Fenwick selling stuff online

Fenwick Island’s Web site is beginning to look a little like eBay. In an effort to make the town’s operations more efficient, new Town Manager Tony Carson has set up an online bidding system to rid the town of older, unneeded items. Instead of merely tossing older items, such as cabinets and computer chairs, Fenwick will now auction them off online to the highest bidder.

“In the past there was no procedure in how to get rid of an item,” Carson said this week. “(The new bidding system) is similar to what I’ve done in previous jobs. We’re not doing it for the money. Obviously, I’d rather get some funds. But it’s the policy of what do you do with items when they’re not longer needed. That was the main intent.”

Several items are now up for bid beyond the “Online Bid Items” link at www.fenwickisland.org. They include a wooden card rack, a desk, an electric typewriter and a desk chair. Also, information on how to bid on an item can be found on the page.

Prospective bidders are asked to download a bid form and mail it into town hall. Winning bidders will be notified after the bidding cycle is completed. Items will remain online for bidding for a two-week cycle. If no one bids in those two weeks, it will be put back on for another two before it is thrown away or given away, according to the new town policy.

Some see the move as just another example of how Carson, who was hired earlier this year after an extensive search for the town’s first town manager, is positively shaping and organizing an administrative department that was effectively leaderless for years. Council members formerly ran the town’s departments, with staff in charge of lower-level matters.

“He’s trying to obviously find ways of … making more things more efficient,” said Audrey Serio, Fenwick Island mayor. “Instead of the old stuff just sitting there, or putting it in storage or giving it away, he’s going to try to move it out. It’s just one of the programs he’s instituting.”

Before moving to Fenwick, Carson worked for 11 years at the city and county levels in Ohio. A two-year councilman in a city of 50,000 residents, Carson served as the business manager of a correctional facility, worked in a county auditor’s office and worked as the head administrator in Trumbull County, which boasts a population of 225,000 residents.

Carson began work in Fenwick in mid-March and said he is still meeting daily with departmental heads to resolve personnel issues and familiarizing himself with the town in the midst of a hectic summer season, which takes up most of his time.

The town manager did, though, recently finish placing asset tags on all of the town’s property, assigning the individual pieces a number and filing that information in a computerized database for better record-keeping.

“It’s a common practice so companies and entities know where their stuff is,” Carson explained.