Another Sad Story Chapter — From Boston, Who Once Had This problem Solved

Back in 2007/2008 the city of Boston found they had a tremendous problem with “rouge snowplows”.  Both city-owned vehicles and vehicles hired for plowing from independent contractors were:

  1. Not where they were scheduled to be
  2. Not where drivers said they were when queried on the radio.
  3. Not plowing city roads and property when they were charging the city for the time.
  4. Or, (a biggie), “working” on the lcock for the city while they were off plowing private drives and parking lots for “under the table” cash.

Wirh a great deal of reluctance  the leadership of the city decided to actually hold their employees accountable by requiring all snow plowing vehicles to be equipped with and tracked by GPS fleet tracking software.

A valiant step in the right direction … one which not only saved the city money, but resulted in much better snow plowing service to the citizens (who, of course, are ACTUALLY the bosses of the city).

Sadly it seems though that some, either ignorant, corrupt or else just plain uncaring leadership who arbitrarily decided that some city plows didn’t need to be tracked.

No GPS in stolen plow

GPS Tracking saves money for ALL fleetsGPS tracking devices — Boston’s first line of defense 
against double-dipping snow-plow drivers — were never installed in trucks owned by the city parks department despite a 2008 tech upgrade that put the abuse-busting trackers in hundreds of public works vehicles, officials admitted yesterday.

The lack of trackers in parks department trucks came to light after the Herald asked why there was no GPS device in a plow stolen Thursday night from Franklin Park in Dorchester and found early yesterday in Mattapan.

“The parks department has felt there was no pressing need for that,” office spokeswoman Jacqueline Goddard said. “However, we’re looking at it now.” (My emphasis)

Watchdogs say it doesn’t make sense to put trackers in some city-owned trucks and leave others to roam free.

“Any time you have an opportunity to remove any tempt­ation, it’s a great thing for the taxpayers to have that utilized,” said Matt Cahill, 
executive director of the Boston Finance Commission. “We’ve got the software, we’ve made the capital investment into the hardware.”

Cahill said without GPS, the only thing keeping parks-department plow drivers from slipping away to a side gig is “a very involved manager.” …

And that line alone may be the saddest example of management “Missing the Point” of using GPS tracking.

Managers should indeed be involved.  But they should be involved with actual management, not running around chasing after unruly drivers like a hapless substitute teacher who has lost control of an unruly reform school class.

One guy apparently is devoted to “counting trucks” … only when one seems to be missing, of course.  I guess in the summer he counts lawn mowers and string trimmers.

That isn’t “management” folks.  It is, instead, a senseless waste of both the manager’s talent and the taxpayer’s dollar.

Can we do a bit better in 2013, Folks?  Maybe?  Please?