February 15, 2011--- Bart Didden has uncovered even more bad business practices and possible corruption in Village operations, which has been confirmed by Port Chester Village Manager Christopher Russo.
Over the past several months, it has been repeatedly revealed that there is a persistent and unacceptable degree of both negligence and outright mismanagement of basic but important Village matters, stemming from the inattention of Dennis Pilla. Such malfeasance is completely unacceptable from elected officials, and it must be stopped.
The taxpayer's expectation of the Mayor's position is to provide executive CEO leadership for the Village Manager and Board of Trustees to ensure they deliver results for the taxpayer.Dennis Pilla never had such a position before, he was a professional consultant - and it shows.
Recently, in his role as a Village Trustee, Didden uncovered even more bad business practices and possible corruption in Village operations involving the recently fired Daniel DeLisa, a Village employee who defrauded the Village by "outsourcing" his maintenance job someone else since 2001. Pointing out that this simply cannot continue, Didden stated that this was, "Just one in a series of examples of mismanagement by Mayor Dennis Pilla. I look forward to working closer with Russo to bring the needed reforms so this type of circumstance can never happen here again." Didden said, adding, "The days of handshake deals and verbal directives with no documentation are over."
As more of these breaches of taxpayer trust have come to light, one thing is clear; Dennis Pilla is simply not watching the store. The abundance of disciplinary cases that have plagued Pilla's administration indicates his lack of leadership. In fact, Pilla's lack of direct, hands-on management and oversight has resulted in the loss of taxpayer dollars.
Several examples of Pilla's lack of oversight include:
·$1.5-$2.0 million for EPA-mandated sewer repairs, known since 2009, but ignored by Pilla
·$50,000-$100,000 (est.) annual loss in Village revenue because Pilla failed to properly oversee the management for receipt of parking funds
·$450,000 for the Master Plan project being two years late. Pilla persuaded the Board to pass a resolution appointing him liaison between the Board, the consultant company, and CPAC. However, the project's gone nowhere since Dec. '08 because Pilla let it languish
·$87,000 in code enforcement fines have gone uncollected because there's little if any oversight of non-tax revenues, including parking meters and court fees
·Water rate increases ranging between 4.5% and 6% for each of the next four years because Pilla's lack of representation during water rate negotiations
·Liens haven't been placed on properties that received but haven't paid for sidewalk repairs
·There is no oversight of projects to ensure appropriate conclusion, including street paving projects that came in under budget but required extra expense of a part time Treasurer's office worker to close out the project and reclaim unspent funds
From all this history, it is clear that that Pilla simply is not doing his job -the job to which he was duly elected. "We need a new Mayor," Didden stated, "a strong leader, who is ready to enact sweeping reforms that will restore financial stability to Port Chester and allow our local community to grow and prosper once again."
Bart Didden knows what it is like to run a successful business. As CEO of an alarm monitoring and security company operating not only in Port Chester, but in Milford, CT and St. Paul, Minnesota as well, Bart understands how to run a tight ship and get the work done in a professional fashion. Bart is proud of his own management record, stating "Off-site operations that run 24/7 are not new to me. I believe that the private sector has many programs for time, attendance, and employee verification that will only improve the operations of the Village."
Once elected, Bart Didden promises to restore efficiency to the office of Mayor. "I know how to successfully run a business and, as Mayor, I plan on implementing the same kind of oversights and hands-on management that I've used for years in my own business in order to properly and effectively run the Village."