a) The city marshal shall be the head of the police department and have entire control thereof and assign all police officers or constables when engaged in the service of the city to duty. It shall also be his duty to designate the patrols, hours of service and the vacation period of all members. He shall supervise the keeping of a record with a suitable index of every person arrested, including the name of the arresting officer, the offense charged, the place of birth, the age, height and complexion of the accused and such other description as may be useful for identification purposes. He also shall keep a record of all complaints made by members of the department and the record of the disposition of each case with the circumstances thereof. He shall keep open the records of the department to the inspection of the mayor and city council. He shall annually on the first day of September report in writing to the city council as to the condition of the department with whatever recommendations he deems advisable. Records shall be kept by him of duties performed by the members of the department, of all absences from duty and shall prepare the payroll of the department for presentation to the city auditor.

(b) The city marshal shall see to it that the orders of the city council shall be respected and obeyed by all members of the department and he shall be responsible for the discipline and efficiency thereof. He may establish rules and regulations for the government of the department, such regulations to be subject to the approval of the mayor and city council. He shall be charged with the enforcement and execution of the laws of the commonwealth, city ordinances and the orders of the mayor and city council. At the request of the mayor or city council, he shall cause any claim against the city to be investigated and a report of the findings returned to the city clerk. All defects in the streets of the city coming to his attention shall be forthwith reported to the superintendent of public works and all water leakage to the superintendent of the water department. He shall render service to the various city departments whenever requested by any department head and shall perform whatever other duties are requested of him by the mayor or city council. He shall have charge of all property of the department and cause the same to be kept in good order and in condition for use. He shall cause the police station to be kept in a clean, neat condition and properly lighted and heated.

(Code 1971, § 21-9)

Sec. 2-353. Reserved.

Editor's note: Former § 2-353, relative to duties of the deputy marshal, was deleted pursuant to an ordinance adopted Sept. 11, 1989. The deleted provisions derived from Code 1971, § 21-10.



Sec. 2-354. Duties of lieutenants and sergeants.

The lieutenants and sergeants of the police department shall perform their duties in accordance with the regulations of the department.

(Code 1971, § 21-11)



Sec. 2-355. Duties of police officers.

The police officers in the police department shall have such powers and perform such duties enacted in reference to such office by the laws of this commonwealth. They shall pass from time to time through the streets of the city with a view to remove by prosecution or otherwise, all nuisances, obstructions or impediments therein, and shall perform such other police duties as the mayor and city council shall from time to time determine.

(Code 1971, § 21-12)



Sec. 2-356. Qualification of special police officers.

Before council confirmation of a special police officer, uniformed duty, a candidate must meet the following requirements:

(1) Complete physical examination stating candidate's condition with doctor's certificate.

(2) Have no criminal record excepting minor traffic violations.

(3) Must sign a release of records.

(4) Must have recommendation of city marshal prior to confirmation.

(Ord. of 6-28-76(2))



Sec. 2-357. Mutual aid program for police department.

The City Council of the City of Newburyport accepts M.G.A.A. c. 40, § 8G, authorizing the city marshal to enter into a mutual aid program which states as follows:

A city or town which accepts this section may enter into an agreement with another city or town, or other cities and towns, to provide mutual aid programs for police departments to increase the capability of such departments to protect the lives, safety, and property of the people in the area designated in the agreement. Said agreement may include the furnishing of personal services, supplies, materials, contractual services, and equipment when the resources normally available to any municipality in the agreement are not sufficient to cope with a situation which requires police action.

(Ord. of 3-26-07)

Editor's note: An ordinance adopted March 26, 2007, did not specifically amend the Code. Therefore, such ordinance has been added as § 2-357 at the editor's discretion.

Secs. 2-358--2-360. Reserved.



DIVISION 4. FIRE*



__________

*Cross references: Responsibilities of committee on public safety, § 2-36.



__________





Sec. 2-361. Composition.

The fire department shall consist of:

(1) A permanent fire chief;

(2) A deputy chief;

(3) Four (4) permanent lieutenants;

(4) Twenty-eight (28) permanent firefighters and as many call firefighters as the mayor and city council may from time to time determine.

(Code 1971, § 10-15; Ord. of 7-13-87(2))



Sec. 2-362. Fire alarm system.

Among his other duties, the fire chief shall have the control of and responsibility for the operation, maintenance, and repair of the fire alarm system of the city.

