Monday, November 16, 2015
Joplin city manager provides weekly update
Good afternoon, everyone. Please see below for this week’s update.
-On Monday, staff in the city manager’s office and I met to review our list of programs for the Priority-Based Budgeting process. We identified over 30 programs/services that we offer just in our office alone.
-On Wednesday, I met with Chamber President Rob O’Brian to discuss several items. I am attaching their monthly report for October, 2015, for your review.
=On Thursday, staff from planning, public works, finance and I met with representatives from Deloitte to get an update on the CDBG-DR/FEMA infrastructure projects.
-Later that morning, Director Heatherly, Assistant PW Director Dan Salisbury, and I sat in on a demonstration of the online tool that they have been developing that will allow staff, the council, and the public to get updates on where we stand with various CDBG-DR projects. Even HUD officials will have access to the tool. Data is still being loaded into the system, so we aren’t quite ready to go live with the website yet, but the demonstration went very well, and the tool will provide a level of transparency regarding our progress on these projects that I think you will find impressive.
-On Thursday, I had lunch with Doug Doll and his successor at Arvest Bank, Chad Evans, to get acquainted with Chad as he makes the transition to Joplin. As you know, Mr. Doll has been very involved at the city level, in particular with his role on the Sales Tax Oversight Committee, and continues to serve our community through the Joplin Industrial Development Authority. We discussed several items, including the positive impact the Prigmor/I-44 interchange will have on our industrial park, the continued growth of downtown, and ways we can get Mr. Evans involved as he transitions into Doug’s role upon his retirement (and keep Doug involved!).
-To give you an update on our Priority-Based Budgeting process overall earlier this week, AtCM Kelly turned in several inventory worksheets from various departments that identify the programs each department offers. In some departments, the programs easily number into the hundreds. Staff from the Center for Priority Based Budgeting (CPBB) will be reviewing the information we submitted, and after the holidays, we will begin working to assign costs to those programs.
Concurrently, CPBB is reviewing our comprehensive plan, the CART plan, and other strategic documents to identify some possible Results/Priorities that our programs would align with. Once I receive their first attempt at defining those Results, I will share them with you for your input. It will be close to the beginning of next calendar year before that information is ready, however. And along with your input, we will be soliciting feedback from the public as well, again, most likely to take place early next calendar year.
-Earlier this week, I was notified by Court Administrator Lamonte Ratcliff that the state audit of our court system has been completed. We have until December 3rd to prepare our responses. The final/public version of the report should be available by the end of the calendar year, and as with the state audit earlier this year, we are not allowed to discuss the findings until the report is made public. But as with the city audit, there are things that we will need to address, and we have already begun to take action on several of them.
-To give you an update on our pay plan, as I indicated during budget work sessions, depending on which cities are incorporated in the salary survey, our salary ranges vary from 0-20% below market for positions in the city, which translates to anywhere from $2 million to $5 million that would be needed to implement a new pay plan. One component we have not looked closely at is a comparison of our benefits to those other cities. Over the next couple of weeks, I will be focusing my efforts on the pay plan with the goal of presenting employees and you with an update on where we stand relative to other communities. I feel this information will be important to consider as we get deeper into the priority-based budgeting process, in order to gauge the overall impact on our financial picture if and to what extent we adopt the new system.