INC NEWS - City manager unveils Durham reorganization (N&O)
bwatu at yahoo.com
Thu Nov 20 15:12:17 EST 2008
City manager unveils Durham reorganization
By Jim Wise, News & Observer, 20 Nov 2008
Just three months into the job, City Manager Tom Bonfield is putting his brand on Durham.
On Thursday, Bonfield unveiled a reorganization of the city's administration to "promote departments working together."
Bonfield's plan aligns the city's 23 departments into three "teams" or "theme areas," each under a deputy city manager charged with "facilitating" inter-department cooperation.
"It isn't about controlling anything," it's about facilitating," he said.
Reorganization goes into effect Jan. 1. Current deputy manager Ted Voorhees takes responsibility for Operations -- including police, fire, emergency management and communications, public works and water among others.
Current deputy Wanda Page gets Administration & Support: finance, budget, personnel and three others.
A third deputy position will be created for Community Building by shifting a currently vacant position from elsewhere in the city bureaucracy.
"For the time being, that's going to be me," Bonfield said. That six-department "theme" includes economic development, planning, inspections, community development, neighborhood services and human relations.
"I like it," said Mike Barros, community development director. "It makes more sense than the old one."
Bonfield said reorganizing will probably lead to some jobs and divisions moving to new departments, but not to a larger staff. Bonfield said the plan was designed for the existing staff and "recognizing the budgetary challenges that face the city over the next several years," according to a memo sent to council members and department heads Thursday.
Earlier this fall, Bonfield had spoken of a need for "fiscal discipline" in City Hall and for planning the city's work and spending in terms of set priorities from year to year.
"We're not very good at that," council member Eugene Brown said before Bonfield announced his plan. "And that's an understatement." In the immediate future, Bonfield said top priorities should be fiscal management "based on economic reality"; improving completion of capital projects such as street resurfacing; and streamlining procedures for development review so that the city does not impede economic progress.
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