JIS to close three regional offices to improve efficiency and contain costs InformationJune 22, 2011 RelatedJIS to close three regional offices to improve efficiency and contain costs RelatedArchives Critical to Jamaica’s History By ATHALIAH REYNOLDS, JIS Reporter RelatedJIS to close three regional offices to improve efficiency and contain costs FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail KINGSTON — In an effort to improve efficiency and contain costs, the Jamaica Information Service (JIS) will be closing three of its four regional offices as well as its overseas offices, on a phased basis. The closure of the offices in Portland, Ocho Rios and Mandeville, as well as the overseas offices in Miami, Washington, New York, Toronto and London will save the government some $51 million annually. Chief Executive Officer (CEO), JIS, Donna-Marie Rowe noted that the rationalisation exercise is in line with the government’s move to reduce the public sector wage bill, while operating more efficiently. “At this time in the country when we have to be concerned about how tax payers hard earned money is spent, we at the JIS have to ensure that we operate at the highest levels of efficiency, including cost efficiency, hence our rationalisation to see those areas where we can effect savings without jeopardising our mandate to inform Jamaicans at home and abroad,” she stated. Mrs. Rowe said the agency was therefore taking every step to ensure that it carries out its mandate in a cost effective and efficient way. The CEO further noted that the JIS’ rationalisation exercise coincides with the objectives of the Public Sector Transformation Unit (PSTU), which speaks to the need to streamline operations, remove waste and duplication and reduce the public sector wage bill. The JIS however, will continue steadfast in its efforts to provide accurate and high quality information to Jamaicans at home and abroad and will ensure that all regions of the island, as well as the Diaspora are covered. “Evidence has shown that the services provided by the regional offices could be and, are in many cases, already being provided by the head office. Where the head office is unable, freelancers will be engaged,” Mrs. Rowe said. Additionally, the JIS’ presence overseas will be maintained through the engagement of freelancers, which is another cost effective approach, as it will dramatically reduce the high expenses paid in foreign currency, often associated with maintaining offices overseas. New media and technology have served to enhance the JIS’ ability to provide services to clients here and abroad. Due to the rationalisation exercise, a total of seven persons overseas and 10 persons locally will be affected and will be retired due to re-organisation. Five persons will be re-deployed to both the Kingston office, as well as the Montego Bay regional office, which will remain open. A staff representative of the Jamaica Civil Service Association has been involved in the meetings with staff in the regional offices and all the guidelines stipulated by the PSTU have been followed. The agency has also made available counselling services for those individuals who will not be re-assigned. Advertisements
You know those low-profile (well, not really, but nice try) shows that Arcade Fire (aka The Reflektors) is putting on this weekend? Well, tickets went on sale at noon yesterday, and as anybody could imagine, sold out in about 2 seconds (literally). That’s cool. We get it. Arcade Fire is huge; of course two intimate shows will sell out quickly. Unfortunately, a good portion of those tickets were scooped up by scalpers – those vile, money-grubbing, puke buckets, that sell tickets for anywhere from 50x to 500x the actual value of the ticket.Tickets for the shows, which are to be played tonight and tomorrow, at 299 Meserole Street in Brooklyn, immediately went up on the likes of Stubhub for the reasonable scalper prices of $175-$2000. Yeah, that’s what our eyes did when we read those numbers too. Tickets were approximately $50 to start out. While any real fan has a pit in their stomach when seeing the ridiculous pricing of these tickets, we really have to ask ourselves the real important question: How do we stop this?Of course, we have the option of not purchasing these PED’d up prices, but that means that EVERYBODY has to take a stand against this practice, and not purchase tickets from scalpers at all. And, to be honest, it’s just difficult to do that. It would be great if companies like Stubhub took a stand and put ceilings on the percentage increase you are allowed to charge for tickets. Either way, it sucks to pay anymore than what a ticket is worth, but we have to start somewhere.Companies like CashOrTrade.org‘s mission is to help fans obtain tickets at face value, participate in trades with other fans for tickets to other shows, and to provide an alternative to scalping. The system is based on legitimate fans doing the right thing, and it is most certainly a start in the right direction. Spreading the word and letting people know there is an alternative is definitely one way to fight the scalping demons. However, even that won’t solve the problems; it’s a start, but we need more than that. We need laws put in place, we need authorities to come down hard on the practice of scalping, and there needs to be a lot of pressure put on these secondary ticketing companies to police their sites more efficiently.Even then, there will always be some form of scalping. It’s not simply going to go away. If someone wants to make some extra cash off a ticket to a high-profile event, they will find a way. But, it shouldn’t be this easy. With any show, not just the Arcade Fire show, or the intimate Billy Joel show the other night on Long Island, the people that suffer the most are the real fans. Some of us can barely afford the actual cost of the ticket as it is. Events like this should be enjoyed without having to put yourself in bankruptcy. People need to be held accountable. This conversation has gone on way too long, with no results.
Construction underway at Jemez Mountains Electric Cooperative, Inc. Photo by James R. Mountain/valleydailypost.comInterim General Manager Andrew J. Chavez shows a rendering of the Jemez Mountains Electric Cooperative, Inc. construction project. Photo by James R. Mountain/valleydailypost.com By JAMES R. MOUNTAINValley Daily PostJemez Mountains Electric Cooperative, Inc. broke ground in May on new buildingConstruction of a new home for the Jemez Mountains Electric Cooperative, Inc. (JMEC) is well underway.JMEC was finally able to break ground in the spring after concluding a Request for Proposal process that was vetted back to May of 2017 and awarded to general contractor Bradbury Stamm Construction for the design-build of the new facility. Several changes occurred in May at JMEC with the beginning of construction and the appointment of Interim General Manager Andrew J. Chavez.Chavez took over after GM Donna Montoya-Trujillo submitted her resignation in early May. Chavez brings several years of experience as an employee at JMEC including serving for 11 years as director of Information Technology. Taking on the interim role of GM, Chavez expressed his excitement with the projects and forward path of JMEC.“I certainly look forward to the future of Jemez Mountain Electric Cooperative, the undertakings of the Board, the quality of services, and the affordable services JMEC provides in power,” he said. The Valley Daily Post recently visited with Chavez and toured construction progress on the new building to replace the outdated facility.“The original building has served its purpose. A new building is well deserved for the community,” Chavez said.The new 2-story building will encompass approximately 31,000 square feet and house updated facilities and the appropriate technological infrastructure necessary to best service JMEC customers into the future. The completion date is scheduled for the end of summer 2020.Jemez Mountains Electric Cooperative (JMEC) was founded in 1947. The co-op began as a small hydropower generating station in Jemez Springs serving three families. Today, JMEC is the largest electric co-op in the state serving consumers in the five counties of Rio Arriba, Santa Fe, San Juan, McKinley and Sandoval. The current building was engineered and built in 1960.