Monday, June 29, 2009


I think its safe to assume many of you have heard about the new position being created here in Ulster County. It's the recurring story in the local paper and it prompted me to post this today.

Several months ago the Legislature voted to create this position to get a better handle on the 300+ fleet owned by the County. The details about what the departments use is in print, but I wanted to follow up with some questions.

If needed, why didn't the Legislature jump on this ten years ago under the past leadership? We had approximately the same number of vehicles then as we do now. Is it the stronger attempt to cut spending?

At $50K/year, couldn't this position have been morphed into another position we already have? Perhaps someone who already handles a similar task? Assuming it is permitted contractually.
(I'm sure a commenter will answer that)

When the position is filled, and I expect it will, will the unruly expenditures be cut enough to surpass the salary of the employee? I had asked these questions of the Code Enforcement position here in Kingston and found the answer to be YES. That position was eliminated anyway.

I expect Jeanette and the rest of the Services Committee had plenty of research to digest before sending the request to the full chamber. Those of us who attend these committees in the name of our constituents are expected to act according to what we learn there. Unless the public attends these meetings, we may not understand. So we have to place our faith in the committee process and hope the actions of the newly appointed employee save the taxpayers money in the long run.

I want this to be successful. I have to agree with the sentiments of Provenzano when she says: "This individual is going to be eyes and ears of legislators, it will be one person, rather than each department head, making the final decision about how the vehicles are used and putting in requests for new vehicles.”

I really like the idea of keeping track of all vehicles that are taken home by employees. If we are going to have this position, lets include the GPS to each vehicle, so that we know their activity at night. Also, with the disaster in the US auto industry, shouldn't we take advantage of lower prices and modify our prolonged contracts?

To Executive Hein, We all agree that you have an impressive staff. Please appoint someone of the same calibre. For the taxpayers sake.


Anonymous said...

I was under the impression that a person hired at Central Auto two years ago had fleet management in his job description. This was back when the county went around taking vehicles that were not being used or used correctly, it was in the news for a couple of months. The legislature was touting how much money they were saving us by implementing this policy. I just assumed this was supposedly happening ever since. I guess not.

What ever happened to that person?

Anonymous said...

Ditto to 11:31. and you are correct in that this is a position that should be "morphed".
In the military there is a position of S-4- Supply and Logistics- In our municipal form of government- there is a ??? oh well- a definite need, yet this too becomes a political reality- Maybe this position should be a deputy position under Ulster Transit- or maybe part of the new UCAT directors job-

Or maybe under the Comptroller- something like a $35,000 Purchasing Agent could also be in charge of this area of management.

Lots of ideas- the problem is how much will it cost the taxpayers?

As for 11:31= the problem is not to assume......
take care
Shelly W. Z

Anonymous said...

I just hope that someone they hire has the background in Fleet Management and not that it is going to be someone that has some type of political pull and has no experience. To me it always seems like people who get these jobs have no idea what they are doing. If the county expects to save money than hire someone who knows what they are doing. I heard that someone inquired about the job who has 15yrs experience as a fleet manager for the feds. If that is true maybe the county should hire that person. From what I see all this county does is waste money.

Anonymous said...

I concur with 11:31. I thought this was already being taken care of. I sincerely hope this is not just a case of renaming a job already in existence and now we have to pay both salaries.

As to your question of whether or not the position will save more money then it costs to fund the $51,000 in salary plus benefits, the math on that will be very fuzzy. The end result will be a declaration by both the Legislature and Hein that the position saved a great deal of money. The problem is that the savings will be based on a fictional number that they believe they would have spent had the Fleet management position not been created.

I hope that the Legislature will keep an eye on remibursement for county employees for mileage when using their own vehicles. Limits on use of county vehicles could lead to more use of personal vehicles in some departments and therefore more money spent on reimbursement for mileage.

Anonymous said...

Just another job for an unemployed democrat. I also need to point out a number of inconsistencies:
1. Jeanette, wake up and smell the roses. This person , as with all other county employees will be the eyes and ears of Hein. No comment without martello.
2.Heins staff is not impressive Mikey. Most of them were the nucleus of his campaign committee. So now the taxpayers get to help Mike get re-elected...which should be obvious from their actions.
This is just another make work job for someones relative, and we all know that could mean one of Darts few relatives who are not already on the payroll.

Anonymous said...

Who is getting this job? Who are they related to?

Anonymous said...

Let's back up a bit here and check the Personnel Listing Directory for Purchasing...a Fleet Maintenance Coordinator at $48,803? Wouldn't that individual know enough about what vehicles are where? And wasn't it Provenzano's committee that could not properly administer the plan for vehicles driven home? One department head refused to relinquish the vehicles and nothing was done about it. Another position that is not needed. While we are on the subject of hiring qualified individuals to fill these positions, what does Mr. DiBella know about public transportation now that he is the interim director of Transit?

Anonymous said...

Does this positin come with a "Take Home" car?????? How much is that??