Monday, September 21, 2015
Joplin city manager provides weekly update
Good evening, everyone. Please see below for this week’s update
-On Monday, our CIP meetings with departments continued from last week, by meeting with both the CVB and police departments to discuss their capital needs over the next five years.
-On Tuesday, during our weekly staff meeting, we finished up our discussion of the state audit report.
-After our staff meeting, I met with Chuck Banks from Deloitte, Planning Director Bolander and Assistant Director Robyn, and City Attorney Edwards, to get an update on various CDBG-DR projects. The senior affordable housing/memory care project is still on track to receive bids on November 24th, and the Infrastructure Team’s work on planning the major streets projects is well underway. We also discussed the idea of declaring a majority of our city-owned property as surplus at one time, so that in the future, we can more efficiently dispose of said property. Planning staff will be working on completing the inventory of all city-owned property to present this list to the planning and zoning commission prior to your review and approval. We don’t have a timeline on when this will happen, but we are underway.
-Later that morning, AtCM Kelly and I met with staff in the health department to review their CIP requests.
-Prior to the budget work session, AtCM Kelly and I attended the JCVB Advisory Board meeting to review architectural renderings that have been prepared for the visitor’s center on Broadway/Route 66. I will be working with Director Tuttle to put the information together for your review.
-At the conclusion of that meeting, I sat in on the joint Historical Preservation Commission/Design Review Standards board meeting.
-On Wednesday, AtCM Kelly coordinated an International City/County Manager’s Association-sponsored webinar on “Engaging Employees Effectively.” The presentation spurred some good discussion with attendees afterward, and this group will be meeting again next week to discuss ideas that we can implement in our organization.
-On Thursday, PIO Onstot, planning staff, and I sat in on a demonstration of a GIS-based tool being developed by Deloitte that will provide residents with interactive and up-todate information on the progress of the $140+ million in CDBG-DR projects that will be taking place over the next four years, along with other ways we can communicate the progress to our community. We also discussed an upcoming event on October 6th, where officials from HUD will be in town to meet with city staff and other community organizations to talk about various HUD-sponsored programs and initiatives. As details are finalized, I will present that information to you if you would like to attend.
-Later that afternoon, AtCM Kelly and I sat in on a conference call with over 70 other cities that applied for the “Startup in a Day” grant competition sponsored by the US Small Business Administration in partnership with the National League of Cities. While I’m sad to say that our application was not accepted to receive grant funding, the call itself was productive, and we plan to continue discussions with other cities who made the pledge to improve our business permitting/licensing processes.
Earlier today (Friday), Director Allgood and I met to discuss an idea to use temporary agencies to assist us in filling our seasonal positions. I am aware of a few cities that use labor agencies to help fill positions, but it is a practice that is used widely in the public sector. Director Allgood has analyzed the costs it takes from an HR perspective to go through the hiring process to on-board seasonal employees, and it runs around $600 per employee when you factor in advertising costs, recruiting, interviewing, etc. I have asked Director Allgood to proceed with developing an RFP that we can send out to get some pricing.
-At noon, Mayor Seibert and I were invited to attend MSSU’s Board of Governors meeting to hear the results of an economic impact study conducted by the university to measure their impact on our community and region. A copy of that report is attached to this update for your review.
-Finally, this afternoon, AtCM Kelly and I met with Jon Buck and two of his colleagues to discuss the afore-mentioned “Startup in a Day” competition, to learn about their experiences in starting a business in Joplin, and how to improve our processes. Over the next year, we will be reaching out to other small business owners to hear about their experiences and learn ways that we can improve. Our goal is to make Joplin the easiest place in the state to start a business while still doing all the things we do as an organization (issuing permits, licenses, performing various inspections) to ensure the safety of our residents who patronize our businesses. We are in the early stages of this process, so I would invite any feedback or suggestions you may have as well.
-We received an update earlier this week on the progress of the construction of the pedestrian bridge connecting MSSU’s campus to the Northpark Mall area. Our consultant is providing a final review of the submittal paperwork while waiting for clearance from MoDOT/US Fish & Wildlife Service. Once completed, the paperwork will go to FEMA for review for the issuance of a Conditional Letter of Map Revision, which gives us the permission we need to proceed. I will echo what our public works director said, in that we’ve built multi-million dollar projects in less time, but we are just as anxious to get the project underway as I’m sure the university is.
-On Tuesday during our budget meeting, Director Haase indicated that she was scheduled to participate in a meeting of the South Main CID (she serves as ex-officio on the board) on Wednesday, and that she would provide a summary for me to pass along to you. That meeting was cancelled and is being rescheduled, so I will forward the meeting summary after the meeting actually takes place.
In the Pipeline
-On Monday night, you will be asked to approve the list of surplus items to be placed into our city auction, which will be held on October 10th . On a final note, I would like to thank you for your participation in the budget meetings this week. I am personally looking forward to the possibility of that being our last review of the end-product of our line-item budget process, because as a reminder, Jon Johnson and Chris Fabian from the Center for Priority Based Budgeting will be in town Monday night to present the priority-based budgeting concept to you and the public. I think you’ll find this process to be more engaging for you and for our residents, and I am excited to finally present the agreement to you for consideration. Please let me know if you have any questions about these items.