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Friday, December 09, 2011

Leaf Pick-Up, a Foregone Conclusion?

     It is December 9th, have you had your leaves picked up yet?  Take a ride down Bryant Ave. on the border of Westfield and Scotch Plains.  The forgotten section of town. 

Vicki Kimmins

     In past years the Town has advertised that the DPW would make two full passes through town during the leaf pick up process.  In some cases, some neighborhoods received three pick-ups, courtesy of the town, if leaf piles were still being piled high after a designated December deadline.
     This year the deadline was set for December 2nd. 
     Due to the amount of debris piled high in streets around town after the "Halloween Snow Storm" felled tree limbs and branches, the DPW's ability to attack leaf pick-up in full force was hampered.  Some areas of town have had just one pick-up.
     TFoTM asks Town officials if there are other reasons.  In light of a statement made by Councilwoman Vicki Kimmins and reported on by Westfield Leader reporter Lauren Barr, one has to wonder what's going on with the Town's management of the DPW.  The following yellow text is what appeared on the front page of this week's Westfield Leader.

Mayor Skibitsky
Councilwoman Vicki Kimmins questioned whether or not it would be faster for the town to be chipping the trees on site, rather than hauling the debris to the town’s conservation center. She said that she is not able to discuss these types of issues with the public works committee because “our committee never meets.”

     Why isn't the Town Council's Public Works Committee meeting during times such as these?  With complaints from residents about service appearing in the local newspaper "The Westfield Leader," on "Westfield Patch," and here at "The Fact of The Matter," criticizing this years leaf pick-up and storm debris clean-up, shouldn't the Mayor be involved and asking why his committee is M.I.A. and suspected of "neglect of duty?"

While the mismanagement continues, ask yourself if are we getting "more with less" as Mayor Skibitsky suggests.


  1. Where can I get Ms. Kimmi's job.....get an assignment and just not so it....wait doesnt Wolfson have a job like that.....

  2. Our street received one pass so far. That was just before Thanksgiving. When the street sweeper followed the removal of leaves, all it did was wet the street; it didn't pick up the leaves that had been scattered around by the tracters loading the leaves into big trucks to haul away.

  3. The mentality of the Westfield council throughout all the departments has been "do more with less" the past couple of years... The result of this has been we seem to get "less with less"... services are down because manpower is down....sad....

  4. The people who run this town should be ashamed of themselves.... It is disgusting the way the DPW operates..... At any given time you can find 2 men in a truck just driving around doing nothing for hours as they drive past piles of branches..... Scotchplains who had just as much damage and downed trees as Westfield had all the branches picked up ASAP and then moved forward with leaf clean up and there town is as clean as every other year..... NOT WESTFIELD.... NAH Our DPW workers take advantage of situations like these to waste time... I witnessed on several days the DPW workers would stop doing clean up at approx. 2:00 so they could slowly drive the millions of dollars of incorrectly used leaf clean-up equipment back to the yard so they were not late to punch out at 3:00..... I guess the State aid money we are getting didnt warrant us to work a full day or overtime.... so what are we gonna do with that state aid money???? Buy another fancy Police vehicle?? Or oh lets buy the firemen another toy???

  5. For years now the town we all live just tosses money out the window and know one says a word.... When is it gonna end??? Why are we doing leaf clean-up with Giant front end loaders that damage the asphalt, are ineffecient and make more of a mess that we just waste time cleaning up then actually doing leaf pick-up.... When are we going to start using the CORRECT equipment for the job and start making our town's management and employee's accountable for there actions?? The DPW workers make a mess while doing leaf clean-up, they load trucks which do not get covered (oh please lets not start spending additional time covering the laods now before we drive, this will add another wasted 30 minutes to the work these lazy unorganized, unsuppervised, employees are doing already) They drive to the conservation center dumping a 1/4 of the leaves all over streets as they are driving it is like a ridiculous circus out there.... Towns that have more leaves then we do given the type and amount of trees they have IE (Mountainside, Scotchplains, Summit, Berkeley Heights, New Providence) all have the appropriate equipment to do the job.... Vacuum Trucks. Yes some of these towns dont do town clean up anymore but when they all did town cleanups they had the correct equipment... Clean simple operation that Claude cant screw up... Guess what the men could work the entire day that they are being paid for also instead of stoping an hour before hand to clean up the GIANT mess they made in the street they just worked on....We could have 3 man crews instead of 5-7 man crews and get double the work done.... Gezzz sounds like i know what i'm talking about.... you know why .... I own a business and need to make sure my employee's work effeciently.... But here we are talking about town workers with town management and they could care less about the bottomline.... They will just have the council raise the taxes because they need more money to perform there work.... Lets sell a front end loader or better yet take some money we were gonna spend on a new police or fire toy and go out and buy 2 or 4 of the large tow behind leaf vacuums like Scotchplains has and use the all the dumptrucks that sit in the yard or are just being driven around all day with employees doing nothing in them to start doing some work..... Effecient work....

  6. Vacuums are not more efficient, in fact they take more manpower. When I was just out of Hs I worked for the DPW in Cranford that had the Vacs back then. It took a minimum of 4-5 men. 1 to drive the truck, 1 to work the hose and 2-3 to rake the leaves to the hose and from around cars. The you lose time because the truck still has to disconnect or drive with the Vac to the dump so every one sits and waits. even if you has a truck waiting that still means some one sitting and time to disconnect and rehook up. plus the vacs are very prone to breakdown if they suck up a rock, bottle or something else such as a hub cap

  7. Didn't the DPW have a vacuum truck years ago but got rid of it?????

  8. Why do we pile the leaves in the street in the first place? My leaf pile(s) were not picked up until the week before Christmas which means that they went uncollected for over two months. Yes, the snowstorm really thru a monkey wrench into the works and I understand with the present system of leaf collection why it would take so long. When something does not make sense both logically and monetarily, other forces are at play which we can't see or perhaps don't understand. There are other far more efficient and cost effective ways for the town to collect leaves, but that does not seem to matter.