Monday, December 10, 2012

City Government Re-Org - Part I

The Insider staff has been reading over Mayor Drew’s Report on Government Re-Organization put together by his Task Force on Government Efficiency aka a bunch of buddies he meets with at night at city hall. 
The objective of the task force appears to contain a predetermined remedy for what were yet-to-be discovered problems. Translation: The task force already has the answers to the questions and issues they are investigating.  Imagine that you are not qualified for a city job, but the city, due to favors that it owes to your uncle, who happens to be on the common council member, votes to change the job description to suit your needs.   Typical Dem response: "That never happens in Middletown, or the infamous keep my mouth shut and don't comment on the situation because I may get something for own personal 'political career' later down the road.
A.      IT Dept. The issue is mainly with regard to the lack of a strategic plan and no advisory committee. The reason the City IT Dept. is the way it is because of it lacks any sort of plan or vision.  Imagine if they had a mission statement or kept track of their monthly goals rather than just get through every day?

The whole creation of the IT Dept. was another "remedy in search of a problem" process. Mayor Thornton and the Council commissioned a study that concluded: " a separate IT department was needed, without first determining what the City's needs were, what functions would be best enhanced by existing or emerging technologies or how to implement them." Just form a department and then we'll figure out what it's going to do was the philosophy they adopted.  Reminds one Nancy Pelosi's attitude toward Obamacare: "Just get the votes in and we can figure it out later." 

Reader, if you have a chance, ask Gerry Daley about Bauer's TAC proposal, you may a good holiday story over that one. If the powers that be were to merge the IT department with, let's say the Finance and Revenue Department would this impact the efficiency of the existing issues with IT or would it allow the department time to organically work out the problems. This blog has no quarrel with the concept of the creation of a political Technology Advisory Committee, but why now? When Councilman David Bauer (R) proposed this concept to the Common Council three years ago, the noise and level of frustration by those council members made King Kong look lame by comparison.    What this recommendation fails to address is the fact that EVERY department utilizes IT in its operation. Another strange thing that wasn't considered in the plan was the fact nobody outside of Nostradamus can see the future with regard to the IT department. With technological advances happening at a rapid pace, one would assume that the need for IT services by all departments in Middletown would be something that would build into the master plan.  We guess that would hard since no master plan exists.  

B.     Grant Writer. Mayor Seb Giuliano proposed hiring a grant coordinator two years ago and the Council removed it from the budget. (Quick Lesson: The Middletown Common Council controls the votes. With their 2/3 Democratic majority they have lots of power. This has been happening to your town since 1991). The individual department directors are all grant "writers"; what the City needs is coordination of grants, so the directors can maximize the benefits. Another positive attribute about hiring a city wide grant writer would be the fact that this position would be much better positioned to assess objectively what the town commitments with regard to acceptance of particular grants would require.
to be continued...


  1. Someone should seriously look at reorganizing the central communicatons dispatch center. The top man doesn't do anything and now that his side kick debbie is leaving the city, he is going to be lost. He may actually have to work and actually make decisions. And as for the city changing job descriptions, that's a city classic! They did it for the deputy director of communications to ensure one person got the job! Who needs qualifications or a college degree to lead a department? Only in Middletown!

  2. How come the village people aren't angry about the article yet? I bet the think of something- they are so predictable.. They actually believe they were able to get ride of Bob Landino and his project.. Mmmm, do you think Landino is done.?

  3. The reason the IT department doesn't function well is not due to the lack of a master plan, it is due to the incompetency of the individuals employed to implement the projects. Time after time after time, they screw up a project...the W & S software, police dispatch, finance.

    and let's face it, a fair amount of city employees got their jobs because of who they know or are related to, not because they are qualified, just like the Personnel Director. The only qualification required is that you are breathing.

  4. To Anonymous 10:45 and 2:34 since you are probably the same person. How about just doing your job as a dispatcher instead of complaining about everything? Some brain thrusts at dispatch haven't been happy about anything having to do with IT and have done much to try and destroy every project that has been implemented over the years. Since they didn't get a chance to "endorse it" it must be a failure... You aren't paid to make those calls. You are paid to dispatch. So put down the IPhone, stop watching TV and do your job!

  5. Great article.. Are you guys from the union?

  6. This article stinks. I am one of those un-qualified people who is going to fill one of those positions mentioned. Only thing is I don't have an uncle on the Council or an uncle that a Coucil person owes favors to. Hell I dont even live in Middletown, have no stock in it and I am just here for the paycheck on Wednesday. So put that in your pipe and smoke it poopy pants !!!


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