Jobs must be filled
In the first edition of the year, this publication ran a full-page advertisement from the city, looking to fill more than twenty full- and part-time positions. The scope of the positions that need to be filled is — at first glance — staggering. From Assistant Building Officials to Planning Director to a director of the city’s Water Pollution Control facility, the city is missing some very consequential staff.
We know the administration of former Mayor Nancy Rossi allowed attrition in City Hall to cut costs, but the scope of the positions left vacant is astounding. It is no wonder little got done in the last years of the administration. There was no one around to complete the tasks. In the same vein, it is understandable the Municipal Accountability Review Board was frustrated with the lack of professional administrators in key city offices.
The lack of competent help does a disservice to the residents of the city because being in the market for so many applicants put the leverage in the hands of those who apply. The city is, in other words, dealing from a position of weakness. The administration of Mayor Dorinda Borer wants top-notch, competent individuals to head these various offices.
In a story that appeared in the last issue, the mayor said dealing with day-to-day brushfires takes an inordinate amount of time. With no one in place to mind the departmental stores, we are not surprised. Someone must be in charge, and right now it is all on the third floor.
We hesitate to say the administration should hire people with dispatch as that would indicate a certain amount of haste. We want good people in city positions, at fair salaries, with the expertise needed to get the individual jobs done. That may take time, but we hope not too much time.
For example, to implement the long-awaited financial resurgence of West Haven, a City Planner and fully staffed Building Department are necessary. To get the financing available on both a state and federal level, a Grants Coordinator and writer are needed. Both are currently lacking.
Finally, the Water Pollution Control facility has been a burr in the saddle of many administrations, going back the 50-plus years of its existence on Beach Street. After millions of dollars in repairs spanning decades, the facility needs someone to lead the operation.
We look with anticipation over the next several months to see these many jobs filled by the mayor and her staff. The residents of the city need leadership to get out of the decades-old morass in which we have been mired. That only comes through the efforts of qualified people.
Let us hope these positions are filled sooner rather than later.
A new Heffernan serves
We offer our best wishes to State Rep. William Heffernan on his election to the seat of the 115th Assembly District, Jan. 23. Heffernan was sworn in and has taken up his duties.
Heffernan comes from an old West Haven family steeped in politics and service. His grandfather was mayor from 1971-1973, succeeding Alexander Zarnowski. His uncle was a longtime Probate Judge. The Heffernans have never shied away from service.
He is the prototypical gentleman-politician, serving his community as a longtime firefighter, and then representing his fellow citizens in the halls of the State Capitol. We hope he brings a fresh outlook and common sense to a body that sometimes forgets who it represents.
We wish him well as he takes his place in Hartford.