Saturday, July 14, 2012
It hasn't been a very good time for our young city. These wild ethics charges are an embarrassment for Dunwoody (read AJC), and now my friend at Dunwoody Talk is bringing to light some hard-to-defend spending by city hall (Rick, I couldn't agree more. The signs are not only ugly, but the spending is unnecessary).
If that isn't enough, Dunwoody has paid an awful lot of money for a 911 service that still isn't doing what it is supposed to do. And it may end up costing homeowners money. How do I know this?
My friend Greg Crnkovich wrote the following comment on John Heneghan's blog (and by the way, how anyone can file an ethics complaint against a man with an impeccable reputation like John's is laughable):
"Since I am in your district, I would like to request that you put an agenda item before the Council to publicly disclose the costs of the transfer and any additional costs incurred in this switch over, to date.
"I would also ask that you consider appointing or hiring a program manager unrelated to the City to get this issue resolved, promptly.
"It appears to this citizen that there is not proper oversight of the process by the people who are currently in charge."
John immediately responded to Greg:
"Greg, I understand and share your concerns on the switchover delay. I will happily ask to have this item on the next agenda."
Well after reading the above, I decided to forward that exchange to former Councilman Danny Ross, who was the only member of council to vote against the switch of 911 services from DeKalb County to Chatcomm (I was also against it for no other reason than cost. Read former Councilman Robert Wittenstein's cost figures from November, 2010).
Danny's response to me was immediate and in no uncertain terms (I have omitted one name from his email response).
"Bob - Greg is not correct on when the CAD to CAD was suppose to be completed. The date was October 3, 2011. Attached you will find a compilation of e-mails relating to this subject dating back to May 2011. You will note until late July 2011 (one year ago) Hutmacher assured the council that the project was on schedule. It was not until late July, early August that he finally revealed to the council that the October 3rd date was not going to happen. By then it was too late to change the switch over for police 911. If I were on the council today, I would be calling for his resignation, as I indicated in the October council meeting that "heads should roll" if this is not completed by the then promised date of January 3, 2012.
"To my knowledge, ChatComm (and Hutmacher) have not supplied council with a report on the Fire and EMS dispatch times since February. At that time, it was taking over 3.5 minutes to dispatch calls related to Fire and EMS (1.5 minutes for ChatComm and 2 minutes for DeKalb call takers). I am surprised that ISO (Insurance Services Organization), the organization that establishes the grading for response (which should be 1 minute or less) has not cited Dunwoody on this and possibly lowered our rating from a 3 to a 4 or worse. If this were to happen, the insurance rates on the average homeowner in Dunwoody would increase over $200 per year (see attached ISO Report). The first responder to a fire or EMS event should be 5 minutes. As you can see, with the dispatch time we have, this only leaves 1.5 minutes for the respondent to arrive at the scene once the dispatch is finally completed. Thank God we have not had any (more) fatalities thus far!
"Thanks for sending Greg's questions. I have copied John Heneghan and Greg on my response to you. John and Bob, feel free to post the attachment (and this e-mail response) on your blog if you wish. Greg, thanks for bringing this important issue to John's attention."
I have no idea who is responsible for the delay in the switch, but when it affects my pocketbook - I'm all ears. I agree with Danny, this should have happened months ago, and if it's ChatComm's fault that it hasn't, the city of Dunwoody should be getting a refund (I'm still waiting for a traffic officer to handle the ridiculous jam on Womack Rd. every school morning, but am told we don't have the budget. The money spent on ChatComm would have more than paid for that officer)!
In the end, I don't know if Chatcomm's services are better than DeKalb County's. But the county was willing to bend over backwards to keep Dunwoody as a client. And Dunwoody said no. As a result, our money, and even our lives, are at stake!
Posted by Bob Fiscella at 8:25:00 PM