Tuesday, October 26, 2010

BUDGET HEARING.

Shame on me, I left the Council's budget review session just before nine o'clock. It was supposed to last{both the latest} from 7 PM to 9 PM.  I had not fed my two cats who traditionally have their evening meal at eight o'clock or shortly before when they become too obnoxious. When I returned home both of them were waiting at the door, ready to trip me.{ That dragon can come up with the weirdest results}

Tuesday's night session was supposed to include the fire division the police division,single division, and traffic division. Sticking to the formula that Council President McWilliams has presented in her blog, the fire division took almost 50 min. minutes to complete its presentation and answer questions.

Significant gleamings from this presentation was the fact that the division is undergoing or will be a major restructuring in which there will be a transfer of personnel from the administrative service to "operational" service. There also are contemplated promotions to fill vacancies. It is anticipated that this change will cut significantly costs by reducing overtimes and acting position holders. Since the operational arm of the division has vacancies in its TO they have to be often filled with acting position holders which snowballs because it creates a vacancy below that position due to the departure of the slotted individual.

There are 19 members of the department who are eligible for retirement. Some have indicated their intention to do so, including department chief. There is some discussion about the procedure to select a new chief, based in part on an agreement signed in the McWilliams administration which would have eliminated the rank of Captain. However, administration never implemented that plan.

This also noted that the fire department often response to a health care emergency when the rescue squad and the EMT units are not available. There has been ongoing conversation with Muhlenberg foundation to fund any in EMS units and Plainfield. This would be in addition to the units supplied by Solaris.

I am not clear if there would also be provision for transportation [ambulance] for the patient to the appropriate facility. EMS/EMT units are not equipped to do so.

It was noted also that he was going to be needed a replacement equipment in a future. One of the engines dates back to 1975 and several to the early 80s. Since a last piece of equipment cost $800,000there is discussion would not be advisable to lease on a 10 year base new equipment.

The discourse was illuminating to the listeners, however at this point I cannot conceive what impact the Council will have on the budget. The city administrator said that no layoffs were anticipated, and that the Council itself could not initiate layoffs. The large decrease in the wage and salary line item would be due to the restructuring of the department eliminating overtime and multiple acting promotions.

The members of the CBAC were also given the opportunity to ask questions, but except for one or two appeared content to direct him in writing to the city administrator.

Although the subject of this meeting has been posted in several sites that interest citizens frequent, there was no member of the public other than the CBAC membership, two bloggers, and one reporter present.

1 comment:

  1. Anon 11:30PM, I had decided to skip that subject.

    ReplyDelete