Town hires parking consultant
GREENWICH — The town has announced an independent consultant is coming in to take a look at the Parking Services Department.
The hire has been expected since former Parking Services Director Rita Azrelyant’s position was eliminated last November. First Selectman Peter Tesei said then a consultant would be brought in.
SP Plus Corporation, which is based out of Chicago, submitted the winning bid and is under contract with the town for $92,500 in the first year. The contract includes language allowing it to be renewed annually for a total of five years.
SJ Plus’ team, led by its Vice President for Municipal Services Robert Kamper, will be “reviewing current operations, processes, policies and staff assignments to inform the development of an updated, efficient plan of operations, and to assist with the implementation of upgraded technology and equipment to enhance services,” according to a statement from town officials.
“It was determined that SP Plus presented a creative, cost-effective solution that is in the best interest of the town,” Tesei said in a Friday press release announcing the hire.
The firm already has begun working with the town administrator, community members and staff in the Parking Services Department, according to town officials.
The department has been under great scrutiny since the April 2017 arrest of Parking Services account clerk Michael Gordon. Gordon was charged with multiple crimes after what police called “an elaborate series of fraudulent transactions.”
Since then several changes have been made, including to cash handling practices in the department, providing more oversight. Several consultant’s reports have pointed out problems in the department and called for solutions.
“We’re moving to a much more secure operational department that will employ best financial and operational practices for the town,” Tesei said earlier this month. “Processes are now in place to avert the theft of town resources.”
In March, Azrelyant filed suit in state Superior Court saying the town “acted with reckless disregard” in firing her. Azrelyant claims in her suit she was retaliated against by Tesei and Town Administrator Ben Branyan for speaking out against problems she saw in the department, charges the officials have called unsubstantiated and “patently false.”