After completing a thorough assessment of the city’s organizational structure, taking into consideration the fiscal condition as well as the 2012 budget proposals presented by the individual department heads, the City Manager’s Office is implementing the following reorganization plan. This plan will have an impact on several departments that will result in considerable recurring-cost savings to the city and significantly improve efficiency by refocusing resources on core services.
The economic development function in the city will be restructured by transitioning those activities from the Economic and Community Development Department to the City Manager’s Office. This change will allow for a more effective handling of the city’s economic development activities and at a lower cost.
The restructuring will result in the elimination of the Economic and Community Development Director position as well as three (3) other Full Time Equivalent (FTE) positions. The responsibilities of the director’s position will be moved to the City Manager’s Office, which will retain one (1) of the filled Economic Development Analyst positions to assist carrying out some of those duties. Additionally, the Community Development and Northgate District Divisions will remain intact, reporting to the Assistant Economic and Community Development Director (whose position is to be re-titled) and will be assigned to the Planning and Development Services Department for the time being. Some individuals in positions being eliminated will be considered for other appropriate positions within the organization as there may be an opportunity to move one (1) of the Analyst positions to the Budget Office where a vacancy currently exists.
FTE Reductions: 4.00 FTE (3.00 Filled / 1.00 Vacant)
Cost Savings: $309,945
Parks and Recreation
The Parks and Recreation Department will implement a reorganization plan that streamlines the hierarchy, consolidates operations and reduces cost centers. Many of the changes are the result of recent transfers of duties between PARD and other departments.
First, the Urban Landscaping/Forestry Division will be consolidated into the Operations Division, which can be accomplished due to the recent transfer of contract grounds maintenance responsibilities to the Public Works Department. This will result in the elimination of the Operations Superintendent and the Urban Landscapes Manager positions, both of which are currently filled. Additionally, the Forestry Supervisor position will be eliminated; two (2) Irrigation Specialists and six (6) Forestry/Horticulture workers will be reassigned to each of the three (3) Park Operations Districts and Cemeteries. This will reduce both salaries and benefits as well as operating expenses and can be accomplished by contracting out the current Urban Forestry work load.
As a bulk of the major park construction projects have been transferred to the Capital Projects Division in Public Works, it is no longer necessary to have three (3) Parks Planner positions. Therefore, one (1) Parks Planner position will be eliminated and one (1) will be converted into a Marketing Coordinator position, which is a new position but at a lower cost; the Senior Park Planner position would remain filled.
In addition to the reductions made to General Fund positions, there will also be a reduction in the Recreation Fund. The Assistant Center Supervisor position for the Lincoln Recreation Center, which has been vacant since the spring of 2011 will be eliminated.
FTE Reductions: 5.00 FTE (4.00 Filled / 1.00 Vacant)
FTE Additions: 1.00 FTE (1.00 New Position-Reclassification)
Net FTE Reductions: 4.00 FTE
Cost Savings: $384,364 ($340,085 – General Fund / $44,279 Recreation Fund)
Public Works Department
Several significant changes will also take place within the Public Works Department, which will undergo an internal reorganization of duties. Currently, Public Works maintains three (3) Assistant Directors, one of whom has given his notice of intent to retire on January 1, 2012 after which the position will be replaced with an Analyst position. The Streets, Drainage & Irrigation, Facilities Maintenance and Administration divisions will be transferred to the second Assistant Director position. That particular Assistant Director is currently funded by both Public Works and the Water/Wastewater Fund; this will be reallocated in total to the Public Works Department.
The Department will also eliminate one (1) of its Customer Service Representatives. While two (2) Customer Service Representative positions will remain available to answer phones and respond to information requests. Additionally, the Streets Division will eliminate two (2) vacant Equipment Operator positions.
The Traffic Engineering Division will eliminate two (2) vacant part-time Traffic Engineering Intern positions. The Division is also requesting the addition of one (1) Traffic Signal Technician that will provide the division with the number of positions previously budgeted and that are necessary to alleviate traffic problems caused by both the physical and vehicular use growth of the city.
FTE Reductions: 5.00 FTE ( 1.00 Filled / 1.00 Retirement / 3.00 Vacant)
FTE Additions: 2.50 FTE (2.00 New Position / 0.50 Transfer)
Net FTE Reductions: 2.50 FTE
Cost Savings: $138,010
Planning and Development Services
Planning is prepared to implement a reorganization plan that places a greater emphasis on core services. The reorganization focuses on the reduction of a mid-level supervisor and technical positions through the re-allocation resources and services.
The Department will be promoting the current Planning Administrator to the vacant Assistant Director for Community & Neighborhood Planning position. The Planning Administrator position would then be eliminated with many of the duties transferred to the newly filled Assistant Director position. The remaining duties of the Planning Administrator will be given to two (2) of the Senior Planners who will be reclassified as Senior Planners in Charge.
The Department is also eliminating one (1) vacant GIS Technician that has gone unfilled through Fiscal Year 2011. During that time it was determined that due to the reduced volume of development activities and through a series of efficiency improvements, the position was no longer needed. Another vacancy that will be eliminated is an open Code Enforcement Officer position.
