Deb Hinsvark: Combine roles
August 5, 2015
There's been a miscommunication about the deputy city manager/PIO.
We have a great community committee involved in helping hire someone to fill the deputy city manager position, and we all agree that the winning candidate needs to come with the skills and talent (of a PIO) needed to lead the city in being more transparent and communicative with our constituents — to assist in the building of trust in this administration.
That requirement was in our original advertisement for the position. With the help of this committee, the city will hire a deputy city manager with those skills.
Thank you for exposing your concern that a PIO might be used to block information. That is the exact opposite of our goal.
You are correct, the city has not had an individual with the title "deputy city manager" on staff for the past two years. But the role associated with a deputy — the city manager pro-tem role — has been shouldered by each of the department directors on a rotating basis.
Wendy DuBord was a department director (director of general services) with the permanent assignment of city manager pro-tem. I chose to share the pro-tem responsibility among all the directors. It was a chance for them to see if they wanted to step up to it permanently, and in the end, not one of them does.
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Currently, we have the opportunity to hire a deputy city manager since an FTE was freed up by the departure of an assistant to the city manager, and we have a need to appoint an executive level individual to orchestrate the organization of neighborhood data, identification of audiences that will benefit from information, creation of collateral for information sharing and delivery of information.
Why not combine the roles as we have done? I think the outcome will be good for the organization and the community.
City manager City of Steamboat Springs