(Ord. of 8-3-70(2), § 2)



Sec. 2-363. Mutual aid system; approval.

The fire chief is hereby authorized to enter into a mutual aid system with such cities and towns contiguous to the city as he may deem advisable. The agreement shall be subject to the approval of the mayor and city council. In order to comply with this provision, the fire chief is authorized to send city fire apparatus and firefighters to such cities and towns who enter into such mutual aid agreements.

(Code 1971, § 10-22)



Sec. 2-364. Effect of article on rules, orders, ordinances relating to department.

The provisions of this article shall not repeal, affect or change any rule or order in force on January 1, 1989, relating to the fire department, or the officers or members thereof, except as herein specified.

(Code 1971, § 10-23)



DIVISION 5. DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SERVICES



Sec 2-365. Established.

There shall be established in the City of Newburyport a department of public services consisting of the water department, the sewer department and the department of public works. The department of public services shall be under the direction of department of public services director. There shall also be established a deputy director/director of operations.

(Ord. of 5-21-05, § 1)



Sec. 2-366. Apointment of director.

The mayor shall appoint a director of public services subject to confirmation by the city council. The director of public services shall have such responsibilities and duties as determined by the mayor, and shall have full charge and authority over the employees, equipment, and facilities within the department of public services, ordinance, regulations, and such direction and such policies. During his/her tenure, the director shall hold no other elective or appointive office, nor shall the director engage in any other business or occupation.

(Ord. of 5-21-05, § 2)



Sec. 2-367. Duties of director.

The director of public services shall supervise employees of the department of public services in accordance with the city's personnel ordinances and any applicable collective bargaining agreements. The director shall supervise, direct and be responsible for the efficient administration of all departments and offices within the department of public services.

The director shall keep full and complete records of the department of public services. Such director shall render to the mayor, as often as may be required by said mayor but at least quarterly, a full report of all operations under his/her control during the period reported upon, and annually shall render to the mayor a report of all the operations under his/her control, including but not limited to: a full financial report of all accounts, funds and grants, a work plan with related finance plan for the subsequent fiscal year, and a report on the accomplishments and progress made under the work plan from the preceding fiscal year. Such director from time to time, as required by said mayor, shall make a synopsis of such reports for publication. The director shall have access to all city books, records and documents necessary for the proper performance of the assigned duties and responsibilities.

The director and boards of water and sewer commissioners shall report to the mayor concerning the needs of the city within the scope of his/her duties, and shall annually, in conformity with the requirements established by said mayor, furnish to the mayor a carefully prepared and detailed budget and work plan in writing, including estimates of the appropriations and revenue for department of public services enterprise funds established under M.G.L.A. c. 44, § 53F1/2 required during the next fiscal year for the proper exercise and performance of all said rights and duties.

The director shall be responsible for the preparation of plans and the supervision of work on all department of public services construction, reconstruction, alterations, improvements, and other such projects authorized by the mayor. The director shall be available to offer professional engineering services to other city boards, committees and offices as may be requested. The mayor must authorize any such professional services provided by the director.

The director shall, be responsible for reviewing and approving payment warrants. The director, when any payroll, bill, or other claim against the city is presented, if the same is deemed by the director to be of doubtful validity, excessive in amount, or otherwise contrary to the interests of the city, refer it to the mayor who shall immediately investigate and determine what, if any, payment should be made. Pending such investigation and determination by the mayor, any payment will be withheld.

The director shall perform such other duties consistent with the office as may be required by the ordinances of the city, by the mayor, or by the majority vote of the city council.

(Ord. of 5-21-05, § 3)



Sec. 2-368. Board of water commissioners.

The board of water commissioners shall be a part of the department of public services. Except as expressly provided for in this act, the board of water commissioners shall retain all powers, duties and responsibilities previously vested in said commissioners. The board of water commissioners shall fix such prices and rates for the use of water. The board of water commissioners may grant such abatements from water rates or charges as may be lawful and necessary.

The board of water commissioners shall, subject to the advice and consent of the mayor, set all policies relative to the water supply of the City of Newburyport, while the director shall be responsible for the day to day operations of the department. The board of water commissioners shall, with respect to the director, unless otherwise specifically provided for in this legislation, act in an advisory capacity.

