On March 27, 2017, Sam Stefanelli in a presentation to the men and women in the Maintenance Department opened with what was the perception of the BOE and the CEO. It is Dysfunctional! The Board of Education and the CEO said no to increasing the budget because the Maintenance Department was not worth the investment.
However, in the year that Sam Stefanelli has been the Maintenance Director not only has the perception changed but the BOE voted to increase the amount the CEO had proposed for the department bring the total to a projected 10,000,000 dollars. Sam talked about the goal of changing the perception and what has been done over the last year to do just that. With his leadership, the number of work orders has been reduced by 50%. Using the experience and knowledge of the folks that do the work, committees which include the supervisors, planners, mechanics and rank and file staff are working on improving how maintenance handles snow removal, inventory-shop stores and the maintenance of vehicles and equipment. Instead of decisions being all many top-down decisions are made by leads and foreman who have direct insight into the work. Stefanelli said it was not all smooth. People can be resistant to change, however, as time went on and improvements became the norm the process got better and better.
Stefanelli was quick to point out that it was the hard and consistent work of all the employees doing the work in the various shops that helped change the perception of the department. He said it is the dedication of our men and women to getting the work done that speak volumes about the commitment to excellence. An honorable mention was to Jeanne Mowrey for her dedication to the department. She could be counted on for her attendance, her detailed oriented work and her dedication to the team. Ms. Mowrey broke her foot and came into work first to ensure that all the employees received their pay in a timely fashion before going to the doctor to see about her personal needs. It is that commitment that speaks volumes of her and the hundreds of men and women who make up the Maintenance Department.