Reorganizing for results: Our new leadership team | Mayor's Message

By Jennifer Gregerson | Jul 09, 2014

It is hard to believe that my first year as our new mayor is already halfway over!

I am proud of the changes we have already seen at City Hall, especially in delivering the action agenda that I announced at the start of my term.

We have opened interim access to Edgewater Beach, halted chip sealing, formed a Green Team that is meeting monthly and making recommendations, and formally taken possession of Japanese Gulch!

That is a lot of work in a short period of time, thanks to our great city staff.

One of the cornerstones of my new administration was reorganizing our city’s executive team to achieve better results in a more efficient way.

I promised that I would end the duplication of having a full-time mayor and a full-time city administrator. This month, I wanted to update you on what we have accomplished.

As mayor, I directly oversee the Executive Department of the city. In the past, this department was comprised of five employees, including the city administrator.

One of my first actions as mayor was to commission an outside review of how we could improve the efficiency of the department, without additional cost.

I can now report that we will add a full-time human resources manager without increasing the budget, because of the reorganization plan I have implemented.

The city has a staff of more than 100 employees, and we had no full-time human resources professional to help guide our team. Beginning in a few weeks, our new manager will report for duty!

We found efficiencies from two places: eliminating the city administrator position and reducing the costs of the policy analyst position.

The outside review that I commissioned recommended both of these changes, and I included them in my reorganization plan.

The elimination of the city administrator position will save the city money and provide a better chain of command for our city staff.

Rather than two overlapping executives, we now have one executive—the mayor—that is elected by voters to lead the city.

I will have a second-in-command that will help me manage some of the day-to-day operations of city departments, while I personally manage the long-term planning and budget functions.

Replacing the city administrator with a second-in-command role will save tens of thousands of dollars, and avoid the miscommunication and duplication of efforts that happened in the past.

I have chosen to use these savings to fund part of the new human resources manager position.

The other savings our reorganization achieves is through a reduction in the costs of the policy analyst. I was pleased that the city found a very well-qualified person for the job in Marko Liias. He has graduate education in policy analysis from the University of Washington and Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. He served on the City Council, so he knows Mukilteo well.

And because of his duties as our state senator, he will take unpaid leave for part of the year. This leave means the position will cost the city almost half of what a previous position cost.

So my reorganization plan has squeezed six positions out of a budget that previously included five, while adding important skill sets to our city’s management team.

As we begin the second half of the year, I am excited to hire my new No. 2, and start charting our course for the important work that is ahead of us!

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