SM City Hall Staff Reshuffled Per Ad Hoc Recommendation

The City Council voted last week to eliminate two city staff positions and reconfigure some administrative functions within City Hall, following the analysis and recommendation of last year’s ad hoc committee as the city strives to improve efficiency.
The positions of finance director and assistant city manager will be eliminated. Two new positions will be established: an administrative services director, who will oversee the city’s finances, information technology services and the functions of human resources and risk management; and a human resources manager, who will carry out human resources and risk management activities.
An accountant will handle daily accounting functions. The decision resulted in laying off the current assistant city manager, Lucy Garcia. All of the other eliminated positions had been vacant at the time.
Councilman and Vice Mayor Richard Ward cast the sole vote against the changes at the April 12 meeting.
“This decision is one that we’ve given careful consideration to,” he said as the City Council discussed the item prior to the vote. “I find it one that was difficult for me to make. We discussed it at great length in our closed session.”
Councilman Steve Talt, in opening discussion at the meeting, said the decision was made to improve efficiency of city operations and was not based on employee performances in those positions.
“That needs to be made abundantly clear,” Talt emphasized.
The ad hoc committee of two City Council members, assisted by an advisory group of five residents, spent much of last year reviewing city operations and identifying ways to improve efficiency, productivity and cost effectiveness.
Elimination of the assistant city manager position will result in the city librarian and recreation manager having more responsibilities with their departmental functions. They will report directly to the city manager and receive a 5% salary increase.
In total, the organizational shuffle is expected to add about $34,000 annually to the city’s budget. Because the new positions are not expected to be filled until the next fiscal year, which begins in July, the previously planned $7,200 appropriation to finish out the current fiscal year will not be necessary.
In other business, the City Council appropriated $40,000 to install stop signs at eight intersections in the city at the recommendation of the city’s Traffic Advisory Commission and also Police Chief John Incontro.
There will be two-way stop signs installed at the following locations:
• Canterbury Road at its intersection with Santa Anita Avenue
• Chester Road at its intersection with Chaucer Road
• Coniston Place at its intersection with Kenilworth Avenue
• Hilliard Drive at its intersection with Duarte Road
• Windsor Road at its intersection with Roanoke Road
• Chaucer Road at its intersection with Canterbury Road
• Roanoke Road at its intersection with Chelsea Road
Additionally, a four-way stop sign will be installed at the intersection of Roanoke Road and Warwick Road. The commission and Police Chief John Incontro said the Roanoke Road intersection with Old Mill Road does not need signs because of traffic data and good sight distance at the intersection.

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