by Max Brantley
"At this point, any salary considerations based on experience, talent and education would be premature in nature as any salary offers must be based on maintaining salary equity within the city manager's office; therefore, the level of compensation proposed for an incumbent selected to fill these positions is beyond the scope of this review."
My very quick and brief research reveals that a mayor's chief of staff in a city manager form of government is common where the mayor's executive authority has been increased and isusually distinguished from running the day to day operations of municipalities, which is your job as the chief administrative officer of the city. The position of mayor's chief of staff in manager/council forms of government exists in several cities, for example; Mesa, AZ; Fresno, CA; Tulsa OK; Oklahoma City OK; Austin TX; Hartford CT to name a few.
Bruce we have always worked pretty well together the past 8+ years and while you might prefer something diferent, I really want and need this to happen and would like it to happen with your cooperation. Ordinance 19,761 identifies the mayor as the chief executive officer of the city and it also increases the executive authority of the mayor including a directive that all powers and duties of the city manager shall be performed at the direction of the mayor.
By way of explanation the city manager's office has had the secretary/scheduler reporting to the City Clerk and the project manager reporting to the ass't city manager. This has proven to be very unworkable with little accountability. The ass't city manager and the city clerk have more than enough on their plates already.Additionally I often have interns from the Clinton School, Philander Smith, and UALR working in the office that also need supervision. I believe Bruce agrees.
Over the course of being mayor I have on occasion used the services of one of the 3 special projects staff in the city manager's office. I have observed over time that in my opinion at least in part they are not fully utilized. Hence I have suggested that rather than add staff, one of the positions should be used to fill the Mayor's chief of staff position to continue to do special projects for both the mayor and the city manager as the job description so provides, and to provide direct supervision to the staff positions assigned to me. This can be done with a very little increase in money. I believe this will improve follow through on a variety of matters and direct accountability. As for a position called the Mayor's chief of staff, it is common in many city manager styled cities where the mayor is full time and has increased executive authority. I believe this should be viewed a just part of the evolutionary process. [A new position was created, though it appears likely that Stodola's choice for the job will come from the city manager's staff, though that has not been confirmed yet.]
I know you perhaps believe the mayor's office is not involved in projects, but let me mention a few:
Conducting regular meetings of the Mayor's Crime Prevention Task Force; a new juvenile diversion program between city/ prosecutor's office, the schools and the courts, for which we are receiving technical assistance from the NLC; a mentoring program I am trying to get off the ground at Hamilton Learning Academy in conjunction with Philander, Arkansas Baptist and UALR; the federal multi jurisdictional Violent Crime Reduction Network of which the mayor's office is a part ;regular meetings of the Mayor's Tourism Commission and the Mayor's Sustainability Commission; a housing rehab program I want to establish with Americorps volunteers;developing Phase 2 of the Creative Corridor; and establishing Broadband connectivity in all our public housing which the HUD secretary has requested we achieve. The Mayor's office is also responding and working with our veteran's drop in center to end homelessness for veterans and I would like to work with our homeless day resource center on some transitional housing in a small subdivision adjacent to the center that has several vacant and boarded up houses.
Add the AAC ,the I-30 project and the Mayor's Youth Council volunteer program to the mix and it is a pretty full plate.
My understanding is the job(s) are being advertised. I have not interviewed or offered anyone a position at this time.