Todd Roth, City Engineer, will be leaving the city at the end of the year and Tom Whittied, IT Manager, has left but he still does some work for the city. The Police Chief position is still open. I hope the City Manager will give these positions some serious thought in filling the vacancies quickly because the positions are vital to the city.
The City Engineer’s position requires a full-time engineer who should be the city’s own employee. Enough with engineers who are consultants or own their own companies and only work for us on a part-time basis. We have way too many projects on the drawing board to accept nothing but our own full-time engineer who shouldn’t be on a contract. We need to get away from putting our department heads on contract, which creates nothing but legal problems down the line. I feel contracted employees will take some authority away from the City Manager.
It is vital to keep all projects on track so they keep moving along with minimum change orders and to make sure the Request for Proposals are accurate in order to keep the change orders to a minimum. Punch lists items should be checked throughout the whole project so at the end of the project there isn’t an accumulation of items to be addressed in order to finalize the contract. It is unfair to both the contractor and the city to take weeks or even months to address punch list items.
A full-time IT Manager is very important in order to maintain the computer systems at City Hall. I realize the budget is tight, but without those important department heads, we could be in a heap of trouble.
In the future, the city should have better foresight to keep someone trained and educated to slip into the positions so we don’t get ourselves into a panic situation trying to get someone hired in a certain amount of time and spending more tax dollars in the process. Five months have gone by since the ad was placed in the paper for Police Chief and we still don’t have a Police Chief. I wouldn’t be a bit surprised if the October deadline for filling the position would come and go with no selection as yet.
Ms Ard still hasn’t filled her secretary’s position. I believe her office should be occupied during the business hours for better service from her office. Walking into an empty office doesn’t give a very good impression of the city nor does it give the impression of servicing the citizens who are seeking help with a problem.
Until next time, let’s hope Ms Ard can arrive at a decision to fill the vacancies soon so she can get on with using her resources on other business at hand and not waste so much time on employment issues.
Sharon Johnson is a born and bred Sandusky resident who's outspoken about community issues. Her blog, chronicling her efforts to keep tabs on city projects, is posted here Tuesdays at 11 a.m.