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Pickerington plans smaller government, reducing departments
Pickerington officials plan to create a smaller, more efficient city government by reducing the number of departments from 12 to four, Mayor Mitch O'Brien said.
"We are looking to be more efficient," O'Brien said.
O'Brien said that the taxpayers have experienced reductions at their jobs, and now the city must "face the challenge."
The mayor will provide the finance committee with staff job descriptions at its Nov. 4 meeting, he said.
The job descriptions will indicate that staff members in different departments complete the same tasks, O'Brien said.
"More or less, the plan consolidates work," O'Brien said. "The shovel function belongs in the shovel department. The finance function should be done in the finance department."
Currently, for example, members of the service department complete finance work, O'Brien said.
The new departments will be Finance and Administration, Public Works, Engineering and Development, and the Police, O'Brien said.
The combined Finance and Administration Department will also include Personnel, Utility Billing, and Tax, O'Brien said.
Public Works Department will combine the departments of Service with Parks and Recreation, O'Brien said.
The Department of Engineering and Development will also include Planning and Zoning and Building, O'Brien said.
Although the council would eliminate jobs, it would create others including an Economic Director, O'Brien said.
Because of the city hiring freeze, some positions (mainly clerical) already have been eliminated through attrition, Hansley said.
By charter the council controls the number and responsibilities of each city job, Hansley said.
"My job is to fill the jobs that the council creates with people," Hansley said. "Some slots will be filled with internal people and some will be filled with external people."
City workers are concerned and are watching the proposal with interest, Hansley said.
Originally, the administration intended to complete the reorganization before the council began the budget process, Hansley said.
"The chance we could have timed (the reorganization) with the budget was real slim," said Jeff Fix, chair of the Finance Committee. "It will take us to the end of the year - even the end of next year to complete the reorganization."
At that time, council must reallocate money to reflect the new structure, Hansley said.
Read more Pickerington news in this weekend's edition.
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