The board of water commissioners shall keep the mayor fully advised as to the needs of the city within the scope of its duties, and shall annually, in conformity with the requirements established by said mayor, and in conjunction with the director of public services, furnish to the mayor a carefully prepared and detailed budget and work plan in writing, including estimates of the appropriations and revenue for the board of water commissioners enterprise funds established under M.G.L.A. c. 44, § 53F1/2 required during the next fiscal year for the proper excise and performance and all said rights and duties.

The board of sewer commissioners shall be part of the department of public services. Except as expressly provided for in this act, the board of sewer commissioners shall retain all powers, duties and responsibilities vested in said commissioners. The board of sewer commissioners may in its discretion prescribe for the users of said sewer system or systems such annual rentals or charges based on the benefits derived therefrom as it may deem proper, subject, however, to such rules and regulations as may be fixed by the vote of the city council. The board of sewer commissioners may grant such abatements from water rates or charges as may be lawful and necessary.

The board of sewer commissioners shall, subject to the advice and consent of the mayor, set all policies relative to construction and operation of a system or systems of sewerage and sewage disposal for the City of Newburyport, while the director shall be responsible for the day to day operation of the department. The board of sewer commissioners shall, with respect to the director, unless otherwise specifically provided for in this act, act in an advisory capacity.

The board of sewer commissioners shall keep the mayor fully advised as to the needs of the city within the scope of its duties, and shall annually, in conformity with the requirements established by said mayor, and in conjunction with the director of public services, furnish to the mayor a carefully prepared and detailed budget and work plan in writing, including estimates of the appropriations and revenue for the board of sewer commissioners enterprise funds established under M.G.L.A. c. 44, § 53F1/2 required during the next fiscal year for the proper exercise and performance of all said rights and duties.

(Ord. of 5-21-05, §§ 4, 5)



Sec. 2-369. Appointment date of director.

Within sixty (60) days from the effective date of this act, the mayor shall appoint a director of public services.

(Ord. of 5-21-05, § 6)



Sec. 2-370. Integration of water works and sewer department.

The employees of the water works and sewer department are integrated into the department of public services. The city shall recognize the years of service of all employees integrated into the department of public services and provide to such employees' rights, compensation and benefits as allowed under the city personnel ordinance or appropriate collective bargaining agreement at levels equivalent to those provided to such employees on the date of this transfer.

(Ord. of 5-21-05, § 7)

Thursday, August 5, 2010

CHAOS

Even highly educated people need to be told  and be recognized when they cannot manage effectively. Especially when they do not have the tools to manage with. Government being the least most controllable personnel management unit due to politics. When one wins an election the assumption that they becomes a 'God' surfaces rather quickly. All good education and common sense seems to follow a path of self indulgence and pride.

I was asked recently what my opinion on the 'New DPS merger and policy' was by a local politician. My answer was of course quick and definitive. "It is a danger to public health and the financial security of our systems". Apparently several of the new temporary (?) managers are in turmoil and the chaos is showing. Tempers are high, confusion is costing the rate and taxpayers even more money and time due to things NOT getting done, due to indecision and inexperience. Stipends are being fought over and the maintenance of the city as a whole is slipping further into disrepair, if that is even possible. The responsibility to observe the results of our daily government falls upon the citizens of Newburyport, and we are failing ourselves in our inaction to direct our city.

I find the recent local topic introduced of questioning reasoning of having the many local Boards and Commissions interesting in the lack of applied laws and regulations. The placement of public oversight in government in question of need to fast track government affairs has been challenged to the point that the public may now be limited to the polls for oversight? Fast tracking by political figures usually comes down to the basic hiring of political opinion rather than proven skills offered in the hiring of specific knowledge. Have we become a one stop, one opinion entity? Where the voters have this vast access to qualified politicians that are experienced in the finer aspects of all public needs and trained in disciplines that assure the proper paths are taken and observed? Protections? Streamlining the public access to government may have other concerns that will limit access to a large population of the taxpayers and ratepayers. Bringing the power of the citizen to opine on politic and mostly undisciplined vote buyers may just be the end of the American way of basic choices and freedoms we own. Observing the path taken by most Americans today, requiring government action in  almost every daily decision, we may be lost to our need to be regulated by our own ignorances.

