City departments reorganizing
Dickinson city departments are slowly reorganizing to become more efficient, save money and to improve communications, said Mayor Dennis Johnson. The reorganization will eliminate three positions -- one of two public works managers and two superv...
Dickinson city departments are slowly reorganizing to become more efficient, save money and to improve communications, said Mayor Dennis Johnson.
The reorganization will eliminate three positions -- one of two public works managers and two supervisory positions in the Police Department, said Shawn Kessel, city administrator. The streamlined system will save about $225,000 in 2010, Kessel said.
However, in 2011, another position may be added to public works, but it will not be paid as much as the public works manager. Kessel said a mechanic will be requested and if the position is approved, the salary will likely be around $50,000 a year.
City employees will not be laid off from positions slated to be eliminated. The city will simply not fill the positions after those who currently hold them retire. Because of this, it may take about three years for the reorganization to be complete.
Kessel said the reorganization should save Dickinson residents money.
"Some of it, yes, will go to save taxpayers money and some of it you'll have seen already in the 2010 budget, because we've already had a lieutenant retire that hasn't been replaced," Kessel said. "That's why there is no expected increase in property taxes this year -- that's one of the reasons why."
In theory, the changes should decrease resources dedicated toward property taxes, but it should not result in a decrease of services, Kessel said.
"In fact, it should result in some cases in an increase in services," Kessel said.
Johnson said the biggest change in structure will be to the Police Department. The four lieutenant positions will be eliminated, they will add another assistant chief and another patrol officer will be added with the help of a federal grant.
"In the end, we have more people available to patrol the streets at a lower expense because we have a grant and because we have less admin staff," Kessel said.
The public works and engineering departments will also see some changes in management.
"The position that's being eliminated is currently titled the public works manager: street, solid waste," Kessel said, adding it is now filled by Ken Kussy.
When Kussy retires, the portion of his job dealing with streets will be transferred under Shawn Soehren, city engineer.
"... So not only will he (Soehren) have the ability to design intersections and streets and things of that nature, he'll also have the staff then that will maintain those very structures," Kessel said. "So the linear authority will be from Mr. Soehren all the way down to the street maintenance operator, so he'll have more control and authority over the things that he's implementing at the policy level."
The solid waste portion of Kussy's position will then be transferred under Skip Rapp, public works manager.
Most city employees won't experience many changes. However, departments such as accounting may have smaller changes in titles and duties, Kessel said.
By cutting down on supervisor positions, less people will work directly under Kessel, Johnson said.
"If we can allow our city administrators a little more time to be a part of the community, you have a better opportunity to be on top of the pulse of the community," Johnson said.