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Re: “Official Responds to City Mechanic Complaints

The City Fleet Manager states that the fleet has not been well maintained and moral is a bit low right now: The fleet has not been REPLACED on time, it has been maintained as best as it could be given the manpower shortages at Fleet going back MANY years. DPW has (had) (perhaps they recently dumped it) a Peterbilt Dump Truck that was a 1982 model and there are literally scads of old vehicles across the fleet still in use daily. How are vehicles THAT old still running if they are not well maintained sir? The amount of money it would have taken to bring it up to speed was somewhere around $16 Million but each year the fleet replacement money was in the 5.5-6.5 million range. For the past 5+ years they have been carrying a backlog of nearly $12 million in needed funds to upgrade the fleet. Additionally, decisions made DECADES ago currently impact its ability to get caught up. Example: Someone decided to buy 21 "quint" fire trucks back in the late 90's. Today's price for a "quint" is around $1 million without the toys on board that the firefighters like / need (saws, jaws of life etc...) SO guess what? All those quints get old and need to be replaced but who has a cool $21 Million lying around to do it? What happens is that Fire and Police get their bite at the replacement fund pie first and what is left over is used to replace the oldest and worst offenders in the fleet. Buy two quints and what is left after Police gets their bite is then spread as best as can be done. Now about moral: People need and desire structure. There is a moral issue at Fleet because there is no adult supervision and no accountability. The 7th floor listens to the trouble makers on the floor and does not back up its management. One individual I am referring to thinks that everyone, including Kris Kringle is a racist and out to get him. If I was a qualified mental health professional I would properly diagnose him; as I am not, he is simply deemed as a nut job. Yet, his word carries more weight and clout on the 7th floor than the supervisors who are supposed to be in charge. When senior management makes decisions based upon popularity as opposed to good business practice, when it denigrates and actively persecutes its supervisory force for simply making people work and enforcing the rule book (AKA: A guide to hunting Unicorns)when it holds its managerial staff "guilty until proven innocent" based solely on the whisperings and unfounded allegations of those employees with the matching garanimal tag....Titanic's fate is sealed. It is sad actually.......progress WAS being made.....but that is no more.....If the Citizens knew how it really was on the inside, they would realize that Fleet is out of control presently. Cookouts in the bays instead of work, mechanics being allowed to be insubordinate to supervisors, jobs taking too long needlessly and time / codes not being entered into the database correctly so reports are once again garbage. I suggest they find out if Umesh prefers hamburgers or hotdogs before he arrives.....might soften his report if he has a fully belly.............

6 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by 7thfloordon'tlisten on 11/01/2013 at 5:13 PM

Re: “Mechanical Failure

Truth be told, the system is broken there. The org chart goes like this: Mayor, CAO, DCAOs, Directors, Deputy Directors, Operations Managers, Superintendents (where applicable), Supervisors then front line staff. DCAOs have portfolios consisting of departments headed by directors and the work for the citizens gets done at the Ops manager level and below. In a normal and healthy environment, the chain of command is followed and those below the deputy level are given the appropriate respect and trust to go with their positional responsibilities (this includes productivity, quality and budgetary things mind you). In DPW, there is a Deputy Director who does not subscribe to that philosophy with respect to those downstream: front line staff routinely whisper in that person's ear and it is taken as if Moses came off the mountain and spoke it. No follow up, no courtesy check, just swift and punitive action. One might ask how this can be allowed to happen and sadly the answer is that this person bypasses the chain going UP and has the direct ear of the power players on the 2nd floor. Proximity to power is indeed power. Any who cross this person had better know where a good box is to get their personal things by the end of the day. Don't take my word for it Style.....go speak to the ops managers in DPW....you will see I speak true......

3 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by 7thfloordon'tlisten on 10/26/2013 at 5:18 PM

Re: “Mechanical Failure

There is no free lunch in fleet maintenance. I was a Service Manager at a "for profit" heavy duty shop and I had a MONTHLY quota of service work to meet. Contrary to popular belief, my labor rate was not where I made my money it was in PARTS sales. If I could get your truck in my shop for a PM by charging a flat rate of (say) $300 my goal was to turn that invoice into as much legitimate work as possible. If your PTO was marginal, I would "recommend" you let us change it. If you did, I made more money, if you declined and it died two weeks later, you could not call me for warranty claiming I had "just inspected your truck." Now, that being said, outsourcing firms are in business to MAKE PROFIT. They will not enter into a contract if it will not meet the margins set by corporate. In House fleet repair has no such profit expectation, rather they are challenged with keeping costs as low as possible. Who has MORE INCENTIVE to hang parts on your city owned vehicles???? Ever take your car to the dealer for an oil change and have the service tech come tell you that your brakes are getting low and you need new wiper blades????? Same deal only with a Fleet the size of the City's you are entering the Major Leagues.....Once they are inside the door they have a very captive audience and their excuse to increase costs over their quote will be that the vehicles were in worse condition than normal due to years of neglect blah blah blah. Again, they are in it to make profit. The ONLY reason I would advise them outsourcing is so something could be done about the inmates running the asylum...No private firm would tolerate the insubordination and other nonsense that routinely takes place. There is a rule book downtown on the 7th floor but it might as well be a guide to hunting unicorns. Nothing sticks and the managers / Supervisors who push the issue get targeted and labeled all kinds of nasty things.....Don't believe me? Dig a little deeper and speak to some of the supervisors across the departments at DPW....

7 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by 7thfloordon'tlisten on 10/23/2013 at 4:51 PM

Re: “Mechanical Failure

Test post

0 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by 7thfloordon'tlisten on 10/23/2013 at 4:36 PM

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