Friday, July 30, 2010

NEWBURYPORT 01950: Little River Village

NEWBURYPORT 01950: Little River Village

Little River Village

And here we go again. So many things wrong here with this 'village' offer that we should not be entertaining a shared relationship. Back three years ago, Mayor Moak sent a letter from city legal stating that Newburyport did not have the 'legal right' to allow sewer connections outside the city. Plum Island order is real specific as to connections ordered.
At the same time the Sewer Commission and the City Council entertained letting Newbury 'invest' in the fixing of the Sewer Plant. Possibly raising the limits of the plant permit. They refused the offer and built a senior center. .
So now, what has changed? Policy and laws? Or control of the Enterprise funds?
Will our Water and Sewer reserves be able to handle future development in that area? Where will it stop? Route one south to Rowley, and beyond?

Dan

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Stolen comment from Daily News

Missy Smith 4 hours ago in reply to kathyheywood

"Respect is the key word there, it is earned! Not given where not due. Proof is in my tax dollars being wasted, case in point I have watched the same DPS worker replace the same storm drain multiple times in 1 year, now if the first drain broke- shouldn't the HEAD of the dept be inspecting the drain? So when the drain goes the 2nd time and the same person comes back out its ridiculous, find someone who knows how to do the job correctly the first time instead of wasting our hard earned money. In case you missed it, the Mall is in terrible shape, so where is he directing people to keep it neat? That is my point, these kind of things are just a waste of money if they cannot be done correctly, why should we call and complain. Since when should someone running the DPS services not be required to carry a degree? If you look at many of the cities in the area they require the Head of DPS to hold a degree, so what makes Newburyport exempt? Do the same calculations not apply? I have nothing but respect for the employees of DPS, they work endless hours in the summer and cold endless hours in the winter, they are very much under appreciated. They deserve the Respect. Things need to change around here. So does picking up the shovel apply to you as well? "
 
This person (Missy Smith) knows more than most. Ah....the manhole cave-ins! A newly hired foreman completed a massive amount of work over the summer before last. Commendable. Given a raise. Now we have revisited more than 50% of the same manholes. Added cost in labor and material to do them right! And it still is not fixed. No leadership. No cohesion. DPW operates like ants at a fire. They start out late due to inept management and then are moved from site to site unable to Finnish a job due to the politics of untrained managers. There is also the lack of knowledge on just what property is owned by the city and just what one can do in wetlands.

There are things like safety, laws and paper trails that are missing due to the lack of education and/ or experience that will cost Newburyport in revisiting problems and having 'orders of conditions' levied from our own con com! Check the records, serious violations exist under this management team.

When we posted the Assistant Deputy Director's job, it did mention a degree or two along with experience!
If one would bother to check, more DPW Truck Driver/ Laborers have degrees and certifications than the management out there!

Dan

And support from the Sewer Commission goes on and on, except the Chair.

I’m really chagrined at all this. A lot of the friction between the Sewer Dept & others in City Hall has been the result of the instructions and marching orders you got from us on the Sewer Commission. That you and Brendan are taking all the heat isn’t right at all. And the ineptitude! Four things come to mind:

· When Charlotte was there, the Treasurer’s Dept lost +$70K in checks that slid behind someone’s desks. We didn’t find out about the missing payments until we started sending out demands and customers had PAID receipts.

· The Plumbing Inspector was signing off on his own work and keeping the permits in his house. We found this out after he installed the grease trap at David’s BACKWARDS, he signed off on his own work, and then David’s failed the FOG test.

· The DEP fine on a now closed plating company, a fine that City Hall missed listing on the bankruptcy declaration so we never got paid.

· The fact that Squillace practically takes all year to sign off on our undesignated fund balances.

Ugh!

Well commissioner all I can say is that under this new management the DPW has control of the Sewer Funds and equipment and EEnterprise Sewer Funds. I predict that the Sewer Ratepayers will be supporting the city in more ways you can imagine when unqualified managers are afraid, or do not know how to say NO!
DPW is funded on the Taxpayers dollars and they just found the Sewer Enterprise piggy bank! From equipment to employees, a free ride on the Sewer Ratepayers from two communities. That is the 'New Training' that has been going on for the past few weeks.

Daily Posts a third of my story

Of course it took some accusing to get part of my story posted. The second half is still on the blog and the crimes of the city pile up daily. But, I am still blocked from posting comments on the Daily News  and according to Mr. Will, it was Mr. Calhoon  that made the decision to exempt me from comments.
The city does not want to have these conversations in print and is on a quest to eliminate any question of the management abilities of this Mayors choices at all levels.

Dan Sweeney

Monday, July 26, 2010

INTENTIONAL MISINFORMATION

'DPS Mess' as reported by Katie Farrell Lovett on July 15, 2010. The Headline should have been "City messes up Low Street Legal Challenge".




