Staff re­or­ga­ni­za­tion will save city up to $25,000 per year

Newark Post - - LOCAL NEWS - By JOSH SHAN­NON jshan­[email protected]­pub.com

A re­or­ga­ni­za­tion of city staff is ex­pected to save up to $25,000 per year, Ne­wark of­fi­cials said.

City coun­cil unan­i­mously ap­proved the plan last week.

Most no­tably, the re­or­ga­ni­za­tion elim­i­nates the po­si­tion of deputy city man­ager, which is cur­rently va­cant, and re­places it with a low­er­paid hu­man re­sources and la­bor re­la­tions man­ager.

Act­ing City Man­ager Tom Cole­man said hu­man re­sources was the pri­mary func­tion of the deputy city man­ager, and renaming the po­si­tion avoids creat­ing an heir-ap­par­ent to the city man­ager.

“It is our opin­ion that hav­ing a deputy city man­ager who is the heir-ap­par­ent to the city man­ager po­si­tion but is not hired di­rectly by city coun­cil is not likely to be suc­cess­ful long term,” Cole­man said.

The move will avoid an­other awk­ward sit­u­a­tion like what hap­pened when Carol Houck re­signed as city man­ager last year. In a sur­prise move, coun­cil tapped Cole­man to serve in the act­ing role, pass­ing over Deputy City Man­ager An­drew Haines, who later left Ne­wark for a job in Penn­syl­va­nia.

The re­or­ga­ni­za­tion also re­names the in­for­ma­tion tech­nol­ogy man­ager po­si­tion, which is cur­rently va­cant, and drops it to a lower pay grade.

Mean­while, As­sis­tant to the Man­agers Mark Brainard Jr. will be­come as­sis­tant to the city man­ager and be raised three pay grades in ex­change for tak­ing on ex­tra du­ties, in­clud­ing over­see­ing the city’s lob­by­ist and rep­re­sent­ing the city man­ager at meet­ings and events he can­not at­tend.

The po­si­tion changes will re­sult in a net sav­ings of $19,116 to $25,392, de­pend­ing on where in­di­vid­ual em­ploy­ees fall within their pay grade.

“This is the kind of thought­ful con­sid­er­a­tion I and other coun­cil mem­bers have been ask­ing for,” Coun­cil­woman Jen Wal­lace said.

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