The Fort Smith board of directors is forcing departmental budget cuts, and then slapping one of the most successful department heads as he tries to achieve optimal operation.
Department of Sanitation director Baridi Nkokheli has made a valiant effort to improve his department’s operations by upgrading to automated trash collection. However, some neighborhoods don’t want machines driving down their streets; they want a swarm of young men out there heaving and lifting heavy garbage cans. One neighborhood petitioned and successfully quashed improvement. Now other neighborhoods are doing the same, and some of the city directors want to use a choose-your-own approach to trash collection.
If stifling the sanitation improvements succeeds, then Police Chief Kevin Lindsey is on notice; the next petition will be to do away with those pesky automated traffic lights and return our brave police personnel to the streets to direct traffic. There’s no need to stop there. After that comes the US Post Office. In my day, the postal workers didn’t have those gas-guzzling trucks; they walked and carried a leather bag on their shoulder. And we liked it that way! That's ridiculous, of course, but the current actions of some directors make as much sense.
I urge the Fort Smith board of directors to stop micromanaging its department heads – especially when they are following your directive and on the way to obvious improvements.