Finally, the funding for one-half of a Building Inspector will now come from the Community Development Block Grant rather than the General Fund. This will permit staff to continue to review and conduct inspections at the same level as Fiscal Year 2011 but will allow one of the Building Inspector positions to assist the Community Development division with housing inspections.
FTE Reductions: 3.00 FTE (1.00 Promotion / 2.00 Vacant)
Cost Savings: $201,342
The IT Department will eliminate one (1) vacant Systems Analyst position that was to provide secondary support to one of the application systems used by the Departments. However, all analysts must be able to support multiple systems and Departments and the duties associated with the eliminated position can be redistributed to the remaining analysts. Additionally the Department will reduce the number of part-time GIS interns from two (2) to one (1).
The city will also be reducing its internal mail delivery service level from twice daily to only one time per day. This will allow for one-half of a Mail Clerk position to be eliminated.
FTE Reductions: 1.75 FTE (0.50 Filled / 1.25 Vacant)
Cost Savings: $115,367
Fiscal Services has reorganized its front office area and as such will be able to eliminate one (1) vacant Secretary position. It is anticipated that the functions of this position will be reallocated to the Staff Assistant positions.
FTE Reductions: 1.00 FTE (1.00 Vacant)
Cost Savings: $36,534
The Police Department currently maintains two (2) non-sworn Parking Officer positions, one of which has been vacant for an extended period of time. The current Parking Officer conducts routine parking enforcement operations throughout the City with the exception of the Northgate District, which is patrolled by Northgate Division staff. The elimination of the two (2) positions would mean that routine parking enforcement throughout the City, especially on home football game weekends, would be performed by sworn officers or reallocated to Northgate District personnel or Code Enforcement Officers.
FTE Reductions 2.00 FTE (1.00 Filled / 1.00 Vacant)
Cost Savings: $106,869
The Public Communications Department has historically employed multiple paid Seasonal Interns. However, it has been determined that current staffing is sufficient for most circumstances. Therefore, the part-time Temp/Seasonal Intern position will be eliminated. In the event that the Department chooses to seek an intern, they will do so without offering financial compensation but will ensure that the student receives class credit.
FTE Reductions: 0.50 FTE (0.50 Vacant)
Cost Savings: $8,705
The Human Resources Department will be eliminating the Safety Officer position that is funded through the Risk Management / Safety Fund. This position typically performs the day-to-day safety intervention duties such as accident investigation, reporting, maintaining necessary permits, random drug testing, safety inspections, etc. The Risk Manager and Claims Manager will assume the duties that were performed by the Safety Officer.
FTE Reductions: 1.00 FTE (1.00 Filled)
Cost Savings: $74,987
Two (2) vacant positions funded through the Water and Waste Water fund will be eliminated. The first of which is the Water Auditor position which has been vacant for some time. This position coordinated the water audit program that focused primarily on summertime water use as well as professional water audits of selected City facilities. The Water Services Department has identified a potentially more cost-effective way to continue the water audit program by contracting out the landscape water audits to a Licensed Irrigator or certified Irrigation Auditor. The second position slated for elimination is a Utilities Analyst position within the Department. This position was recently vacated and it has been determined that its functions are best served by the Budget Analysts housed within the Fiscal Services Department, other duties may be shifted to the Asset Manager.
Additionally, as previously mentioned one-half of the Assistant Director of Public Works position, which was funded by the Water Services Fund, will be transferred to the Public Works Department.
FTE Reductions: 2.50 FTE (2.00 Vacant / 0.50 Transfer)
Cost Savings: $146,485
The Electric Department will eliminate one (1) part-time Facility Attendant position that is currently filled and one (1) part-time Intern position that is vacant, both of which are funded by the Electric Fund. The duties of the Facility Attendant will be absorbed and performed by other Warehouse personnel.
FTE Reductions: 1.00 FTE (0.50 Filled / 0.50 Vacant)
Cost Savings: $13,583
In total, these reductions will save approximately $1,256,857 from the General Fund and $279,334 from the Insurance, Electric, Water/Wastewater, and Recreation funds. More importantly however, it will eliminate approximately 27 Full Time Equivalent positions throughout the organization; 13 of which are vacant, three (3) will be eliminated through retirement, promotion or transfer, and 11 are currently filled. Of the 11 positions that are currently filled, it is hoped that several of them may be able to fill other vacant but necessary positions in other Departments. Unfortunately, this option cannot be offered to all of the individuals whose positions have been identified for elimination and will ultimately be laid off or, if eligible, have to retire.
The Fiscal Year 2012 Proposed Budget that is being prepared will include all of these reorganizations and reductions. The decisions that were made in regards to the planned reductions and eliminations were exceptionally difficult. However, these changes are necessary to meet the city’s current and anticipated fiscal challenges and opportunities, and will refocus the organization’s service levels and delivery more appropriately on core services until some sustained economic recovery can be seen.