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WVN #306: DPW not saving much money

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  • waylandvoters
    Dear Wayland Voter, The DPW was born on July 1 as scheduled, but promised savings are hard to find. Betty Salzberg reports. At least one town board is working
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 2, 2009
      Dear Wayland Voter,

      The DPW was born on July 1 as scheduled, but promised savings are hard to find. Betty Salzberg reports.

      At least one town board is working some of this holiday weekend while most of us are playing:

      The Historic District Commission(HDC) will meet Sunday evening, July 5 at 9 p.m., in the Public Safety Building's community meeting room to continue discussing its options in light of the latest snag in proposed phasing of the town center project.

      At their public meeting this past Monday evening, after conducting other scheduled hearings, two members reported on a MassHighway(MHD) meeting they attended four days earlier with developer Frank Dougherty and Selectman Joe Nolan. Dougherty is unwilling to reopen the town center project's MEPA Certificate in order for MHD to issue permits for a phased project.

      The HDC discussed a possible Certificate of Hardship and then set another meeting to consider draft language and a possible vote.
      Given summer and business schedules of the five-member panel, Sunday evening was the first available date all could agree on, with Monday morning at 7:30 a.m. as a back-up in case bad weather or holiday traffic creates a problem.

      Due to Saturday's July 4 holiday, Wayland's transfer station will be open an extra day, this Friday, July 3, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. instead of Saturday. As of July 1, new FY10 stickers are in effect and are available for purchase at the facility's trailer. Electronics recycling is postponed until the following Saturday, July 11. The facility will open at 7 a.m. on Thursdays from now on for the public's convenience.

      More details are available on the BOH website: http://www.wayland.ma.us/boh/index.htm

      Although there have been a number of job title changes for current employees, the town will not be saving much salary money from the DPW reorganization this year.

      The (non-job-title) changes in town personnel due to the DPW reorganization are three:
      1. One employee in the Mechanic/Labor category is retiring and will not be replaced. This person was at an H-11 grade step 4 and made about 25 dollars an hour. Not counting overtime, this is about $50,000 a year.
      2. A new DPW director position has been created. Donald Ouellette has been appointed as Wayland's new director of public works. He comes on board at a starting salary of $93,710, which equates to Grade N-12, Step 6. This can be increased after six months.
      3. The water director position, empty for the last several years, is being eliminated. The town has been paying a contractor who was providing Water Superintendent services. That contract for superintendent services will be eliminated.

      All other personnel have been retained in town, many with different titles but all with salaries similar to but somewhat higher than the previous year.

      Here is a chart summarizing the new DPW organization in three columns. The first column represents the organization before DPW was created, the second represents the new DPW and the third indicates persons who were moved out of DPW areas but are still employed by the town.

      This information was taken from the DPW Organization Chart of 7/2/09 and from a conversation with John Senchyshyn, assistant town administrator. More information follows the chart.

      FY 2009 FY2010 in DPW FY2010 moved in town

      3 directors 1 director 1 director
      water (unfilled) DPW recreation
      park and rec

      1 superintendent 4 superintendents
      transfer station transfer station
      water (previous foreman)
      parks and cemeteries (previous foreman)
      highway/transfer station

      8 foremen 4 foremen

      3 mechanics 3 mechanics

      19.26 labor 20.26 labor (including two previous foremen;
      minus one retiree)

      4.25 clerical 3.71 clerical 0.54 clerical

      38.51 total 35.97 total DPW 1.54 total

      The total number of employees in town before the reorganization was 38.51 and the total after the reorganization (total DPW plus total moved out of DPW to other town departments) is 37.51.

      As summarized above, the decrease of one employee in town comes about because the water director is eliminated and one retiree is not replaced, subtracting two positions, and a new DPW director position is created, adding one.

      Looking at the organization change in more detail:
      In the town before the DPW was created, there were three directors in this area: a water director, a park and recreation director and a highway director.

      The water director position was in the town budget but was unfilled in the last few years. This position has been eliminated.

      Nancy McShea was the park and recreation director. McShea is now recreation director for both Wayland and Sudbury and half of her salary is paid by Sudbury. This position is not in the new DPW.

      Stephen "Stubby" Kadlik was the highway director. He is now the Highway and Transfer Station Superintendent. The "highway director" position has been eliminated and this new superintendent position has been created. Kadlik's salary as Director of Highway operations was $88,892 (Grade N-2, step 10). However, even though the new title is less impressive, his salary has increased.

      The only person with the title "director" in the new DPW is the DPW director, Ouellette.

      There are now four superintendent positions. A superintendent is only responsible for day-to-day operations and is considered middle management.

      One of the new DPW superintendents (George Russell) was previously a superintendent of the transfer station and remains a superintendent. One superintendent position (highway, transfer station) is filled by Kadlik. Two others (Parks and Cemetery, Water) are filled by persons who were previously titled "foremen". Except for Russell, who reports to Kadlik, all superintendents report to the DPW director.

      The two foremen who are now superintendents do not normally get overtime pay in the superintendent position. Their new salaries combine their old salaries and their average overtime pay. Unfortunately, this means they have less incentive to do the overtime work they did before and the same overtime expense may be paid to other employees.

      Two other employees previously titled foremen have different titles in the labor/mechanics categories in the new DPW organization.

      The moved clerical staff (0.54 clerical) was reassigned to perform duties divided between the Board of Health (BOH) and Public Buildings (John Moynihan). Public Buildings was in need of clerical support and has had no one since the department was formed.

      The 7/2/09 organizational chart includes a note that operation of the Baldwin Pond treatment plant is not included. This may be contracted out. If not, two additional positions have been budgeted. This expense for water treatment would have occurred whether or not the DPW had been created.

      Senchyshyn said that he is "very optimistic for the town". He thinks "the DPW will produce results". His main goal had been to make the total number of director, and superintendent / foreman positions smaller.

      The number of directors in town in DPW or moved from the DPW area (McShea) has gone from 3 to 2.

      The number of superintendent/foreman positions has gone from 9 to 8. This is due to one director becoming a superintendent and two foremen becoming part of the labor/mechanic categories. In addition, one new director position (DPW) was created and one eliminated (water).

      It is unclear what effect this reduction of senior and middle management positions has on total current town expenses as the employees whose titles have changed are not making less money.
      --Betty Salzberg


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Wayland Voters Network
Michael Short, Editor
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