The 85-page report was prepared by the Center for Governmental Research, an independent organization that is following and providing recommendations throughout the consolidation process. Since the TTF was formed at the beginning of the year, the mission of CGR has been to “identify specific priority tasks” and review the consolidation process on a task-by-task basis.
Joseph Stefko, president and CEO of the CGR, declined to provide a copy of the report, which was distributed to members of the TTF, to The Daily Princetonian. Stefko described the report as “intended to be really a documentation of everything the Task Force did.”
Each subcommittee of the TTF has its own section within the document that details questions raised by the TTF, decisions made by the committee and recommendations. Stefko asked each subcommittee to review its section over the next few weeks and to provide feedback by Oct. 3. Stefko said the CGR would incorporate the subcommittee’s revisions into the final report.
The final report will determine the successes and failures of the consolidation report. An interim report is expected to be available in the next month.
Later in the meeting, Borough representatives on the TTF called into question the quality of leaf and brush pickup. Brad Middlekauff, a resident of the Borough, said the proposed schedule for leaf and brush pickup throughout the year details $217,900 in savings on pickup costs due to consolidation.
The most noticeable reduction was during the summer, when costs decreased from $79,200 to $3,500. Instead of collectors having both bagged and unbagged pickup, they would have only the former. Those who had previously been doing unbagged pickup would be free to do other tasks, such as paving roads.
Borough Councilwoman Jo Butler suggested that most of the savings appear to come from cuts in this service. She also criticized perceived vagueness as to how the work would be allocated during the summer, when the workforce for pickup is temporarily reduced. Middlekauff responded that the Borough already does allocate work in this way throughout the year, and the quality of the service will not be reduced. He explained that pickup routes will now be more efficient within the consolidated town.
TTF chairman Mark Freda said after much debate that the discussion and decision should be deferred to a later meeting, after they had the opportunity to talk with engineers and others with knowledge of the subject.
The entire proposed plan — the schedule, the number of zones and the protocol for post-storm cleanup — was approved except for the schedule for the summer, which was moved to change from every two weeks to every four weeks. It was agreed that the future government members could decide a permanent solution.
Original URL: http://www.dailyprincetonian.com/2012/09/20/31180/