February 10, 2016

Gardner plans management restructuring

Mark Taylor
The Gardner City Council is considering a restructuring of its management system.
The council tabled action July 16 that would eliminate the assistant city administration position and bring back the community development position.
The assistant city administrator job was vacated earlier this year when Melissa Mundt left to accept a job in Ames, Iowa.
The community development position was eliminated in 2010, as a result of the sluggish economy.
The council tabled the ordinance to allow time for new City Administrator Cheryl Harrison-Lee to review it.
Harrison-Lee started work on July 16.
Mike Press, interim city administrator, proposed the changes.
Press has been working in Gardner on a temporary basis while the city council searches for a permanent city administrator.
His last day on the job is July 31.
In addition to eliminating the assistant city administrator position and reinstating the community development director position, the ordinance proposes assigning the previous responsibilities of the assistant administrator to the finance director.
The previous salary allocated to the city administrator will be applied toward the community development director.
It will also go toward compensating the finance director for the additional workload.
“With the position vacancy afforded by the departure of the assistant city administrator, staff is proposing some changes to address the workload and reorganize the department more efficiently, while still maintaining the necessary executive leadership and support required of the administrative division,” Press said. “This can be done without increasing the costs to the city, at least initially, and until further assessment can be made of requirements going forward.”


  1. Judith Rogers says:

    The restructuring of management should be done by SAVING the taxpayers – not by “without increasing” the costs to the city (the citizens for the most part). They better be getting some cross-training done so every administrative employee can pick up the duties of a position when a person is on vacation or out of the office for any reason and they don’t need a fancy new title or increased pay for doing what they should have been doing all along. You CANNOT have your city government just shut down and not able to service citizens just because a person is out of the office – I have had this experience on more than one occasion – so many times they don’t even answer their phones. Then you better get these people held accountable by demanding they do their freaking jobs and requiring an answer to a question that they promised they would get back to you on and then don’t or those who tell you a line of bull hockey like they know what they are talking about and in questioning them further you find they don’t know or are lying to you in the first place. The costs for personnel, especially the retirement programs, are so costly that you absolutely have to have people who are actually going to be decent public servants. That new city manager has so much needed work to get done that it will take her years to get rid of the cronyism government brought to by the likes of Press and others – that is my opinion and she willl have her litmus test to see if she does make needed changes. I believe only the people can get the needed changes made and since most of them don’t even vote, my expectations are low and very high for the continued status quo. Hope I am pleasantly surprised.

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