Letter to the editor 1, July 12, 2018

Thermodynamics

Dear Editor,

James Armstrong’s article on the Hudson Town Council meeting in the July 5 edition of The Journal failed to report a question raised during the last question period that I believe is of some importance.

There was a motion raised to approve an external audit of the progress made on Duncan Campbell’s recommendations. One will recall that Duncan Campbell was the interim Director General (DG) prior to the hiring of our current DG Jean-Pierre Roy. The report, dated September 2015, highlights several organizational shortcomings and recommendations to alleviate them. I think it appropriate with such reports to look back at these and see what has been accomplished and what remains to be done. This is nothing more than part of a continuous improvement process.

Our DG has, on several occasions in response to my questions, claimed that he was conducting quality circles and Kaizens implying by definition that these were part of his management culture. Kaizen means change for better and continuous improvement (in Japanese) so I would expect that the opportunity of an external audit be embraced enthusiastically by management. Such external audits were commonplace in every organization I have ever been involved with and I see no reason why Hudson should be any different.

You can then understand my astonishment when the resolution was voted down. When I asked why, I was informed that the council members were familiar with the contents of the Campbell report and needed more data, suggesting that the council needs more data to adopt a resolution to get more data… (?)

We know from the second law of thermodynamics that closed systems tend towards a state of greater disorder unless acted upon from the outside. Entropy is the tendency of ordered systems to move towards disorder if left unattended.

Is our municipal apparatus entropic?

Bill Nash

Hudson

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