City Hall will shut down tomorrow Friday, July 22, 2022, between noon and 2:00 pm for a worker appreciation lunch according to a press release issued by the city’s spokeswoman, Jessica Grondin. Apparently city workers need something to boost their morale. Whether a free lunch will do the trick is improbable. City business can still be conducted on-line during this appreciation lunch.
It has been known for months now that the city staff is seriously understaffed. The city is understaffed by 300 employees – including the interim city manager and the interim police chief position according to an article in the July 20, 2022 issue of the PORTLAND PHOENIX. The latter position is being filled by an interim police chief up from the ranks because his predecessor, the affable and approachable Chief Frank Clark, left last year for a more lucrative position at WEX.
Portland City Councilor Tae Chong for District 3 gives a myriad of reasons in the same edition of the PORTLAND PHOENIX as to why he will not seek another term with the Council. “I don’t want to be the angry guy on the council,” Chong is quoted as saying. But he is. The Councilor takes shots at the Charter Commission and claims that he has heard no justification for its existence. This blogger has. Many objected to the former city manager Jon Jennings making policy decisions with no accountability at the polls for his actions. The Councilor takes exception to the Maine DSA Livable Campaign Committee for its most recent initiatives to that end that will be on the November ballot. Fortunately, if the voting public does not “appreciate” the workings of the City Council there are non-violent ways to correct them. At the ballot box in November.
One long-time and current employee at city hall told this blogger recently that the reason city hall is so understaffed is because the pay scale is so poor there. People can get much more lucrative jobs in the private sector. With his soon to be free time, perhaps Councilor Chong could volunteer some of his time at city hall helping to improve what he thinks is not working there.
The Councilor could start with the Inspections Department that is notoriously flawed thoroughout the business community in Portland for how it perfroms its duties. Or doesn’t perform them. In almost fifteen years of blogging, this blogger has never heard a good word about dealing with the city’s Inspections Department. They are fearful of speaking up on the record because of retaliation by city hall. It’s actually absurd how inefficient the departmet is. Small businesses need not apply to do business in Portland.