31 January, 2009

As the pension fund turns!

On the 18th of this month, there was a rather inflammatory article in the Advocate on the city pension fund. It basically said that like everyone else, the pension fund lost millions in the current economic down turn. It then went on to say that IF the pension became underfunded (something that has not happen yet), the city and its taxpayers are obligated to put money into the fund by contract. Tarzia had lots to say as usual, but he never is the fiscal watchdog he claims he is or it would not have taken him more than six months to get his mouth working. The biggest culprit was the firefighters fund, which accounted for a third of the loss. The mayor stuck up for the rest of the classified employees fund saying the loss in that fund was not significant. What is going on here really???? Is this going to be the next contract fight? Or are firefighters going to be put under the microscope? Stay tuned for more fun(d) (pun intended) as we see what happens to the economy.

13 January, 2009

Beach Closure meeting

There is a beach closure meeting scheduled in Stamford on January 22, 2009. I do not have the agenda nor the location, but it appears to be a governmental meeting between the USEPA and the city with the state looking on. The Health Department has been invited, will Josh Polur, the sanitarian who does all the leg work on the beaches and Joe Kuntz, the lab person who has done mountains of research and has not only been instrumental in the setting the beach closure policy for the city, but also the state and influence the USGS and the USEPA on their current programs be there???? Stay tuned for more info.

09 January, 2009

Sewage Fuel

Okay, its been awhile and I have been sittin' on this post a bit. Stamford successfully managed to get a grant to turn dry sewage sludge into fuel, they have this guy workin' on a pilot plant daily, it seems to work. The sad news is CT statues will not let us use it! I guess they are afraid of recycling poo. It has to be sold somewhere significantly out of state (not New york or New Jersey or Massachucetts. New York makes a very high quality sludge fuel and saddly ours doesn'y quite measure up. This of course means that we will need to have pay someone to take it off of our hands and use it or bury it. What a waste!

05 January, 2009

Snow removal

I have a few minutes before going to work and I thought about snow removal.
Why back when Stan Esposito was mayor, Mike Pavia was running the office of pubic works. There was a big fight between him and the highways person (who I can't remember the name) over the policy of clear plowing the roads. The actual issue was whether to use just plow and salt or to use plow, sand and salt. One would clear the roads to black pavement (and possibly black ice), the other would give more traction, but would leave the roads 'unkempt' looking. There was a cost concern - sand was cheaper, but resulted in needing to clean out storm drains after the winter more often. I bring this up, because it looks like both sides lost. I do not see sand on city streets, but neither are they plowed to perfection and heavily salted. I realize there is also a temperature consideration in all of this, but I do not know it and if the really low temperatures are to blame or if cost saving is to blame.