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Community News

Council Snippets

From Issue: Volume XXI - Number 8

By Steve Propes

April 9 Meeting

On approving “an amount not to exceed $283,000, for litigation pertaining to matters involving the Lehman Brothers Holdings Bankruptcy case.”

In public comment, Larry Goodhue stated, “I believe only in the universe of Fosterville could this issue of dealing with the issue of, no matter how small the text is, the largest financial debacle in the history of this city so far and probably will face in the future, this should not be lumped in with something dealing with number two pencils or reordering of Mr. Whipple’s product for a year. This needs to be pulled off and put on the regular agenda so we can have a robust discussion of the issue.”

Mayor Bob Foster replied, “we’ve had a robust discussion of the issue, over and over again, there’s nothing more to be said, you’ve made your point, please sit down.”

Goodhue, “you’ve demonstrated my point….”

Mayor, “very well, I might add…”

The item passed 9-0.

On a “recommendation to request City Manager to direct appropriate staff to provide the information necessary to conduct a ‘total cost of ownership study’ and to report back to the City Council the results of such study,” the Mayor called on Third District Councilman Gary DeLong.

Delong, “I’d be happy to.”

Mayor, “knock yourself out, Mr. DeLong.”

DeLong, “thank you, perhaps a couple of other people as well. Always looking for opportunities to improve the city’s efficiency while at the same time hopefully reducing costs. I did have a couple of questions for the city attorney. Unfortunately Mr. Shannon has apparently delegated this indefensible position to you, Mr. Parkin.”

Mayor, “Mr. DeLong, the issue is not our systems are antiquated, we know that and we know they need to be changed, and changed as quickly as possible. Our responsibility to the city is to make sure we don’t use the public offices, the public name or the public resources to give any private company an advantage. I think on the whole there’s more danger here than upside.”

Councilman Patrick O’Donnell said, “City management is saying the fear here is we could be hiring ADP to tell us we should hire ADP.”

City Manager Pat West responded, “ADP would be in a better situation than other vendors because they already had a look at our situation. If the city council allows ADP to put their nose un-der our tent, some of the firms would think maybe we shouldn’t bid on that because the city has already made a decision.”

O’Donnell, “we’d give ADP an unfair advantage.”

Assistant City Attorney J. Charles Parkin spoke, “this would create the perception of an unfair advantage to one company over other companies that would bid.”

Fifth District Councilwoman Gerrie Schipske stated, “The reason this is put forward is because we couldn’t get an estimate from city staff about how much it is costing us right now to do time-keeping. I do resent anyone, Mr. O’Donnell, saying something about this being political. It has nothing to do with politics, it has to do with we were trying to move staff to come up with an esti-mate about how much it does cost so as we go forth, we can have some benchmark how much it is costing us. There’s no nefarious political whatever behind it. I’m glad the staff is willing to come up with that analysis.”

Mayor: “Mr. Delong, are you done?”

DeLong, “would you like me to be? I’ll defer.”

Mayor, “what a kind man.”

Schipske, “we need to keep track when people come in and out. These time sheets, they get pre-filled out. If we’re not accounting for lunches in the course of work, then down the line we may have some difficulties with that.”

Mayor, “I believe our automatic time system is being done manually.”

Goodhue, “I don’t think we need to micromanage and track the employee’s time. It’s a different story on the 14th floor in terms of the elected; I’d put a monitoring device on the ankles. We don’t need to Fosterize this and hand out money for consultants. Your responsibility is not to hand out contracts to somebody hoping later on they will contribute to a campaign you may want to put on. That consultant may be in the back pocket of other people.”

The item passed 9-0.