Wednesday, December 09, 2015
Mayor Lou Rosamilia vetoed the City Council's decision to eliminate the position of Director of Parks and Recreation, currently held by George Rogers. Initially, the Council wanted to actually eliminate George Rogers. Cooler heads prevailed and the Council decided to eliminate the position but leave Rogers physically unscathed. From The Record article:
The council voted 5-4 at a special meeting Nov. 30 to eliminate the position, arguing the duties could be rolled into those of the director of a new general services department that will be established next year as one of several changes to the city charter approved by voters in November. The new department will consolidate the city’s public works, code enforcement and parks and recreation operations.
Rosamilia said last week he was concerned the new department head would not be able to singlehandedly take on all the duties of the recreation director, which he said includes supervising a staff of 14 full-time and nearly 100 part-time employees. But he also said Wednesday he was concerned with the timing of the job cut, since the charter change does not take effect until July.
The Council's position is not unreasonable. Under the new City Charter, the Director of Parks and Recreation will be a vassal of the General Services Czar. However, both the current Charter and the future Charter mandate that there be a Director of Parks and Recreation: "There shall be..."
The Council should be able to override the veto if they want to push the issue.
COMMISSIONER OF GENERAL SERVICES
Speaking of the General Services Czar, it is now well-known that City Engineer Andrew Donovan has expressed a desire for the position. Donovan was hired in June of 2014.
Prior to his current position, Donovan held positions with Smith & Mahoney, PC, Ryan Biggs Associates and Edward Keegan Associates. Donovan was president of his own engineering practice, and served as a full-time instructor in the Civil, Construction, Industrial and Mechanical Technologies Department at Hudson Valley Community College.
Donovan received high ratings on the website Rate My Professor. He received a 5.0 in clarity and a 5.0 in helpfulness. He was not rated for 'hotness.'
Choosing Donovan would be a cost-cutting selection. The City would not need to hire a City Engineer.