April 27, 2012

Ward challenges GOP to take the lead

Fed up by Republican complaints that he is moving too slowly to consolidate government departments, Mayor Art Ward recently offered to let the GOP-controlled City Council spearhead the process.
Bristol Mayor Art Ward
“It is quite evident, based upon the City Council’s level of frustration and suggestions of the consolidation efforts not being done readily enough, that the members of the City Council seem to possess more expertise on this project than I, or anyone else involved up to this point,” Ward recently wrote in an email to the council.
Ward said he would “graciously entertain nominations for the names of any City Council members who wish to volunteer their experience, time and wisdom to become the chairperson of this effort,” Ward wrote.
The mayor said that nobody has yet expressed interest in taking up the position.
The move followed complaints by two GOP councilors – David Mills and Derek Czenczelewski – about the slow pace of consolidation efforts.
Ward said the initial push has been to try to consolidate the computer divisions of City Hall and the Board of Education. He said it probably wouldn’t save money but it would improve efficiency.
Mills asked the personnel director in an April 11 email obtained through a Freedom of Information request how come nothing has been mentioned about other potential areas for consolidation, including “vehicle maintenance, putting all buildings under one department and all public grounds under another.”
“Has this even been discussed yet? It has been five months since it was proposed to the mayor,” Mills said.
Ward wrote back to Mills, “Patience is a virtue.”
Mills fired back: “In other words, it hasn’t started yet.” Link to full story

Copyright 2012. All rights reserved. Contact Steve Collins at scollins@bristolpress.com

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