Saturday, January 10, 2009

Question for the Public and the Local "Powers That Be..."

[Photo by BF]

I read in this week's "Kingston Times" ["New year,new jobs"; P. 3] that the Kingston City Council formed an "Auditing Committee" [Aldermen Teetsel, Madsen, Landi, Polacco and Hoffay) the beginning of this year...

And I would like to pose this question:

Would it be possible to list, on the "General Bills" section of the Kingston Common Council Meeting agendas, not only the vendor and amount - but the type of vendor, type of service rendered - and (where just a name is listed) that person's title and type of service rendered - as well?

People's names reveal nothing to the general public about the type of service rendered...

Some organizational names, such as "Cook, Tucker, Netter & Cloonan" (a law firm?) reveal nothing to the public about the type of service rendered [This was a $13,235.79 item on the Jan. 2009 agenda]

And some items, even if somewhat revealing by the nature of the organizational name, such as "Matt Pozorski Sculptureworks" ($3,750.00 on the Jan 2009 agenda) are baffling (at least without further information) as to what their pragmatic application might be - to the benefit of the City of Kingston - during these extremely difficult economic times.

To phrase that differently [and this is NOT to imply any implication of wrongdoing on the part of the City Council or any of the people or organizations listed as vendors on the Jan. 2009 Kingston City Council Agenda!]...

Who exactly are [I'll stick to a few of the more obscure (to the average Kingston citizen) bigger money items here...]:

Core BTs Inc.? [Jan 2009 Agenda; $1,280.00]

The "Dietz Commission"? [Jan 2009 Agenda; $74,500.00]

HDR/LMS? [Jan 2009 Agenda; $3,019.10]

Malcolm Pirnie Inc.? [Jan 2009 Agenda; $3,315.04]?

I am certainly aware that most organizations have their acronyms. In fact, the National Organization of Mental Health (or some such organization) has a source-book full of them...

But when it comes to City business - the expenditure of taxpayer monies - I really think the public needs things spelled out more explicitly --- that we need to know exactly who (or what organization) these monies are going to --- and for what purpose?

There is NO offense implied here. I am simply putting out my view on this matter, hoping that (as appropriate) the public, the new "Auditing Committee", the Mayor, the new County Comptroller and the new County Executive will give this some serious thought.

[If any errors have been made here, please let me know and I will post corrections immediately]

[General feedback is welcome and appreciated.]


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