Mayor Andre Sayegh’s administration outlined a plan to bolster the city’s Department of Public Works (DPW), a department beset by problems that have led to adequate basic services for residents, by hiring more staff and purchasing more equipment on Tuesday night.
Sayegh’s plan includes hiring 43 more employees. Business administrator Vaughn McKoy said the 25 permanent and 18 part-time jobs will be advertised on Wednesday. He said the new hires will “beef up” public works.
The move will also let Sayegh reduce overtime spending in the city. Overtime spending jumped 40-percent during Sayegh’s first year in office, highlighting the mayor’s continued struggle in running the city.
Sayegh is also investing $1.77 million to mostly purchase equipment for public works. 4 Ford F45 crew cabs for $236,000; 2 32yd rear loaders for $442,000; 2 Ford F350 single cab vehicles for $82,000; a patch truck for $146,000; a brush chipper for $90,000, and 3 single axle snow trucks for $480,000, according to documents presented to the City Council.
Public works is also spending $300,000 to repair its main office roof.
Council members Luis Velez, William McKoy, and Flavio Rivera had been pushing the Sayegh administration to invest more in public works. Many received large number of complaints over the summer due to lack of park maintenance, street cleaning, and recycling pick up.
The new hires will include 5 truck drivers and 2 laborers for the recycling division; a heavy equipment operator, 2 building maintenance workers for streets and roads division; 2 mechanics, a supervisor of garage services for auto maintenance division; an engineer, 3 road inspectors, supervisor of traffic maintenance, and traffic maintenance worker for traffic and engineering division; sewer repair supervisor and 4 sewer repairer for sewer division; a laborer, 2 carpenters, 3 building maintenance workers, and a maintenance repairer for facilities division; and 2 maintenance workers, 1 tree maintenance worker for parks division. Also 15 seasonal workers for the parks division to be hired in April 2020.