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Anello Rebuts DPW Worker's Claims; Bagela Should be Reconsidered, ex-Mayor Says

By Vince Anello

Vince Anello

First let me set the stage so that I can answer Mr. Dinnocenzio's remarks in their proper context.

When I became mayor in 2004, I inherited a $3.5 million deficit, a crumbling infrastructure and a workforce in Parks and Dept of Public Works was out of control. Development was at a standstill

When I left, the workforce was better organized; there was $8.5 million in surplus and $38 million in Casino money that was destined for capital projects and equipment purchases.

I have stated many times that 5% of the workforce creates 95% of the problems. In DPW and Parks, the percentage of employees that need special attention is much higher.

In my previous six years on the city council, I came to realize that during mild winter days the Street Maintenance crews sat around, played cards or slept. To me, that was a ready workforce that we, the taxpayers, were paying for but not utilizing.

The issue of potholes was in everyone's mind and a subject of discussion at every council meeting.

The question I needed to answer was: "How can we effectively patch potholes in the winter?" The answer is no further away than our sister city, Rochester, N. Y., which had invested in equipment that regenerates millings that accumulate during the summer street resurfacing efforts. They have a very successful winter pothole repair program.

We sent members of the street crews and their immediate supervisors to Rochester several times. Mr. Dinnocenzio was one of them.

The City Council approved the purchase of a blacktop recycling machine but would only approve the purchase of one truck.

The truck was designed for cold weather operation. The truck bed is heated. It kept the tacking material to seal the pothole hot. It kept the black top hot. It had a compressor to clean out the pot hole. It also had a low mounted rack to hold a motorized plate tamper and a compressor and small jack hammer to prepare the edges of the hole. Yes there is a right way to fix a pothole. Check out this video http://www.pro-patch.com/. Using the equipment as described in the video, some seven-year-old potholes that our crews fixed are still in place.

The millings are a valuable commodity. As a matter of fact, before I got there, some city workers, with their outside accomplices were stealing, most of it. They were using a "broker" to cover up the scheme. The first year we handled the sale of the millings we brought in $89,000 for the city.

Rochester has cars; they use salt, why would our millings be so inferior?

Mr. Dinnocenzio states that the Administration did not know how to use the machine. They were the ones that were sent to be trained. He and others worked with the supplier to learn the operation. The supplier worked with them for a solid week. He returned several times. The operating temperatures are posted on the machine. He routinely went over the normal operating temps. Where are his notes from the instructions he received?

Regarding the issue of safety, whether an employee is trained or not, or is at fault or not, the employer is cited for violations. Mr. Dinnocenzio, with his crew leader and operating engineer, built the platform that he fell off of. He used an unmarked empty gallon milk container to transfer the hydrolene. That was a violation. He didn't keep the Material Safety Data Sheets where he had access to. That was a violation.

The representative from PESH had him and his crew leader wear respirators and Tyvek suits during the air monitoring test. The air quality results came back indicating safe levels and respirators were not mandatory.

The regenerating of millings is done with a recipe of additives. Some, if misused, can be dangerous.

Last Thursday Mayor Paul Dyster stated on the Vince Anello Show that he is willing to revisit the Bagela recycling machine.

David Kinney, DPW Director, and Mr. Dinnocenzio should bury their prejudices and do what's best for the taxpayers.

By the way, I hope someone is going to come forward and debate me on forestry issues. I'll be explaining how the taxpayers are being ripped off in the delivery of that service. Or maybe we should talk about the Golf Course. Or the two "secret" unauthorized employee lounges that I found and had dismantled. TVs, couches, recliner, microwaves other cooking accessories and, oh yes, playing cards.



Niagara Falls Reporter - Publisher Frank Parlato Jr. www.niagarafallsreporter.com

Mar 25, 2014