It appears that the Newburyport City Council is unaware as to the legal process of paying enterprise bills and the City Auditor, Bill Squillace, failed to inform the Council fully of the due process of paying these bills. The person that the Mayor chose to temporarily replace Brendan O'Regan on the Sewer Department side of the DPS, Jamie Tuccolo spoke at the July 12, City Council meeting not knowing his presentation materials nor the reasons that the legal bills were invoiced and were not paid. Several misquotes in his presentation to the council and his follow up to the Sewer Commission on the 22nd of July are proof of the demise of the financial security of the Newburyport Sewer Department. This may be the intent of this Mayor by allowing untrained and uneducated personnel to manage these tri departments.After all, the Water and Sewer Departments (and Harbor) are the only solvent departments the city has. There are actually millions of dollars at stake here, if the Mayor can control the commissions and managers of these enterprise departments, she can balance her city budget on the backs of the ratepayers from two communities.



Acting Assistant Deputy Director, Mr. Tuccolo reported to the City Council that legal bills were "swept under the rug" and "were not presented to the Sewer Commission for payment". These are only two mis-statements and false statements made to the City Council on July 22nd 2010. He also stated to the sewer Commission that he 'does not remember saying that these bills were 'swept under the rug', accusing his previous boss and the sewer commissioners of negligence.



As a Collection System foreman, Mr. Tuccolo has no prior training in municipal finances, nor in personnel management. He has no degrees and was hired to a position that clearly stated the need for a minimal degree. He does have the ear of a first time Mayor and an otherwise unemployable acting deputy director, looking to secure a longer contract than all his previous employments combined. Both would not be in leadership positions if their education was a factor. And both would have much lesser incomes today.



The process of paying bills by enterprise departments has always been processed the following way;



All Department bills are presented to the Director (an exception with legal bills in that they are first sent to the Mayors office at City Hall, copied by the executive assistant to the Mayor and then forwarded to the department for payment) verified as a proper department expenditure and then placed upon a warrant before being presented to the Sewer Commission for signatures and returned to the Auditor for payment processing. No invoices are paid out of departmental funds without the proper signatures of the commission. Or at least under good accounting practices should not for legal reasons.



A little reminder of the city budgetary process. The Department heads create the needed budget and first submit their request to their commission. The Commission either adds or subtracts from this presentation and forwards the budget request to the Mayor. The Mayor makes recommendations to the presented budget and submits the budget to the City Council. The City Council affirms or adjusts the presented budget for the next fiscal year. So all expenditures are approved by a process ending with our elected council overseeing the budgets. And they discuss each expenditure line by line. Including the expected legal line items. Following so far? When unexpected bills or vouchers are presented, the account becomes expended. When this happens a request must be made by the commission to the Mayor and Auditor for them to file for a transfer of funds, either from another line item or from excess reserves to pay these over and above expenses. A strong explanation of the need is required and the presentation usually is sponsored by a councilor who has researched the issue and can stand and explain the request. This is the oversight and balance procedure.



Now, is it just me, or does one see several failures to this system? First off, the Mayor(s) had possession of the bills. Secondly, the Sewer Commission knew of the legal bills from the Low Street Sewer Challenge, because they needed to get permission from the Mayor to hire a second legal firm to decide the direction to take after the Judge awarded damages to the plaintiffs. To be paid from monies not expected when the FY10 City Budget was approved. Or, to be paid from the loan or betterment changed?



It is my opinion that 'somebody' is attempting to cover their tracks at the expense of others. I think the Daily News did not do their research well enough to tell the public how bad things are at the DPS since the recent changes were made in MAY, two full months before the fiscal year and money ran out of the sewer legal line item.



I would think that the ratepayers in both Newbury and Newburyport would like to know this information, after all the Sewer Commission represents all the ratepayers that use the sewer services. The safety of their utility services may be compromised should this process of hit and run management continues . My guess is that the Newburyport Daily News does not want to let their readers know that something is wrong in their reporting and presentation.









