Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Follow up from the Town Council meeting regarding the Fireworks Fund

Can't say I was surprised at the outcome; it was pretty much as I expected but I was certainly going to try.

For additional details that I do not outline below you can read the story in the Record Journal - Councilors want say on fireworks, but they’ll have to meet with mayor

Mayor Dickinson made the commentary during the discussion – “I am not sure what you were told” regarding my question about the amount of time needed to schedule the overtime manpower and that was why I asked the department heads there – so I could ask these questions of them in front of the Mayor so that there was no misunderstanding and I assure you there wasn’t.

I ended up needing to call them prior to the Council meeting to question them on the phone; I did request them at the meeting but given the schedules they are under this week with budget hearings the remainder of the week they requested to handle matters over the phone if possible and I agreed in the interest of simplicity and trying not to add burden to them. If that works against me, and the facts somehow become distorted, I’ll never let it happen again

Fool me once… 

I asked each department head – Police Chief Dortenzio,  Fire Chief Struble and Director of Public Works Henry McCully how much lead time they needed to arrange all their manpower for the fireworks event and each one said the earliest the process begins is two weeks out from the event. I asked the same question multiple times in multiple ways and responded to answers with clarifying comments so I know there were no misunderstandings.

I will go back to the Mayor about that and ask that we get a deadline extension for the money to be delivered to the town to Monday June 11th - that's 27 days before the event which gives The Fund an additional 16 days to collect money and get the funds to the town.

The departments indicated that the manpower effort takes no more than 14 days – this basically gives them twice that lead time (short one day).

I’ll let you know how I make out. I’m sure it is going to be somewhere along the lines of an unstoppable force meeting an immovable object.

I’d like to be wrong about that because when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object it usually means there is an “endless transfer of energy” that is otherwise wasted and should be put to better use.

Regarding the vendor selection – it’s been made; I am going to call Park and Rec today to confirm and to ask why the Hamden vendor wasn’t chosen and why we went with the New Hampshire one but since the Fund has no say there’s little more I can do short of holding the funds for the show hostage to “get our way” which I will not do.

It’s not the Fund’s money it’s the peoples’ money and they want a show and I will make sure their donations are well represented at the event.

We’ll make the 2012 show worthy of all these pre-show fireworks in the political arena and top it off with a 4th of July celebration that is the best Wallingford has ever seen. (Cross your fingers for no rain).

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