The “strategic changes” were announced Wednesday, although a media release made no reference to job losses.
The Times-Journal has learned manager of engineering Brian Clement, corporate services officer Rita Crocker and budget officer Betty Maciejowski were informed Wednesday morning their positions had been eliminated.
At least one of the corporate moves was hinted at last fall when the previous city council was in receipt of a report from Tim L. Dobbie Consulting dealing with an organizational review of the environmental services department at city hall.
The report recommended the CAO position be a standalone post and not combined with city clerk duties, as has been the case with Wendell Graves.
He will now assume the role of city manager — at no increase in salary — and the city clerk position will be filled, perhaps internally.
“It’s just a name change,” advised Graves. “It is absolutely the same functions as a CAO. It won’t involve any additional functions that I’m not currently doing.”
In other moves, key financial functions at Ontario Works will move from that organization to be managed directly through the treasury department at city hall.
The environmental services department will be “refocused” according to Graves and will include a new organizational chart.
“We will be refocusing some reporting and communication lines. I think information will move a lot smoother and cleaner and accountability will be stronger all the way up and down the chain.”
Most notable to ratepayers will be the introduction of a corporate-wide customer service initiative at city hall.
“We’re really looking forward to that initiative,” stressed Graves. “It will be a really big step for the city as a whole . . . How we can serve the public better. How we can ensure when we have public inquiries that we are responding in an appropriate time and fashion so that we’re not having to pass one piece of information to multiple spots so people can get answers to their questions.”
Graves is hopeful the public will experience the improvement in customer service at city hall by the end of October.
“We have to lay out the full plan for council and get their endorsement on it and then we’ll implement it.”
With the announced changes, Graves anticipated “staff impacts and costs associated with the organizational changes being implemented will have no increased impacts on the city’s budget.”Follow @ianscityscope