This came over the transom to yours truly. It’s a May 19 directive to all Westchester County commissioners and department heads marked, “Per the request of the Deputy County Executive.”
That’s none other than Larry “The Brain” Schwartz.
It starts out this way: “In an effort to reduce the spending and reinforce proper use of cellular devices, we are asking each department to thoroughly analyze their cellular and Blackberry (sic) from both Verizon Wireless and Nextel on an ongoing basis.”
Interesting, no? NoÂ doubt the Schwartz edict was inspiredÂ by the recent Journal NewsÂ FOIL investigation into the use and abuse of cellular devices by the Board of Legislators. “The Brain” obviously wants to avoid similar revelations that might embarrass the executive branch. So the whip has been cracked.
Guidelines were immediately put into place. They include:
*Bills must be analyzed for proper usage. Callers are limited to 450 minutes of use per month, unless they get approval for more from the chief information officers. All plans without authorizations to go above 450 minutes will be reduced to the 450 minute maximum by June 1. (That was last week). Anyone going beyond the minutes may be held responsible.
* No text messaging.
* Personal use should be only occasional and of short duration.
* No 411 directory assistance calls. Too expensive.
* Replacing a device must now be approved by the chief information officer.