Sunday, December 16, 2007

The Cumley Letter Is Out

As I was sitting here trying to piece together my thoughts on City Manager's Bob Cumley's letter in the 12/16/2007 SN-L—He said what he had to say---, I received a phone call from Opinion Research asking if I would take part in a telephone survey about City Utilities.

One of the questions in the survey was how satisfied was I with City Utilities. I answered satisfied, but I qualified my answer. I told the pollster that the people who read my meter, fix the wires, drive the big white trucks and fix the sewers were, I thought, with dang few exceptions, doing an outstanding job.

Then, I told her that the people who make the decisions, the top brass, these were the guys with whom I wasn't too satisfied. As I told her that I was thinking of pumps, power plants and consultants.

Several other questions asked about various CU programs...one, easy pay needs to be simplified and not use a third party for payments, the others I had heard of, rebates, home energy audits, level pay. Other questions asked if I thought my electricity bill was too high, too cheap or just right. My CU was 80 dollars higher this month than last and my mother's bill was 50 dollars higher.

My thoughts on the city are the same. The rank and file who work for the city are doing their jobs without fanfare or celebrity. Because they are on the public payroll, their work and how they conduct that work on public time will be subject to public scrutiny. To me that is part of job. And, with dang few exceptions, the 1,600 plus employees of the city are doing their jobs.

I felt that auditor’s critical findings involved oversight of practices. And that oversight ends at the desks of the city manager and City Council. As Cumley said, "I want to make it very clear to citizens that our employees are working under the direction of management decisions and City Council policy."

The problem is not that there are 1,600 plus city employees making bad decisions and having "their named dragged out by the News-Leader and their work taken out of context", no, the problem is that the City Leadership has been asleep at the wheel and the auditor's report woke them up.

As to that leadership and their reaction to the audit, well, Samuel Pepys said it better than I ever could: “Methinks, I confess, he (they) did not seem so pleased with it as I expected, or at least could have wished..." 31 May, 1664

5 comments:

Jason said...

Great post.

Rolling Stoned said...

I'm excited to catch his new band, Bob Cumley and Cumley Lasses, on tour once he leaves the city job.

Anonymous said...

I'm excited Bob's new band, Bob Cumley and the Cumley Lasses.

Anonymous said...

I think they should rename the frozen cement pond that no one uses after the last two city managers....welcome to the Bob and Tom Show Rink. Maybe park's head Jodie Adams could challenge a Bobby Riggs type of character to a tennis match on the ice as a fund raiser. I saw Bob Cumley with his last band, the Boondoggles, that was when his music came from a special place. Rock on....James Dean....

dirtsister said...

Has anyone noticed the heavy advertising schedule that CU is running on KYTV? Maybe your bill is higher to cover the PR campaign...