When accessing public power is as easy as flipping a light switch, it’s sometimes easy to forget the men and women who make that possible. Today marks the start of the 28th Public Power Week, which recognizes the thousands of dedicated professionals across the country who provide and maintain our electrical grid infrastructure and services.
Our not-for-profit utilities focus on a single mission — providing reliable electricity while protecting the environment. Community-owned electric utilities power homes, businesses and streets in about 2,000 towns and cities, serving 47 million Americans. Public power serves more than 4.1 million Texans.
Andy Garcia, a route manager in the City of College Station’s Sanitation Division, placed first recently in the Solid Waste Association of North America’s (SWANA) International Truck Road-E-O in Denver.
A city employee for more than 12 years, Garcia earned his first-place trophy in the Front End Load truck competition, which includes a timed obstacle course that is set up for seven specific scenarios. Drivers have to demonstrate good safety habits and smoothness of operation, and are graded on both while navigating the course.
The Pittsburgh Steelers broke my heart by beating the Dallas Cowboys in Super Bowl XIII, 35-31. Sugar Ray Leonard won his first world boxing title. And Tracy Austin became the youngest U.S. Open tennis champion at 16 years old — not much older than me, a fourth grader in Breckenridge, Texas.
That same year, Bart Humphreys began his career with the College Station Fire Department.
After more than 35 years of service to the citizens of College Station, Bart will retire on Friday. To put that in perspective, he served under six fire chiefs and seven mayors.
The City of College Station’s Fleet Division takes great pride in being responsible stewards of the taxpayers’ money. Our duties include preventative maintenance, repairs, state inspections and replacement of fleet assets. As part of the Public Works Department, the division also purchases and manages fuel for all city-owned equipment and maintains approximately 678 vehicles and other equipment, including police cars, fire trucks, ambulances, light trucks, cars, heavy trucks, off-road equipment, trailers and generators. We continually evaluate our operations and purchases to increase efficiency and save money.
One area in which we have saved substantial money is by making economical bulk purchases. For example, we previously purchased one-gallon bottles of windshield washer fluid, but now we buy the fluid in 55-gallon drums that contain an automatic pre-mix of washer solution and water. This change decreased our use of concentrated washer fluid. Through vigorous price comparing, we also found cheaper, high-quality degreaser and brake cleaner that saves as much as $7 per can.
After completing a thorough assessment of the city’s organizational structure, taking into consideration the fiscal condition as well as the 2012 budget proposals presented by the individual department heads, the City Manager’s Office is implementing the following reorganization plan. This plan will have an impact on several departments that will result in considerable recurring-cost savings to the city and significantly improve efficiency by refocusing resources on core services.
The economic development function in the city will be restructured by transitioning those activities from the Economic and Community Development Department to the City Manager’s Office. This change will allow for a more effective handling of the city’s economic development activities and at a lower cost.
The restructuring will result in the elimination of the Economic and Community Development Director position as well as three (3) other Full Time Equivalent (FTE) positions. The responsibilities of the director’s position will be moved to the City Manager’s Office, which will retain one (1) of the filled Economic Development Analyst positions to assist carrying out some of those duties. Additionally, the Community Development and Northgate District Divisions will remain intact, reporting to the Assistant Economic and Community Development Director (whose position is to be re-titled) and will be assigned to the Planning and Development Services Department for the time being. Some individuals in positions being eliminated will be considered for other appropriate positions within the organization as there may be an opportunity to move one (1) of the Analyst positions to the Budget Office where a vacancy currently exists.