Friday, April 13, 2012

Why can't the City of Fullerton track labor for the Water Fund (or anything else)?

After listening to the City Manager and various department managers discussing their budget woes at the City's Budget Workshop on Tuesday night it occurred to me to ask a basic question.

Having worked for a few different employers over the years one learns that employee time sheets are an important tool for allocating labor costs and client billing.  "If you cannot measure it," says professor Barry McCarthy "you cannot manage it."

Something I heard, I can't recall just what specifically, caused me to rise out of my seat and approach the dead microphone.  The question was so simple I thought I might be asking a "stupid" question.

My question: "Do employees bill their time to specific projects or funds?"


The answer: "No."

A short time later, Director of Engineering Don Hoppe told me his Engineering Department does track time based on the engineering project.  So, while nearly all of City Hall fails to track employee time, a fundamental principle of management, Don Hoppe's engineering team gets an "A".

If the City were anything like a business, it would have failed decades ago.  But they can simply raise taxes (fees) and continue their charade until someone notices.  Like when water rates skyrocket.

Several managers that I spoke with after the Budget Workshop said they wanted to know how much time their employees are spending on specific projects and tasks but that the current (and new) accounting system just isn't set up for that type of data input.

Of all of the jobs I have ever had, in the public sector and private sector, only two employers did not have employees fill out time sheets and list what work they did.  Both companies went out of business years ago.

The City's inability to account for labor and, therefor actual costs, is at the heart of the issue.  It also blows a titanic hole in labor  arguments about efficiency and effectiveness of employees.

And so City Hall, when faced with running out of money, looks to the taxpayers for the bailout.  Its time to end taxpayer funded bailouts and require employees to track their time based on project funding - just like that which the City requires of their own consultants and contractors.

1 comment:

  1. First, the city should look for a new city manager. Second, what are the qualifications of the accountant(s) that work for the city. Third, cut the pay of all department managers by 10% and have them make appropriate cuts to their department budgets. Fourth, track projects on an excel spreadsheet and submit with time cards. Fifth, third party payroll companies can also help with quantifying projects using their systems without reinventing the wheel. There should be no excuse for this mismanagement. If the managers can't figure out how to spend the taxpayers money then they need to be fired and qualified managers hired. Sixth, the city council needs to be more proactive in protecting the citizen's taxpayer dollars. If they can't do that they should not run for re-election.

    ReplyDelete

Greg Sebourn

Orange County Bail Bonds

The Beauty of a Storm

The Beauty of a Storm
Orange County, Ca.

My Grandma - A Eulogy

LET'S TALK ABOUT 1914 FOR A MOMENT.



FOR STARTERS, GRANDMA WAS BORN TUESDAY, DECEMBER 22, 1914 IN HER FAMILY'S ATWOOD RANCH HOUSE.



IT IS WORTH NOTING THOSE ALSO BORN IN 1914:

JACK LALANNE

JOE DIMAGGIO

DANNY THOMAS



AND WHO DIED IN 1914:

JOHN MUIR, THE FAMOUS NATURALIST FOR WHICH NUMEROUS ROADS, PARKS, HOTELS, AND NATURE RESERVES ARE NAMED.



IT IS ALSO WORTH NOTING THAT IN 1914 WOODROW WILSON SIGNS MOTHER'S DAY PROCLAMATION AND BABE RUTH MAKES HIS MAJOR LEAGUE DEBUT WITH THE RED SOX. MOTHER'S DAY AND BASEBALL- TWO OF MY FAVORITES!! (PERHAPS HER NICKNAME "BABE" CAME FROM BABE RUTH???)



GRANDMA WAS BORN INTO A PERIOD OF TIME FILLED WITH TURMOIL. IN JUNE OF 1914 ARCHDUKE FRANZS FERDINAND WAS ASSASSINATED. WITHIN ONE MONTH WORLD WAR I RAGED ACROSS EUROPE. TWO DAYS AFTER HER BIRTH HOWEVER, GERMAN AND BRITISH TROOPS INTERRUPTED WWI TO CELEBRATE CHRISTMAS. (PERHAPS THEY PAUSE KNOWING THAT A GREAT WOMAN WAS BORNE) WORLD WAR I CONTINUED UNTIL THE TREATY OF VERSAILLES IN 1919.



ALTHOUGH SHE WAS ONLY 5 YEARS OLD, SHE SAW THE LEAGUE OF NATIONS CREATED AND THE 19TH AMENDMENT WAS APPROVED BY THE U.S. CONGRESS GUARANTEEING THE RIGHTS OF WOMEN TO VOTE.



