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Council Members Eye Management Option
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After reconciling figures and trudging through lighting and maintenance district issues from the last meeting, the Oakdale City Council heard a plethora of agenda issues relating to the city’s now-cut management shortage.

“The look and feel of the organization has changed,” City Manager Bryan Whitemyer said as he presented a proposal for the city to recruit for a “Public Services Director.”

Whitemyer showed a series of organizational charts displaying what the city management structure looked like prior to 2007, the diminished administrative adjustments in 2008, and finally the current structure of only the city manager, finance director, police chief, and the contracted Stanislaus Consolidated Fire administration.

“After a careful review of the city’s needs, staff has created a new position called the public services director,” Whitemyer said. “This position consolidates the duties of the public works director and community development director into one position.”

Under Whitemyer’s plan, the new director will be paid $111,840 to $135,948 a year and will “… plan, organize, direct, and integrate the City’s public works, planning, development and building activities, functions, programs and services.”

The position will be recruited through various media including online and print ads and is anticipated to be a quick recruitment.

“This approach will give us a broad range of applicants,” Whitemyer said. “We need to find the right person for this job. With that, we’ll be set to go in the right direction.”

“It’s definitively needed,” said Mayor Pat Paul as the measure passed by the council unanimously.

With declining revenues in June, Human Resources Analyst Michelle McKinsey was laid off as part of a cost savings plan.

In order to help facilitate the city’s ability to handle the vacant work load for risk management, human resources, and general personnel administration, Whitemyer also recommended the city contract with Regional Government Services to perform those functions at a rate of $66 per hour, with an estimated cap of $20,000.

Whitemyer stated the city set aside the $20,000 in this year’s budget to pay for those services.

In a final report for the evening, Whitemyer pointed out that it is difficult with the limited city staff to attend the numerous commission meetings. He asked that the council consider consolidating some of the commissions or limiting meetings to reduce redundancy.

“In light of our current situation, is our time better spent in other areas?” asked Whitemyer.

Councilman Farrell Jackson, liaison to the city’s traffic commission, said he was concerned with the “whittling down” of the advisory commissions that may have the ability to diffuse citizen concerns at that level.

“It’s a filtering for the city council,” Jackson said. “Commissions are the outreach of the city council.”

Jackson added that serving on commissions was a training ground for someone who may later want to serve on the council.

Councilman Mike Brennan agreed that the commissions were a good venue where citizens could bring up issues, suggesting having city staff only attend when there was a pertinent agenda item or having the meetings every other month or quarterly.

Council members agreed that they would take the every other month suggestion back to the respective commissions they served on for review.