Monday, August 19, 2013

Will Dept. Merger's Save the City Money? Real Numbers & Real Facts

At the August 8th* Common Council meeting the first vote for merger of the Parks Department into the Public Works Department and the merger of the Recreation Department and Senior Services into one department took place.  NO estimated savings were discussed or presented at the Council meeting.

This is the second round of mergers that are a result of the Mayor's Task Force; the first being the merger of the Legal Department and the Personnel Department.  At the time of that merger, it was put forth the combining of those two departments would produce significant savings to the taxpayer. 

The following is  a table we created of the amounts budgeted for the two departments for the past 5 fiscal years for their full-time salary lines.  The planned merger called for hiring of two Deputy Counsels however, during the budget process for this year (year ending 6/30/2014) only one was funded.  This table does not include any of the funds spent for the golden handshakes and payouts given to employees to achieve / facilitate the merger; but only what was budgeted for salaries.

The vote last week came down 9 to 1- with Councilwoman Linda Salafia (R) the only person o vote against the merging of Park & Rec, Senior Services, and Public Works. Councilwomen Hope Kasper (D) and Deborah Kleckowski (R) were absent. 

For the previous merging of Legal and Personnel the vote in May was 10-2 with Kleckowski (R) and Salafia (R) in opposition of the consolidation, which according to the end of the year fiscal analysis,  in fact, proved more costly to tax payers.

*Editor's note: The chart below is an example of expenses for the last three fiscal years for the separate Legal  and Personnel Department. Since the merger, the last last column under Total shows that for the 2013 fiscal year, the combined legal/personnel department with additional attorneys and staff has had an increase in spending despite the claims of the merger saving money. Outside counsel from other attorneys has cost the city even more money, despite new personnel hired in the Legal Office. So far, the merging of the Personnel and Legal departments has not saved money, but in fact been more costly to tax payers. 

Chart showing budgeted amounts for the legal and personnel departments for the last five years.

Year ending 6/30        Personnel department             Legal department        Total

2010                            $253,164                                 $363,867                     $617,031

2011                            $262,491                                 $340,841                     $603,332

2012                            $211,582                                 $391,606                     $663,188

2013                            $225,346                                 $420,279
additional appropriations  12/2012                                   70,000                     $715,625

2014                            $146,477                                 $487,769                     $634,246


  1. Sorry guys, I don't understand the chart?

  2. A few corrections on your story. The vote was held on 8/5, not last week; the vote was 9-1, not 10-1 and Linda Salafia was the only person to vote against the merger, not the only person NOT to vote against the merger.

  3. Thank you for the comments, we cleaned things up and added better explanation of the chart.

  4. May be the Mayor can know work on the City's three Fire departments. A city this size should only have one Fire Service. They all show up to the same fire anyways. To many Chiefs for this size town

  5. Mayor Drew isn't showing the public cost savings because there are none. Nice to see the D's taking care of Billy Russo.

  6. He lets tens of thousands of dollars slip through his departments fingers every year by letting others take scrap metal from the recycling center. He is a good choice to be the boss of another department!

  7. I think Russo is a silent owner in a Middletown bar? He should put the same effort into his city job.

  8. Come on... let's not be too harsh here. First of all the Public Works Director has great hair. Secondly, he is magical as you can never find him at the office in person or on the phone but he and he alone single handedly clears the roads, fixes bridges and saves babies. Third, if you watch Council meetings you quickly are aware of the fact that he can't answer any of the questions asked of him... even if they are scripted. So one can only assume there is a learning disability at play. Its a damn good thing he is connected.... to Batman or some other super hero democrat in power. Oops, I almost forgot.. he was also almost famous for his years playing baseball. Give it a rest folks. Obviously he has paid his dues and is a highly trained professional of some sort that is going to make a boat load of money.


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