The Douglas County Sheriff's Office of Denver, Colorado, recently announced its plan to implement a new design for its patrol cars today. The graphics will remain the same as what’s been used in the past. The traditional black and white paint scheme will be replaced with a solid black color, according to their news release. The one-color design is part of a cost-saving measure to avoid the pricey paint jobs and touch-ups previously used. In the past, when the Sheriff's office bought a new black car, a portion would be painted white, costing the department about $1,200 per car. An average of 10 to 12 cars are purchased each year. By leaving the cars black, the department could save $128,000 during the next four years. The solid-color cars will also be worth more at resale. Existing cars will not be re-painted. The rhetorical question with the known answer is, ‘how simple was this?’ More importantly, why hasn’t someone thought about this before now?
In Greenburgh, our color scheme favors orange. Perhaps it’s a stock color, perhaps not. Once you slap the Town logo sticker onto the door of a garbage or highway truck, what’s the difference what the color is? Our guess would be only the paint shops care. The Greenburgh police department cars follow a lettering (really stickers) scheme that avoids the costly repaint issue. This may have been an idea implemented by our former police chief or not, but it does save money. A number of years ago the federal government had a program that required a specific paint job if a community purchased their police cars through a federal pricing program. Its pricing was so good that many community police departments participated. Soon, all police cars began to look the same from community to community. While it may have been a great program to participate in from the cost perspective, our federal taxes were now being used for police cars. From the community’s point of view, it’s a homerun. How simple was this?
Our supervisor initiated a study of fire department consolidation for the three fire districts in Greenburgh. They are the Fairview, Hartsdale and Greenville fire departments. Without getting into the specifics of whether or not this will save the Greenburgh taxpayers money, the study monies came from the government. It’s alleged that Supervisor Feiner lied on the application to get monies for this study. While we wouldn’t put it past him, the experts in the field of fire, safety, and others were purposely (?) left off the committee to study this. The foregone conclusion that Supervisor Feiner mandated to his committee chairman, Alan Hochberg, to render was delivered as planned, stating exactly what Feiner wanted: we should consolidate the three departments. Let’s assume Feiner didn’t lie on the application. Let’s also assume that Feiner didn’t mandate a foregone conclusion. Could savings be had with the three departments collaborating together? Yes! How can ABG be so certain? The three departments already collaborate as much as possible with expenditures and save money now! How simple was this?
Is there room for more savings throughout the Town without lying for funds to the federal government to find out? We’re sure of it. We can consolidate the two recreation departments with duplicate commissioners, budgets, personnel and expenses. While ABG certainly doesn’t wish to see anyone lose the jobs, we must be pragmatic and look at everything. If the results indicate there are people in positions that can be eliminated, we should see if they can be moved within the Towns infrastructure and kept employed. If they cannot provide a functional service elsewhere, they should be eliminated as a last resort. The commissioners are another animal entirely. There are other examples we could illuminate upon but would accomplish little. Paul Feiner can actually save money for taxpayers, consolidate from within, and streamline our government. But we know he won’t. He only pontificates about issues he has no jurisdiction over, involvement in, or responsibility for. He could do something, and yet speaks to other’s issues. Start with addressing Greenburgh’s real issues. How simple was this?