City Manager Aaron Cubic decides not to fill the Assistant City Manager position, saving the City $160,000 annually. The position of Assistant City Manager has been vacant since December 1, 2017 with the retirement of former Assistant City Manager, David Reeves.
Over the past three months Aaron Cubic, City Manager has been examining the structure of the City of Grants Pass, as an organization, with specific attention to the divisions and program responsibilities of the Assistant City Manager (ACM) which includes: Tourism, Economic Development, IT, Property Management, Emergency Management, Urban Renewal Agency, Property Acquisition and Media Relations.
Mr. Cubic stated: “In examining our structure, I looked at our organization and compared it to our ability to achieve Council goals, long-term financial sustainability, address strategic priorities, invest in our future and better meet the needs and expectation of our citizens.”
Organizational guiding principles utilized to help make this decision include:
• Any restructure should achieve financial savings and/or efficiencies through a reduction in organizational structure.
• Provide focus on long-term solutions and success while meeting our immediate needs and challenges.
• Shift from being focused on a department’s goals and structure to a strategic focus on pursuing goals that help the overall organization.
• Create an organizational environment that is always looking at ways to improve business processes.
• Create a service culture based on achieving positive results by looking at processes through the customer’s eyes and listening to their concerns.
After thorough examination, Mr. Cubic decided not to fill the ACM position. Mr. Cubic stated: “Not filling the ACM position does require some organization changes. These changes will help our organization be leaner, strategically focused, customer driven and employee and team centered. It is my desire to build in this reorganization an environment that will have exciting opportunities for employees. All employees will be encouraged to become navigators helping management move the City in a direction focused on our core values. City staff has the expertise and skills to identify areas of improvement and, as issues arise, find creative solutions. As a strategically focused organization, we will continue to improve our business processes and service culture.”
Traditionally, organizations have focused on a vertical silo approach, which is primarily focused on internal drivers based on department interests and practices. What matters to our customers, both internal and external, will matter to us. As a customer driven organization we strive to understand and exceed customer expectations. The City of Grants Pass will strategically structure itself with a focus on looking at the customer’s needs as they move across the organization accomplishing their goals.
Focusing on outcomes helps to develop a business process where work is grouped together reducing the need for “handoff” and excessive checking. Jobs become whole when work is organized around outcomes which leads to increased job satisfaction.
The following is an explanation of the organizational changes to help build efficiencies and fill the gap without the ACM position:
1. Leave ACM position vacant. Annual savings to City $191,200 annually.
2. Consolidate Property Management under the Parks Department. The skill sets of both divisions (parks and property maintenance) are similar and I can see benefits in their close alignment.
3. Reclassify/promote the current Parks Specialist to a Parks Supervisor reporting to the Parks Superintendent. This represents an increase of $26,500 annually. This is necessary, as the Parks Superintendent will take on additional responsibilities with Property Management.
4. Promote one Municipal Worker to Parks Specialist. This represents an increase of $4,400 annually.
5. Urban Renewal Agency projects under Parks & Community Development (PCD). With program support coming from Director, Senior Planner, Associate Planner and Finance Director. The future focus and planning skills of PCD make for a great fit.
6. Transition Economic Development/Tourism under Community Development directly reporting to Parks and Community Development Director. The position of Business Advocate was largely created to help the community work through and make positive changes to our development processes; this with URA under PCD makes for a great partnership.
7. IT will stay with Administration and report directly to City Manager.
8. Emergency Management will stay with Administration.
9. Property Acquisition will stay with Administration.
10. Media Relations will take on a more organizational wide responsibility.
Mr. Cubic stated: “These organizational changes have been purposefully and carefully considered to place the City in a position to better achieve the City Council’s strategic priorities. As an organization, we will be in a better position to improve our key business processes and services to our customers. The changes provide for savings each year by not filling the ACM position (1 FTE). In addition to the efficiencies in service and operations, these organizational changes will net the City approximately $160,000 annually.”