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Was the city just overstaffed?

Anonymous • Apr 23, 2013 at 11:00 AM

My topic this week is the city’s necessity to provide backup personnel to the heads of departments.

After about a year later and a little over $30,000 spent, we finally have a new police chief. Congratulations to Chief John Orzech. I think everyone surmised that Chief Orzech would get the job so the news wasn’t a big surprise. We hope that Chief Orzech can bring professionalism back into the police department under his command.

It is ridiculous for the city to take months and sometime years to replace a department head. Due to budget cuts, it seems like all of middle management has been deleted. Money is wasted by not having trained backups for the department heads when someone within the department could have been trained and ready to go at a moment’s notice without disturbing the business at hand.

The engineer’s position still remains vacant since the beginning of the year. The city waited until the person actually left to start searching for the person’s replacement, which makes it that much harder for the next person to catch up to the ongoing projects within the city. The city planner has resigned and the IT department head has retired. All these positions are important to the city. The assistant police chief and the general service superintendent’s positions have been eliminated. Is the work being done in a timely manner with these people missing or were we just overstaffed?

How vulnerable are we that we have to rely on the Mainstreet Association to offer their summer intern to the city’s planning department at no cost? Will the intern be working on downtown projects?

The taxpayer has to wonder how deep the employee cuts will go without affecting the operations of the city. It is easy to balance the budget by cutting positions, but it is not so easy to cut the spending in order to balance the budget.

Until next week, we wish Chief Orzech the very best in his new job. It is too bad it took the city as long as it did to recognize they had someone within their own ranks all this time.

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