Steamboat Springs Steamboat Springs City Manager Alan Lanning is proposing numerous changes to city staff, including seven new positions that could be part of the 2008 city budget.
"My goal is to improve the (city) organization and to help the workload in the two places where we are just buried - public works and planning," Lanning said Thursday at Centennial Hall.
To that end, Lanning said he plans to hire a new director of public works, moving current Director Jim Weber to an assistant director and project manager role.
"If Alan feels it is appropriate to the organization, I support it," Weber said of the move, adding he has had only preliminary discussions with Lanning and the specifics are yet to be decided.
"I think his skill area is really in engineering and project development," Lanning said of Weber. "This will help him pound out the work."
Also proposed for the Public Works Department are another construction site management officer - to join current construction site inspector Greg Gunn - and a water engineer. Proposed for the Planning Department, which will have its name changed to "Community Development," are a housing specialist, a historic preservation officer and an additional planner to help alleviate the department's heavy workload. Lanning said he also will propose a new deputy director position for the Department of Parks, Open Space and Recreational Services, to help current Director Chris Wilson.
All of the staffing proposals and shifts are dependent on the City Council's budget approval process, which will not conclude until the end of the year.
"To me, the whole thing culminates in a Jan. 1 start," Lanning said. "We're trying to coincide it with the budget process."
Lanning said Linda Kakela, the city's director of intergovernmental services, will be moved to the Finance Department along with intergovernmental services employee Winnie DelliQuadri.
"The basis of their work is seeking money and land acquisitions, which are primarily finance issues," Lanning said, adding the staff shifts will effectively move the intergovernmental services department into the finance department.
Former Finance Director Don Taylor said he found out in late June that he would be leaving City Hall for reasons that Lanning described as "a difference in philosophy." Taylor's last day of work was July 27. Lanning said recruiting for a new finance director will end Aug. 31. Assistant finance director Bob Litzau has been leading the department in an interim capacity, work that has included preparation of the preliminary 2008 city budget.
Lanning said because of the large amount of potential staff changes and new positions, he has moved the city's human resources office "into the City Manager's office."
"I need to work more closely with John," Lanning said, referring to Human Resources Manager John Thrasher.
Lanning began working as city manager in June 2006. Lanning said his proposed restructuring of city staff is based on his previous experience in other municipalities and a year of observation in Steamboat.
"There are still conversations to be had about what the final product looks like by the time we get to Jan. 1," Lanning said.
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