Thursday, November 19, 2009

Ding Dong, Cauthen's Gone!

Facebook is lame. I'm friends with family, distant family, vague acquaintances from grade school through college and so on. The crowd is too diverse and if I post anything the least bit divisive, it turns into a 30+ comment argument. No thanks! I prefer the comfort and quietness of my own little blog. So it is here that I can wax visceral and really let my hair down. Er... if I had any, that is.

Today at 3PM a KC City Council document, signed by six council members and the mayor, was put into effect, to immediately terminate the employment contract with the City Manager. Wayne... Wayne Cauthen... Oh how I hate his name! May his name be listed in KC infamy and obscurity. May it be remembered along with Pendergast and Lynn Elliot, if it be remembered at all.

Now I realize it may not seem fair to judge him so. After all, he had a difficult job. I won't pretend that all my reasons for disliking are firmly grounded in objectivity and reason. Some of them are, some are not. Some are subjective and some are just my "impression". However unfair, I shouldn't let that stop me from articulating my distaste for the man!

First off, he's an outsider. He came from Denver, with a poor track record there, to show Kansas City how to be a "world class" city. I never cared for his pretention or for Mayor Barnes, who seemed to be obsessed with the phrase "world class". The whole notion that we aren't classy enough is based on a loathing of Kansas City's quiet simplicity and familial environment. I loathe their loathing.

Wayne acted like a teenage kid with his dad's credit card. He bartered the City's future with every TIFF and bond issue. He was all about spending money that doesn't exist, to build a brighter future. This mindset put some big ticket items on the map, but to what avail? He brought in contractors and management companies from outside of KC to tend to the P&L district. He forced through the Sprint center, which still doesn't have an anchor. He set up one area after another that, through TIFF's, encouraged existing businesses to move into the tax friendly zones or were driven out of business altogether. The immediate result has been a net loss of jobs (from what I can recall from articles I've read but can't cite). I believe the long term impact is that the City will be saddled with expensive maintenance of assets which aren't able to cover their own costs. In short, he has screwed Kansas City.

Wayne did a lot of damage to the internal operations of the City as well. How much money has been wasted by CIMO consultants? Yeah, they got some stuff done- but at triple the price! How much Water Dept revenues have been raped to pay for bloated IT initiatives (PeopleSoft) or providing basic services that should be funded by taxes (street sweeping, household hazardous waste)? He has hired numerous cronies from Denver who have had their own best interest at heart as well.

He has been rampant about consolidation. From CIMO to the action center, he has, without any proper thought or setting of benchmarks, reorganized City business. He has forced all citizen calls through the 311 Action Center, but didn't provide any increased staff. Never mind that they took on the work of over 30 customer service reps from the Water Dept alone. He thought their already overwhelmed staff of 17 was up for the task.

Now to get a bit personal, one such crony is the IT Director. His motto is "centralization is better". He's been marking his territory (and buffering his budget) by centralizing any and everything that looks like IT. This is done without analysis or benchmarks. There are no goals, no business metrics or any type of process analysis done. There is no way they can show that things indeed are more efficient and they're not interested in that. He just wants the money and is generally confident that centralizing things always makes life better. His effect on my dept has been very negative. It now takes us much longer, and with much more bureaucracy, to get the same things done. Hopefully he'll be out the door right behind his boy, lil' Wayne!

Now to get really personal. Hubris. I could withstand a lot of the other crap, but when he was rude to our secretary- all condescending and blowing her off at a City event- that was intolerable. It doesn't matter how low the City employee was on the ladder, or how high he was, that type of arrogance is totally unbearable.

And last of all, he had really soft hands and a weak shake. Yeah, that's right: soft hands. I'm a friggin programmer but I have calluses like a gorilla. This is from working on the house and other stuff, and from lifting weights. I'm no construction worker, but this guy's flaccid handshake was like holding a bunch of flower petals. That tells me he doesn't do anything. I already didn't respect him as a manager but that experience caused me to lose basic respect for him as a man. Maybe he's hoping to be Lady Wayne?

So long, lil' Wayne. Go back to Denver. Go cash in all those kickbacks I am reasonably sure you've been storing up whilst raping and pillaging the good people of Kansas City. This City deserves better.


The Unabashed Blogger said...

"I loathe their loathing." - The Angry Coder 2009

The Unabashed Blogger said...

I loved the bit about the soft hands; that was great. I was actually laughing out loud at the irony of that coming from an IT guy. Yeah, yeah I know you work out and spend 10 minutes a day rubbing your hands on concrete to toughen them up, but it was still funny.

I'm happy for your happiness at the expense of someone else. (also very typical)

The Irascible Neufonzola said...

There once was an official named Wayne
A prime target of Coder's disdain
He had squishy hands
And very poor plans
And his services we'll no longer retain

The Angry Coder said...

ROFL!!! Neuf, you're getting better with each and every one.

Unabashed, thanks for the tip about concrete- I hadn't considered doing that! :-P And no, I don't just like to watch others suffer. This is justice: I like to watch justice happen.

Percussivity said...

Did anyone read 'Of Mice and Men'? Remember that creepy guy who wore a glove filled with Vaseline so he'd have one soft hand for his woman.

Nic... excellent!!