Let’s say that you’ve decided to try and bring The Portland Loo to your town. What are the best ways to make that happen?
One thing that’s worth considering is getting the support of the city’s public works director.
What They Do
Public works directors or supervisors are among the highest-ranking appointed official in any city government organization. Their duties include a huge amount of responsibility, which gives them a lot of influence among the elected mayor and city councilors.
Most people don’t know this, but public works employees and their directors are considered the unsung heroes of many municipalities. The work they do is largely behind the scenes, but extremely important for the daily operations.
Wearing Many Hats
The public works department and its personnel maintain the streets, as well as the water, sewer and stormwater systems. Because of that, the director and the department employees often have to take turns being on duty around the clock, in case anything happens that may affect the drinking water or other services they take care of.
Additionally, the public works department maintains the parks in cities that are too small to have a specific parks department.
The public works director often serves as the facilities manager in a smaller jurisdiction. In those instances, they are charged with the upkeep of the parks, city hall and other government owned buildings.
Stating Your Case
Contact information for your city’s public works director should be easily and readily accessible and available through its website. You can usually find their direct line, email or both with a simple, quick search.
Public works directors are employed directly by the mayor and council. As such, they’re subject to periodic performance evaluations by those bodies under the terms of their contracts. They have every reason to be responsive to citizen concerns and requests.
You should be able to set up an appointment during regular business hours to talk to your city’s public works director about the benefits of bringing The Portland Loo to town.
Navigating the Processes
More than just about anyone within a city’s bureaucracy, a public works director should know the intrinsic public value of a product like The Portland Loo. They’ll have a good sense of where such an amenity would be most useful for the citizens. Maybe they’ll even be interested in purchasing multiple The Portland Loo units. It’s entirely possible that you’ll be doing them a favor by bringing this to their attention.
A prudent public works director is also acutely aware of the city’s budgetary resources and the timelines for that. Depending on when you meet with them, they will know when to include a request to fund The Portland Loo in their city’s next fiscal year budget.
Department heads like public works directors tend to put together their funding requests months before the public meetings of the budget committee take place. Most budget committee members don’t understand enough about the inner workings of public works to second guess their budget requests and will, more often than not, honor them without question.