9/07/2007

Skate Park

The City is considering some win-win solutions to the issue of skate park graffiti and vandalism. For that, our Commission and staff should be commended.

I want to remember one thing, though. The City previously spent in excess of $30,000.00 of taxpayer dollars on a video surveillance system, a system that has failed to provide any meaningful relief to the problem. A professional manager would do more than shrug at this failure (City Employee Giles "Salyer said kids would damage or turn security cameras at the site, so that they were 'basically destroyed' and had to be turned off.)

If you operated a business and encountered a problem that your employee spent $30,000.00 to fix, would you accept such an explanation for its failure? Wouldn't you at least ask some questions?

Are the cameras broken, or just turned? Did they ever work? It is standard industry practice that security cameras include in their observation other cameras (to prevent vandalism of cameras); was this done here? If so, what do the other cameras show? Who broke the cameras? Who designed the system? If it was a third party vendor, have we approached them about this failure? Is this a warranty issue? Can the cameras be screened in or otherwise protected? Would the cameras have rendered usable video in any event? Who thought up this idea?

I certainly have not heard these questions raised at a meeting. Are these discussions occurring?

I recognize that this is a difficult question, and good solutions are hard to come by. But if the City Commission and staff want to know why they face cynicism and distrust from taxpayers, they need look no further than this example. $30,000.00 of public money was spent, and there is absolutely no accountability. By anyone.

No one can believe someone would act this way with their own money. And yet it is our money. But some people are willing to spend and waste it as though it did not take people many, many hours of toil to earn it before the City spent it. On cameras. That failed.

Shrug.

13 comments:

mary jolley said...

It would cost less than $30,000.00 to call a painting expert to inquire as to what paint is used on NYC subway cars and station walls. There is no longer a grafitti problem. Spray paint does not adhere to the paint. It is removed with little effort each day.
I did suggest this at a City Commission meeting. I guess I should have called Com. Rosenbaum as that is how he prefers to get his information.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, thanks for that thought. I remember when it first came out and I think 60 minutes or some program like it did a segment on it years ago.

So I did some searching and found these resources:

Graffitti Resistance Paint

Graffiti Hurts

Anonymous said...

Most if not problems in Great Falls government stem from no oversight and zero accountability.

Next time city commission authorizes funding for anything, I want to see clear goals defined, measurement criteria and corrective action.

When you buy a $30,000 auto and it does not work do you let it rust away in the driveway?

I want to see the contract for the camera work from an authorized security surveillance contractor. Or was this some flim-flam deal cooked up for a friend?

Anonymous said...

Re: When you buy a $30,000 auto and it does not work do you let it rust away in the driveway?

It appears too many citizens and city workers do that every day.

1) City workers because they don't expose wrong doing or worse don't follow the law.

2) Too many citizens because they ignore clarion calls to fight against the City Commission for repealing the right to vote.

Anonymous said...

It would be better to ask which city employee's spouse was awarded the bid for the security cameras.

Why not? It seems the majority of people who work for the city have spouses that are benefiting in the form of pay raises, silent deals, allocation of funds to their personal interests or business or charity, also, preferred hiring - it's endless.

I agree with others - it's time for a CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION.

Anonymous said...

Yea, I got ya. Like Dona Stebbins voting her husband a pay raise under the consent agenda - Approve a two-year Labor Agreement with the Painters Local #260 - on August 21, 2007. Painters union, how sweet. It makes it sound like a group working for the city - Right, all one of them - her hubby!

Pure conflict of interest, something I might add she claimed that she would never do when she campaigned for mayor.

We must have been real bad a children to get this kind of government.

Anonymous said...

RE: Most if not problems in Great Falls government stem from ...

RE: Pure conflict of interest

If you have a friend who works for the city, ask them why they don't step forward with evidence or work to expose wrongdoing.

Most of the problems in the city are likely due to the lack of integrity and misplaced loyalties because everyone is family or friend or due to "I have to work in this city."

If you're going after Stebbins, then take down the city workers around her too -

Don't be afraid you'll offend your friend(s) if you really care about Great Falls.

GeeGuy said...

Actually, the cameras were installed by Rocky Mountain Hi Fi. Do they have a connection to the City?

Anonymous said...

Detailed Rocky Mountain Hi Fi Inc Company Profile

Retrieved as time stamped at the end of this post:

Rocky Mountain Hi Fi Inc
812 Central Ave, Great Falls, MT 59401-3781, United States
Phone: (406) 761-8683

SIC:Radio, Television, and Consumer Electronics Stores

Line of Business:Ret Television & Stereo Equipment

This company profile is for the private company Rocky Mountain Hi Fi Inc, located in Great Falls, MT. Rocky Mountain Hi Fi Inc's line of business is ret television & stereo equipment.

Company Profile: Rocky Mountain Hi Fi Inc

Year Started:1977
State of Incorporation:MT
URL:N/A
Location Type:Single Location
Stock Symbol:N/A
Stock Exchange:N/A
Also Does Business As:N/A
NAICS:N/A
SIC #Code:5731
Est. Annual Sales:$430,000
Est. Employees:6
Est. Employees at Location:6
Contact Name:James Schneider
Contact Title:President

Data above provided by D&B.

Have some information to add about Rocky Mountain Hi Fi Inc?

Manta allows you to make additions and corrections to the information available for the Rocky Mountain Hi Fi Inc company profile.

Anonymous said...

Here's the store link.

Quote as note from a search using Metacrawler:

Rocky Mountain Hi Fi, Montana's Oldest and Most Respected Audio/Video ...
From camcorders to still cameras and all the lenses and accessories you need, Rocky Mountain Hi Fi is the place for all your digital imaging products.
www.billiecotton.com/rockhifi/pages/digital_imagin... [Found on Windows Live]

Anonymous said...

Video surveillance experts? Do they claim that. $33K!!!


Which home(s) in Great Falls got the real goods? Somebody has a very home theater.

Anonymous said...

add "nice"

Anonymous said...

Back in the late 80's Salyer was the golf superintendant at R.O. Speck. Tom Sullivan fired him for incompetence and then hired him to work as a laborer in the parks.

Salyer was part of the coup that later brought Sullivan down and was awarded the parks foreman job. After he turned in the golf/parks superintendant for theft he got his job.

Now we have someone who is incompetent but maybe not corrupt.