At the Feb 24 Town Council Meeting, Bill McLaughlin and Budget Committee Member Joe Sousa presented concerns regarding taxpayer appropriated funds for town projects that have had little or no progress, particularly the maintenance of the senior center roof and the apparent inferior exterior materials used during the construction of the $10.5 million library.
Both McLaughlin and Sousa were upset that Town Council President Hilton did not demonstrate any management or knowledge of cost and schedule for town projects. Hilton’s response was that the town employs good and competent department managers and work is getting done. This is not an acceptable response from a managing body. The town council has a fiduciary responsibility to taxpayers and should keep quantitative status on cost and schedule of all town projects.
President Coulter and Vice President Katz, elected in 2018, had implemented a communications protocol with the town administrator that would report cost and schedule status to the town council. Hilton and deMedeiros do not use this protocol.
Many industries and businesses use an earned value program management system that reports and manages cost and schedule. A program management system would have enabled Hilton to respond with quantitated metrics and also would have demonstrated the responsibility of town council management.
The town council manages the town administrator, who manages the department managers, who manage the projects and produces cost and schedule metrics to the town council through the town administrator.
This business practice is not rocket science, but it does require good management, and Tiverton is not getting what it deserves from the replacement Town Council President Hilton and Vice President deMedeiros.