The common council approved the merging of two more city departments Monday, a move that the mayor says will improve the efficiency of government and reduce costs for taxpayers, according to the Hartford Courant.
The consolidation of Middletown's public works and parks and recreation and senior services departments came out of a study conducted by Mayor Dan Drew's Task Force on Efficiency in Government, created in December 2001 after the retirement of a good number of city employees.
Public works and parks will headed by William Russo and the mayor will soon hire a recreation director and a parks supervisor, according to the Courant.
In May, the Common Council approved the combining of the city's human relations and legal departments. The move drew considerable criticism from Middletown Republicans, who argued the Democratically-controlled council approved a whole new department that could create future conflicts of interest among staff.
Republicans have spoken out against the mergers, including retired supervisor of Middletown parks and recreation John Milardo, who says citizens care little about city office reorganization but perhaps they should be tracking every dollar.
Joseph Bibisi and Phil Pessina, both of whom voted in favor of the initial mergers in May, were not endorsed by the Middletown Republican Town Committee for re-election this fall.
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