Wednesday, February 06, 2013

Finally: Water & Sewer Investigation Report Reveals Disfunction

Professor Douglas Rae Investigation of Water & Sewer:
Subcommittee Findings:
Water & Sewer Attachments:
Water & Sewer Sub Committee Findings:
The Water & Sewer Debacle:
2008: In 2008 $100,000 had been spent to overhaul the department including a reorganization plan that according to Mayor Giuliano, was never enacted by W&S Director Guy Russo as ordered.W&S was supposed to have made as of 2008 after the department had to be taken over by then Finance Director James Reynolds due to lost of funds, had still not been implemented. In addition to the extreme departmental debt and numerous warnings to basically fix things before they hit the fan, an  unprecedented number of grievances by employees were filed at this time and on the job accidents spiked leading to the logical conclusion that at the very least management needed to  be scrutinized

2009: Candidate Dan Drew stated on record in an interview with the Wesleyan Argus that:"Not to mentioned our city's sewer department is in dire straits financially. If it were privately owned, it would declare bankruptcy. We don't know where we're going right now."

In 2011 the Common Council voted to investigate the Water & Sewer department “to investigate
The underlying basis which led Mayor Sebastian N. Giuliano to order moving the Water and Sewer
Department’s administrative staff from headquarters on Berlin Street to City Hall.” This “investigation” was in response to a letter from the WPCA (Water Pollution Control Authority) objecting to this move. Apparently, the WPCA did not believe that the mayor had discretion to move the Director and Deputy Director to City Hall.  A firestorm of debate ensued with the end result being $10,000, yes, 10 thousand dollars being spent on this matter!
The Charter, Chaper 111 sec. 8, provides the Council to conduct an investigation; Council-not a consultant.  Disregarding the Charter, Professor Douglas W. Rae was hired by the sub-committee, Councilwoman Kasper, Councilman Bibisi, Council Klattenberg and former Councilman Bauer, to assist in the investigation by conducting preliminary interviews with key department and personnel.  The backstory is that there was and still continues to be management issues within the department.  The problem was not former Mayor Giuliano moving staff it was the incompetence of the “management team” and the grievances filed.

So, the Council decides to spend $10,000 because a Mayor moved staff, the investigator never interviewed all the employees of Water and Sewer and the $10,000 conclusion, “Water and Sewer’s central administrative spine is broken” according to the final report.  In the end, nothing changed, management has yet to withdraw from the Teamsters Union (Mayor Drew deciding not to adhere to the recommendation of the report), management HAS NOT received any training as indicated necessary in the report. 
 In conclusion, $10,000 was spent and NOTHING has been done.
The public needs to be aware that the report was done “illegally” because Council did not perform the investigation. Water and Sewer management continue to manage in the same “broken” manner with the same problems still present.  And, the public should demand to know why former Mayor Giuliano’s move of the director and deputy director set the stage for a $10, 000 report yet Mayor Drew has moved people and offices without so much as a peep from the Council. 
The entire Water and Sewer Investigation Report dated March 5, 2012 is posted for your review. The $10,000 question-“Was $10,000 wisely spent or squandered?”

2013: Several requests to get this report via FOI were made and dismissed.
How many cycles do water bills have to go out with wrong information before anything is done?


  1. Guy Russo should have been FIRED long ago- oh wait he is Tom Serra's cousin I forgot. Untouchable.

  2. Yet another example, as documented by an independent outsider, of the Milardos weraking havoc. Report is pretyy clear (despite their bleated attempts otherwise) that as usual, they turn a bad situation worse. Good riddance that they are gone.

  3. What does this story have to do with Thde Milardos? They are both gone. They are people who always acted in the best interest of the city. This administration spent millions to get ris of the. If they were so incompetent, they could have been fired.All this money because John and Debbie had plenty of incriminating stuff on the powers that be.

  4. Throwing chains on a job site? Says so in footnotes. Why do people like that get to keep their jobs? I've been out of work 6 mo. I'd do that job 100% better!

  5. Guy Russo is a good salesmen, but that doesn't mean he should be a department head. If this was a private business he would have been let go long ago. But if you have family in power you can get away with anything, even if it cost taxpayers money

  6. Is anyone else getting bills saying the didn't pay their last water bill? My last bill, received on May 2nd and due on May first, says current charges are 133.26 and the total amount due is $365.16. Full disclosure: I didn't read the entire article/report.

  7. I don't get it; what is the problem? Is there a short summary of it that us not so smart people can understand?

  8. Hello Reader- it is quite confusing! You are not alone. For 9 billing cycles the water and sewer bills have had mistakes. Mayor Giuliano had the department audited which revealed many errors in record keeping practices to say the least. Mayor Drew then had the department evaluated again revealing the same mistakes.

    Waaaay back changes were supposed to be implemented that never have been.
    The director has not been held accountable, and bills still go out incorrect. A variety of changes in software have been made to no avail.

    Taxes payers paid for the investigation to get to the root of the problems- mismanagement - and still nothing has been done by the Common Council or Mayor Drew.

    Thanks for reading- that's our basic 30 second summary!


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