Office of the Comptroller
One Centre Street
New York, NY. 10007
Honorable Scott Stringer
RE: Pothole Problem
Recently your office released an announcement in which you stated that New York City paid out $138 million in settlements for pothole related claims. This is a serious issue that the American Engineering Alliance (AEA) has attempted to address for the last several years. In March of this year, AEA sent an open letter to all elected NYC officials (see attachment) highlighting the need to tackle the problem of NYC's deteriorated streets.
In September of 2014, AEA reissued a Press Release, again, addressing the condition of our deteriorated roads. In these statements, AEA clearly stated that the problem of our pothole littered roads can be solved permanently. The issue here is not one of finding a technical solution, but rather of marshalling the political will to actually wanting to solve the problem.
I urge you to seriously consider our proposal. AEA stands ready to sit down with you and your staff to discuss a plan for permanently solving the pothole problem and restoring our streets to a smooth and drivable condition.
Salvatore R. Galletta, P.E.
March 7, 2014
Recent snow storms have highlighted the need to address the deplorable condition of NYC’s roads. The proliferation of potholes has created havoc with the riding public and endangered public safety as well.
The American Engineering Alliance (AEA) attempted to bring this critical issue, i. e. the terrible state of our road system, to the public’s attention back in April of 2007. Unfortunately, nothing substantial has been done since then. We are now sending the enclosed Press Release to you and to all NYC elected officials in the hope that it will engender enough support that we can finally do something about it.
I urge you to capitalize on the widespread public awareness of this problem and join your colleagues in the City Council to work together with Mayor Di Blasio to address this urgent matter. We at AEA stand ready to assist the Council and the Mayor to understand the technical challenge posed by our deteriorated roads and help draft an effective and lasting solution to the problem.
Salvatore Galletta, PE
|Letter from the New York City Mayor - October 24, 2007||Letter to the New York City Mayor - January 3, 2007|
July 3, 2004
Hon. Iris Weinshall
New York City Department of Transportation
40 Worth Street
New York, New York 10013
Re: Personnel Practices Detrimental to the Quality of Engineering Services
Dear Commissioner Weinshall,
Several recent personnel hires in your Bureau of Roadway Bridges have come to our attention that leave us with a serious concern for the quality of management that can be provided by your Department’s Engineering staff.
1. Positions calling for incumbents to possess a valid New York State Professional Engineer’s License were filled by individuals without this qualification
2. The key management position of Director of Roadway Bridges, until recently occupied by Bharat Parekh, P.E., was filled by an individual from outside the Department.
Hiring the unlicensed persons is a clear diminishment of the quality of your Engineering staff. We have been informed that this action was taken because it was not possible to recruit licensed individuals. This particular "emergency" measure is counterproductive. Instead of seeking to improve the desirability of the positions to Licensed Engineers, the Department is accepting less qualified Engineers to oversee the work of contractors and outside consultants. Such a practice ignores the actual problem, in favor of a mistaken idea of what expediency is. This myopic practice, instead of being the exception, will become the norm in a short time, and exponentially decrease the quality of Engineering provided by NYCDOT. This in turn will at the very least end up costing the Department a great deal more money through waste, than could be saved by artificially keeping salaries low. At the worst, it could cause damage to public safety and infrastructure.
In filling key Engineering Middle Management positions from the outside, you are causing gaps in the institutional memory of the organization. It is an admission that the Department senior leadership has failed in its role of training its own people to perform the work of their units in consonance with the methodology that has been learned over the years. Such a practice will cause inconsistencies in the way projects are carried out. Moreover it will also demoralize your Engineers who will not foresee promotions in their future. This will exacerbate the diminishment of quality in your staff.
The American Engineering Alliance (AEA) has no desire to criticize without offering assistance. We offer our services to assist in developing a sound and consistent policy for recruiting and managing the Department's Engineering personnel. Please feel free to contact us on this or any other issue affecting the Engineering Staff of NYCDOT.
Salvatore R. Galletta, P.E.
April 3, 2002
Senator Charles Schumer
313 Hart Senate Building
Washington, DC 20510
Re: Request for Your Intervention in Resolving
Carson v. Department of Energy (DOE)
Dear Senator Schumer:
The American Engineering Alliance (AEA) supports Engineers throughout the Country when they are defending the Public Interest. We became interested in the above case several years ago because of the potential danger to the Public in the actions of the DOE.
Joseph P. Carson, P.E. is a Nuclear Safety Engineer in the Department of Energy. He has had to seek protection from DOE reprisals under the Whistle blower Protection Act of 1989, a law you supported, eight times in the last ten years. Details of his ordeal may be found on his web site http://www.carsonversusdoe.com.
It is reprehensible for senior people at DOE, who are supposed to represent the interests of the people of the United States, to systematically punish the very individuals whose performance of their duties is protecting the safety and welfare of the Public. This is being done in an attempt to protect the reputations of Bureaucrats who would rather maintain the Public at risk, than admit errors in judgment.
In the latest case, even though Mr. Carson has prevailed in the U.S. Merit Systems Protection Board, DOE Headquarters has vigorously resisted any settlement. This type of tactic is clearly contrary to the Department's avowed policy of "Zero Tolerance for Workplace Reprisals", and only serves to undermine the ability of Safety Engineers and others to adequately protect the Public.
The AEA respectfully urges you to use the power of your office, and your position as a member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, to demand that DOE live up to its declared Zero Tolerance for Reprisals Policy, and settle with Mr. Carson who has been proved to have been harmed by them.
Mr. Carson has been in recent contact with Sam Fowler of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, and has recently met with the office of Congressman Stephen Israel of Long Island. It is our hope that the addition of your interest in his case will resolve the impasse.
Thank you for your attention to this matter and for your distinguished service to the people of New York and the United States.
Louis R. Comunelli, P.E.