Dan Sweeney



13 Drew Street



Newburyport, MA 01950



978-462-1870



Tax and Ratepayer

Friday, July 16, 2010

Grievances

Grievances are filed when issues of contract are in question. Most managers will get a few in the course of getting their job done. But, 147? in less than 2 years? Breaking his contract by not attaining a degree within a time frame. Then there is the story of the phonographic charge connected with the Donut.
and John Moak rehires him and Donna elevates him to acting Director.
See what having the 'right' political connections will get you!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Banned from Daily News Story

On the 15th of July 2010, the Newburyport Daily News 'banned' me from posting my opinions on this issue. I wonder why?
The following are comments that I had posted, but the editor saw fit to ban.

1.What the public is not being told in this story is that all legal bills are first sent to the Mayor's office, copied, then forwarded to the department responsible for the bill. In this particular case, these bills needed approval from the Sewer Commission, the Mayor, Treasurer and then the City to pay bills that are not Current Year Budgeted bills. Statements from Mr. Tuccolo, who is new to any senior management roll and does not understand the financial process, should check with his Sewer Commission and especially The Chair Mr. Hanlon, who held up these legal bills, with the knowledge of at least one city councilor, from the Low Street legal challenge that is still ongoing. Dumping this issue on Mr. O'Regan and his staff is convenient for unqualified managers to do. Laws do not allow billing accounts when thers is no money in them.

2. Axel_Pup,First of all the person was not 'Fired'. His contract was just not renewed. Being an employee at will either side could have ended the relationship at any time. Differing situation than if he was a union member. No charges were brought or accusations made that he was not doing a good job. Only the Mayor stating that their management 'styles' did not match. That could mean she may have been asking him to do something wrong and he said no to it, couldn't that be the case? Could mean many things. When any employee leaves a company they are entitled to a severance package. This is what she has offered him for his many years of service. The employee has a right to over ride the Mayors decision. They chose not to.

3. The accusation from the 'acting deputy director' (who was a one year employee as a collection system foremen with no degree in management or experience or the educational background in managing a financial department before his very sudden rise to fame by appointment and stipend) surprises me with accusing the Sewer Commissioners or other departmental employees of "sweeping things under a rug", and stating that these bills were 'legitimate' due to the fact that only the Sewer Commission can approve or deny a charge or voucher to the Sewer Budget approved by the city council. Not being financially savvy in municipal finances or good accounting practices, he also would not know that a bill dated 2009 could still be payable in fiscal 2010 funds, if monies were properly transferred by the Mayor and City Auditor, ear marked for this expenditure (but not in fiscal 2011 funds). And he certainly would not know that some legal bills for acquiring the property at 115 Water Street and such were encumbered before the loan for the plant upgrade was received and would need to be paid at a date when the funds became available through the borrowing by the City Treasurer. But the person hired to oversee the project would be in charge of that. So all together, Mr. Tuccolo's statements just cloud the story and ascertain his ability to perform in such a manner that is above his capabilities will be challenging for him in his future.




4. Councilor Ives and the Sewer Commission were working on a plan to present a transfer request to recognize the needs of legal representation costs of the Low Street Suit. One only needs to communicate with the proper authorities to get answers to things they do not know. That is if one is not inclined to cover their own tracks or implement a personal agenda. I am surprised she was not consulted prior to the presentation for transferring the funds to the council. As anyone can research, through the Auditor, it is very common for departments to request such transfers to pay bills from prior years or for unexpected expenses that expended the allotted funds by the council.





The real headline should have been "Cost Of Low Street Betterment Fight continues to rise and needs to be addressed", or does someone have an axe to grind? lol

Saturday, May 8, 2010

At a loss logic

Long day. Blogging with a friend from past school days (real long past). Logic. A topic in it's own, even without the recent reasons given by recent local city events. Education. Leadership. Actions. Learning curves. All associated with my recent bout of heartburn. Things we learned before being turned out to rule the world. Morales. Honesty. Responsibility.
Why would a person with multiple 'Masters' employ a manager that only attained a minor education? Failed in past employment charges, due to this lack of training and exhibiting a failure to safeguard his employees and employers from risk. Filling a position that oversees engineers, employees that are trained and educated in skilled disciplines and specific licenced personnel? And then discriminate against the very requested educated employees that the city spent many years changing the requirements of positions to fill? A very simple answer could be 'politics'. If one was a simple person, this answer may suffice. A detailed study may produce an opinion of a more systematic problem America is facing today. One that I take hits upon discussion groups everywhere. Being of an educated world carries responsibilities that the 'common' man does not prat ice. Spending the first third of ones impressionable life in training for the release to the world has it's limitations. Usually in the presentation of one's opinions that a higher education of the elite nature, positions one above and beyond all lesser subjects. We see the results every day. When one acts out their education with less concern for facts.

