Supply chain problem hampers Trumbull’s office | News, Sports, Jobs
WARREN – Supply chain difficulties have taken their toll on the Trumbull County Sanitary Engineer’s fleet of vehicles.
Sanitary Engineer Gary Newbrough told county commissioners on Wednesday that some of his employees have had to use their personal vehicles to do work for the department, which means the county has to pay for the mileage for the work. Newbrough said the commissioners had made 10 vehicle purchases since last May, but none of those vehicles had been delivered.
“We need trucks to tow heavy equipment, especially to these remote locations. We need four wheel drive vehicles with the onset of winter.
On Wednesday, the commissioners authorized the purchase of seven 2023 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 pickup trucks from Valley Chevrolet in Wellington for the sanitary engineering department. The total amount of $271,915 will come from three county accounts and the contract will be through state purchase program pricing.
Newbrough said five of the new vehicles will replace a 2007 Dodge Ram that has 197,000 miles; a 2013 GMC Sierra with 166,000 miles and transmission issues; a 2006 GMC Savana minivan that was sold at auction; a 2013 Dodge Ram Caravan that has 169,000 miles; and a 2007 GMC Canyon with 174,000 miles.
Two of the 1500 will be used by the plant operator and by the survey team, project engineer and/or GIS coordinator, Newbrough said.
In another item on the agenda, the county council authorized the purchase of two more 2023 Chevrolet Silverado 2500 pickup trucks from the same Wellington dealership for a total of $85,390. These two vehicles will replace a 2006 Ford F250 with 136,000 miles and a 2006 GMC Sierra with 68,000 miles with a completely rusted side floor pan, Newbrough said.
Commissioner Mauro Cantalamessa said he hoped the purchases would materialize.
“We’ll take whatever we can get at this point,” Cantalamessa said.
Also for the Office of the Sanitary Engineer, the commissioners signed off on the purchase of a 2023 International Chassis, GapVax Combo Truck from MTech of Cleveland for $514,000 under the state’s pricing contract. MTech was the top bidder for the equipment, with Brown Equipment submitting a bid for $506,459 which was rejected.
In another case, Commissioner Frank Fuda – referring to a request by local attorney Mark Finamore for W-2 forms from certain elected officials and other county department heads, and 1099 tax forms on payments from non- county employees – said he was tired of his “harassed” understaffed office workers with many distractions.
Fuda said the distractions include daily harassment, bullying, cyberbullying, and requests for public records. He said staff also needed to stand up to derogatory accusations made on social media.
In an email from attorney to commissioner Niki Frenchko, which had been distributed by Fuda, Finamore asked him to forward the names of any county employee or official who “wrongfully does not honor my legal demand” for the tax information. The lawyer went on to say that an “information picket” would be held at any of these people’s homes and at schools attended by their children.
“In my 32 years of public service,” Fuda said, “I have never seen anything like it. This bullying and childish games must stop.
In response, Finamore said he didn’t think anyone would take his mention of an information picket seriously – saying the tactic was more of a joke and a bluff.
“I’ve been waiting for them to respond to my request for five months now. I was getting a little impatient and wanted to do something to get their attention,” Finamore said. “I was surprised that some of them were offended by this joke. Maybe they will do the right thing and obey the law.
A public records request from the newspaper yielded a thick folder containing a document linking Finamore to a group called Citizens for Better Government, which has a Warren P.O. Box number. Finamore has confirmed that this group is his client.
The document lists a request by employees of the commissioners office for payroll information from the three commissioners, Newbrough, attorneys Matthew J. Blair and Jeffrey V. Goodman and other department heads and officials.
Frenchko, the only Republican on the board, was absent from Wednesday’s board meeting.
Fuda said in early 2021 his office had 11 employees, including the three commissioners.
“We are in the latter part of 2022 and amidst all the apparent dysfunction, this department is operating with only five employees. We are less one special projects coordinator and two journal clerks,” Fuda said. “Thanks to the dedication of the remaining staff, quality work continues to be produced. Even with many distractions, these women do what needs to be done to complete everyday tasks.
Fuda said office staff are also challenged due to the extra work generated by the disbursement of some $38 million in US bailout funds that have been allocated to the county by the federal government due to the COVID pandemic. -19.
“They are seasoned, hardworking staff who work effectively together — even during a pandemic two years ago — and have kept this county running throughout,” Fuda said.