SHE LIVED THROUGH MANY NOTABLE EVENTS. LIKE THE 1933 LONG BEACH EARTHQUAKE OR WHEN ATWOOD FLOODED ALONG WITH MOST OF ORANGE COUNTY IN 1938 AND THE FLOOD-WATERS CLAIMED MORE THAN 50 PEOPLE, 43 OF WHICH WERE FROM ATWOOD! ALL OF THIS DURING A TIME THAT WE READ ABOUT IN SCHOOL AND KNOWN AS "THE GREAT DEPRESSION". SOMEWHERE IN ALL OF THAT SHE FOUND THE LOVE OF HER LIFE, GRANDPA LEO, GRADUATED HIGH SCHOOL, GOT MARRIED, AND HAD KIDS!



THEN THERE WAS WORLD WAR II. FROM PEARL HARBOR TO HIROSHIMA, GRANDMA WAS RAISING MY UNCLE BOB AND MOM ARLINE. WITH AIR-RAID SIRENS AND BLACKOUTS SHE WAS A WIFE AND MOTHER. WHAT A TIME TO RAISE CHILDREN! I BET GRANDMA'S PARENTS WERE ABEL TO TELL HER A THING OR TWO ABOUT RAISING KIDS IN WARTIME.



GRANDMA WAS THERE WHEN THE BOY SCOUTS OF AMERICA HELD THEIR 3RD ANNUAL NATIONAL JAMBOREE IN 1953. SHE SAW AIRBASES OPEN IN '42 AND CLOSE IN '99. SHE WATCHED WALTER KNOTT START UP HIS BERRY FARM AND WALT DISNEY TURN ORANGE GROVES AND STRAWBERRY PATCHES INTO DISNEYLAND!



SHE SAW THE HORSE AND CARRIAGE FADE AWAY INTO HISTORY AND SPACE TRAVEL EXPLODE BEFORE HER WITH THE FIRST LUNAR LANDING. JUST IMAGINE HOW MUCH TECHNOLOGY HAS CHANGED OVER THE LAST 100 YEARS. FROM TUBE RECTIFIERS TO SUPERCONDUCTORS; FROM TRANS-ATLANTIC TELEGRAPH CABLES TO SATELLITE TV.



SHE SAW MORE IN HER 93 YEARS THAN MOST OF US WILL EVER READ ABOUT, LET ALONE LIVE THROUGH!



OF THOSE 93 YEARS IT IS MY HONOR TO HAVE BEEN HER GRANDSON FOR 35 OF THEM. SHE WAS MY MOTHER WHEN MOM HAD TO WORK. SHE WIPED MY NOSE AND PUT FOOD IN MY MOUTH. SHE LET ME PLAY WITH GRANDPA EVEN THOUGH SHE NEEDED HIM TO TAKE HER TO THE STORE. SHE WAS MY GRANDMA AND I WILL MISS HER IMMENSELY.



JUST LOOK AROUND THIS ROOM; SHE DID THIS. SHE IS RESPONSIBLE FOR BRINGING SO MANY GOOD PEOPLE INTO THIS WORLD AND TOGETHER TODAY. THIS IS HER LEGACY.



A Dedication To My Loving Wife, Stacey. Thank you for all you do for me!

Brad Paisley - I Thought I Loved You Then


I remember trying not to stare the night that I first met you
You had me mesmerized
3 weeks later in the front porch light taking 45 min to kiss you goodnight
I hadn’t told you yet but I thought I loved you then

Chorus
Now you’re my whole life now you’re my whole world
I just can’t believe the way I feel about you girl
Like a river meets the sea
Stronger than it’s ever been
We’ve come so far since that day
And I thought I loved you then.

I remember taking you back to right where I first met you
You were so surprised
There were people around
But I didn’t care I got down on one knee right there
And once again I thought I loved you then

Chorus
Now you’re my whole life now you’re my whole world
I just can’t believe the way I feel about you girl
Like a river meets the sea
Stronger than it’s ever been
We’ve come so far since that day
And I thought I loved you then.

I can just see you with a baby on the way
I can just see you when your hair is turning gray
What I can’t see is how I’m ever gonna love you more
But I’ve said that before.

Now you’re my whole life now you’re my whole world
I just can’t believe the way I feel about you girl
Well look back some day at this moment that we’re in
And I'll look at you and say I thought I loved you then
And I thought I loved you then...

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