In days past, we were taught that in order to drive an automobile, one would need to respect the 'right' to drive and observe laws, placed for all our protections. I do not remember the death toll from automobile driving to be nearly ashigh as it it is reported today. MB A's mean that common sense does not necessarily apply. We teach our children of their 'rights' prior to their responsibility. We discriminate to our own means.

Making decisions on half a story in my day was considered lying. Laziness in acquiring the truth is also a dying trend. Breaking laws used to be unforgivable and carried a very stiff penalty. Now, if you don't like a restriction, just ignore it, in time it will become accepted by attrition.

Back to politics. why is it that when one wins an election by a majority of votes, not necessarily more than 50% of the total available votes, one becomes a GOD? One and final opinion?

Strange world we live in.

 I have had the extreme pleasure to meet and be taught by many wondrous teachers. Some even highly educated, but the first to exhibit 'not overly'. The bottom line from an especially brilliant professor in physiology told his class at the beginning of every meeting " COMMON SENSE CANNOT BE TAUGHT HERE", "that, my charges, is totally up to you to learn and apply on your own". That, in my latter years, has stuck out as the most singularly best piece of information that I ever took away from a teacher's efforts. And it gets more true as every day passes in my life.

Not all educators are leaders. Not all leaders are educated. Not all education is useful, unless in the correct environment and person.

Believing

Reading a published news page this AM I find a story about telling your Friend about a cheating spouse very appropriate for this week's learning lesson from Shitty Hall. A dilemma that is interestingly similar to local politics. When you take a chance and point out the errors of appointed officials and the leader responsible to investigate the charge turns on you, reveals confidential conversations and takes the retribution path you attempted to avoid out on you. What do you do? Ignore event from the start? Let illegal activities continue? Hide the instance and live with the consequences? Or report the whole mess to authorities above the politicians and move on to a new more honest life?

Me, I choose honesty. I'll take my lumps for my freedom from oppression and political bullying that comes with the blind faith management style that comes with failed management styles. Irish Catholic upbringing I guess.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Changes

Sometime change is good. Long awaited and necessary. The conditions that drive the need for change are important to the changes required. Change, just to meet one own's agenda is another matter. Truth does not lie with in one opinion only. When decisions are made only upon one opinion, oppression is delivered to a whole new group and support is eroded by a new class of participants. Changing from one oppression to apply another oppression is not good change. Closing the door to communication is discrimination in its own form. Blind faith in people has a cost. Trust is important for politicians and leaders. Laws and contracts are the terms that keep communications open for most enjoined parties. Discriminating in communications just to apply change is not good change.
The first impression you make, lasts forever. Trust is built, not demanded.

Hackers!

So, someone actually reads these comments. Taking the time to hack into the site to remove comments shows that my comments are affeting at least one person. I wonder why only two comments were deleated and not the first? Hum. Security has been up graded, but comments remain open.
Dan

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Money, money, money.

5/1/2010






Uncollected Taxes. Uncollected bills. Reports of low cash, no cash and bills gone unpaid.



Is this our government at work?



Where is our money applied and what is planned for services to the tax and rate payers of Newburyport MA?



I am really surprised (discouraged) at the lack of questions coming from the public on these issues. It does appear that all is not well with Newburyport City finances and very little is being addressed publically. Questions on expenditure and oversight are alarmingly absent from the public.



It is odd that a new treasurer is leaving, the auditor 'finds' $2 million in uncollected property taxes, that the city, in our name has not pursued recovery, by law and there is no public or city council outcry for an audit of the city accounts and processes to protect the taxpayers!



I have been researching the city approved budgets and the actual spending allowed and I, for one, am alarmed at the expenses allowed and the trend to just spend more on needless programs.



We have seen cutbacks and reductions in areas that are basic support, being transferred to line items not approved by our elected council, or apparently not fully legal expenditures and there is no follow up on public representation or notice. Open books are not being examined by the taxpayers and shenanigans are assumed in an open air environment.



Tax money being spent like a' drunken sailor on leave' and intermingled with department funds that are not approved by the budgets approved by our elected officials or stolen and never repaid to the accounts are not being spoken by the lips of the taxpayers. Apathy seems to be the new political wave. Sadly, we will see more reductions in services due to the ignorance of the taxpayers to over see our own government.

Dan