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October 22, 2014, 10:26 am
970 WMAY News

Fleet Consolidation Held Up During Committee of the Whole

Fleet consolidation held up


On the agenda for the Springfield City Council Committee of the Whole is the creation of a fleet management position for the future consolidation of the city's garages for public works, fire, police and City Water Light and Power vehicles.  


According to the Mayor's office, in order for the Fleet Manager position to be created, aldermen also must decide whether to create two new divisions within the Office of Budget and Management for Facilities Management and Fleet Management.  


Several aldermen expressed concerns about the conflicts of interest that could come from the Office of Budget and Management having control over departments whose budgets it would determine come the new fiscal year.  There was a recommendation to have the two proposed new divisions to be independent from OBM.  


Aldermen failed to put the ordinance creating the two new divisions on the debate agenda with a 5-4 vote during the Committee of the Whole meeting.


The ordinance creating the Fleet Manager position was also held up with aldermen demanding a clear job description for the proposed $90,000 position.  Aldermen voted to hold the Fleet Manager position ordinance in committee.


Making utility hookup for new development easier


Two ordinances placed on the consent agenda would make the process of getting electric and water utilities hooked up for new developments easier.  


Currently developers have to go through a confusing schedule of deposits and refunds for both electric and water main hookups.  


The two ordinances provide for an easier formula for deposits and also attaches the price for hookup to CPI.    


Contract threshold change


Meanwhile, the City of Springfield is considering changing the threshold of which contracts require city council approval.


The proposed ordinance requires that any contract above $25,000 would require city council approval.  Currently only contracts over $100,000 require city council approval unless there is not enough money in the fund the contract will be paid from.


The city's purchasing agent Jay Wavering says that the change would increase the number of ordinances nearly three times.


Several aldermen suggested a friendly amendment moving the threshold proposal to a higher number like $50,000.  The $100,000 threshold was changed in 2009 from originally being at $15,000.  


The ordinance changing the threshold to an amended amount of $50,000 was placed on the consent agenda. 


Agreement between SPD & CPD


Another ordinance strengthens the language of an agreement with the City of Springfield Police Department and the Chatham Police Department to clarify language of a current agreement about cooperation between the two departments. One concern Aldermen Joe McMenamin raised is the issue of liability in mutual aid situations.


The Springfield City Council holds Committee of the Whole meetings every other week to determine which agenda ordinances will be placed on--the consent for all-inclusive passage or on the debate agenda where aldermen can debate the issue during the full council meetings.



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