June 01, 2008

Springfield Urban Compass

The similarities are scary. Here is part of a blog.

According to control board executive director Philip Puccia’s recent memo to the board, issued in tandem with the city’s new budget, an aggressive reform approach has affected Springfield’s finances, administration, public safety and schools, summarized in the memo as follows:
  • Health insurance plan design changes and the transfer of city employee and retiree health insurance to the Group Insurance Commission. This year, the increase in health insurance rates is only four percent, compared to the city’s historical annual 18 percent increase.
  • Adoption of Chapter 32B Section 18 of the Massachusetts General Laws which makes Medicare the primary payer of retiree health insurance costs, saving $18.7 million for the city and retirees over a three year period (FY06 – FY08).
  • Successful negotiation and implementation of all city and School Department labor contracts, most of which are long-term contracts, and all of which provide for improved departmental management and predictable, affordable wage increases.
  • Implementation of MUNIS, an integrated financial management system, for the city and School Department. This system will improve accountability and transparency, streamline inefficient processes and eliminate the vast majority of (often redundant) manual processing for municipal processes.
  • Collection of $25.8 million in overdue taxes, including fees and related interest charges.
    Transfer of Retirement System assets to the Commonwealth’s Pension Reserves Investment Management Board, a decision which increased retirement system earnings by $25 million in one year, compared to the city’s prior investment performance.
    Implementation of performance-based budgeting to increase the accountability and efficiency of service output.
  • Utilization of a comprehensive payroll system that has improved efficiency, reliability and has helped us to improve many other areas of municipal operation.
  • Increase in the size of the city’s Police Department and Fire Department through hiring, and by transferring dozens of sworn personnel from desk duty to street patrol and fire suppression duties.
  • Significant investment in a system to track and manage repairs in the city’s infrastructure of parks, schools and other municipal buildings


Anonymous said...

I get distessed when I continually read about the inmates trying to run the asylum. Seems it's been a common theme in the T&G reporting and editorializing of late.

a. Teachers and middle managers (principals) claiming they dont like the way the search for the new school superintendent is going. Translation is that we dont like Lukes in charge of it and thet we want our home town boy to be the new superintendent.

b. We have Raffa & Courtney spouting off (again) about the way the city manager choses to manage the fire dept, as re: station closings (and who knows what else)

c. We have Clive bellying aching about the glass ceiling in the scholl dept that allegedly prevents women from considerartion for the superintendents job.

d. We have a letter to the editor touting Mr Mills as the correct choice for the next superintendents job. (Note to Clive: Mr Mills is not a woman)

I have a suggestion for some of these folks who are continually whining. Get a job at St Gobain and see how much of a voice you have in selecting the next CEO for the Greendale plant or in determing which plant is closed next. Some of you city employees and others are so out of touch with the real work a day world, that I have to come to the conclusion that you need to actually take a non governemnt job to understand what the rest of us have endure in our non political, non gov't jobs were we actaully have to work 240 days a years and not a mere 180 days per year (less sick days) and we cannot go out Injured on Duty Status and collect 100% of our pay tax free either.

And BTW, those of you who are unhappy with work conditions, pay, your next new boos, etc....please feel free to vote with your feet and find a new livlihood.

Thank you .

Anonymous said...

My apologies. I should have read more than just Section A before is typed. We also have Nick reporting that city retirees now want a voice on running their health insurance program.

The inmates have too much power.