At the Board’s request, Yorktown Citizens for a DPW drew up a list of potential DPW savings, identifying a net initial annual savings of $250,000. The group also explained that in order to realize the savings, the Town Board would have to make some tradeoffs. Yes, saving $250,000 requires making some difficult decisions.
1. Stated that a DPW Commissioner would have to be paid at least $165,000.
Commissioners in New Castle, Harrison, Bedford and Cortlandt (all engineers with P.E. licenses) earn between $133,832 and 147,175.
2. Stated that Yorktown would have to pay $125,000 for a Deputy Commissioner.
Not all DPWs have or require a deputy. The decision rests with the Town Board and would be based on the size and number of functions the DPW was responsible for and fiscal issues.
IF the Board decides that a larger department should have a “deputy” position, that slot could be filled by an existing department head with an estimated $% or 30,000 stipend for assuming additional responsibilities.
3. Implied that the Town would have to hire several “expensive” professional engineers.
There’s no basis for the statement.
4. Dismissed a potential $50,000 savings by stating that an outside licensed electrician would be needed to handle all of the Town’s electrical work.
Other DPWs save money by having qualified in-house maintenance staff do electrical work.
5. Implied that if an in-house electrician was hurt on the job, the Town would have to pay workers’ comp “for life.”
If that’s a valid argument, then the Town should be equally worried about the 250 other town employees who could also be hurt on the job and claim workers’ comp for life? Should all those jobs be outsourced?
6. The town cannot eliminate any management level staff.
The Town Board has not explained why, if the parks function is split off from the Parks & Recreation Department and Recreation loses 75% of its employees and much of its budget, it would still require the same number of management level employees. Also, why would the Town continue to need a management level person to head the Environmental Conservation Department if the Department’s functions were transferred to a DPW highway division under the supervision of a general foreman?
7. “200 years of tradition” isn’t changed lightly.
This argument ignores the fact that “tradition” has been changed:
-- Ca. 1970, the position of Receiver of Taxes was changed from elected
to an appointed one.
-- In December, 2007 the Town Board tried to create a DPW and when it
couldn’t, it created the Director of Labor Operations title.
8. Ignored the support of five past supervisors for a DPW, saying that if they truly supported the concept they would have done something about it.
Al Capellini, Nancy Elliott, Aaron Bock and Alice Roker all took steps to consolidate town functions. Don Peters was in office during the Director of Labor Operations consolidation experiment. Susan Siegel was waiting for year 3 of the term of office of the current highway superintendent before putting a DPW referendum on the ballot.
9. Stated that some towns have” regretted” setting up DPWs and would like to go back to their former organizational structure but can’t.
No such towns have been identified.
10. Implied that a DPW would diminish the quality of the Town’s snow plowing operations.
A DPW would not change how snow removal operations are handled.
11. Implied that the arguments used to justify consolidation in December 2007 are no longer valid because “we had more money then.” Times change, so the rationale for consolidation in 2007 doesn’t necessarily apply in 2012.
Consolidation was “sold” to the public in 2007 as a cost saving measure.
12. Implied that Yorktown Citizens for a DPW is saying that the current structure of town government is “broken” and needs fixing.
Yorktown Citizens for a DPW has never said nor implied that. The group has said that the DPW would improve on what we already have.
13. The DPW Commissioner could be a civil service position and the Town would be “stuck” with the person.
There are several possible job titles for the head of the DPW. Yorktown Citizens for a DPW has recommended one THAT IS NOT subject to a competitive civil service exam.
14. An appointed DPW Commissioner would be subject to the political whims of the Town Board.
True, except that if the Commissioner isn’t doing a good job, it’s the elected supervisor and councilmen who get the “flack.” It’s in their political self interest to make sure that they have a “good” person in the position.
Time is running out to get a DPW referendum on the November ballot. So, if you want to be able to vote on having a DPW, email or phone the members of the Town Board today. Tell you would like an opportunity to vote in a referendum and to please stop dragging their feet. They know what they have to do next.
Michael Grace email@example.com 962-5722, ext 201
Terrence Murphy firstname.lastname@example.org 557-0405
Vishnu Patel email@example.com 962-4563
Nick Bianco firstname.lastname@example.org 962-5722, ext 418
Dave Paganelli email@example.com 804-5196