The Town Council and School Committee at separate meetings last week gave the go-ahead to advance Town Manager James McKenna’s consolidation plan for the town’s financial operations, MIS (management information systems) offices, and building maintenance department.
“This vote allows the town manager and superintendent of schools [John Macero] to carry out the plan, instead of it being just a plan on paper,” said Town Council President Jeffrey Turco, who first raised the issue of consolidation during his election campaign in 2009.
Turco said because of the financial consolidation the town will be able to hire an auditor that will not only perform an annual audit but weekly and monthly audits of town financial transactions.
“This is an opportunity to streamline the administrative process on the financial end of things and to make it run more efficiently,” said Turco.
The council leader feels the consolidation will have a big impact in the operation of the town’s building and grounds department.
“We can post a [facilities manager] position and the manager and the superintendent can hire someone that they believe has the technical skills to get the custodians on the schools and the town’s side and bring their work to another level,” said Turco.
Turco expects the town to see significant savings once the consolidation plan is implemented.
“I think you’ll see the town manager and superintendent move pretty briskly with parts of the plan,” said Turco. “We’re going to see things happening in short order [such as the hiring of auditor] and the town will start saving money right away. I think we’re going to see an immediate impact of having an auditor and having our facilities look better.”