Mammoth Lakes Interim Town Manager Dan Holler showed his mettle to Town Council on Dec. 4 with the presentation of a plan to restructure Town management positions. After a review of past budget documents, financials and staff memos, Holler concluded that Town staff has few development opportunities and limited support positions to facilitate daily tasks.
Holler also concluded that the Town has too many cooks in the department head kitchen. Holler’s plan would reduce 12 department head positions to eight. “I looked at Truckee, South Lake Tahoe, Mono, Inyo, Big Bear, and Grass Valley, and the recommended Executive Management group [came from that],” he said. “It keeps us very lean, at the upper management level, which I think is very appropriate for this organization.”
The only new addition to the Executive Management group would be a Human Resources Manager position.
Holler also advocated initiating a recruitment process for the hiring of a Public Works Director and a Finance Director.
Holler also recommended reducing the Town Manager’s salary from $199,000 to a maximum of $173,800 (salary plus benefits). “This might be the first time I’ve seen a Town Manager reduce his salary,” said Councilmember Matthew Lehman.
“My recommendation is based on what I’ve seen in the industry out there,” Holler replied. “I think the previous [Manager salaries] were … nice.”
The $15,000-$35,000 savings from the cut to the Town Manager’s salary would go toward two part-time Office Assistants in the Town Clerk’s Office.
Holler proposed reallocating funds set aside for the hiring of a new Community and Economic Development Director. Instead, he proposed an initial allocation of $150,000 for economic consultant services; $40,000 from projected savings from restructuring, and $110,000 from savings previously allocated for Code Enforcement.
In addition to these changes, Holler suggested restructuring the Planning Department to include a Planning Manager (a re-classified Senior Planner), who would coordinate with a Building Official, and the addition of a Planning Technician. The Division would retain the Senior Planner position for future development of an Associate/Assistant Planner position.
Meanwhile, the Building Department would be led by a Building Official, and include a Senior Plans Examiner/Engineer and Permit Technician I/II.
Finally, Holler aimed to restructure the Public Works Department to narrow the scope of the Public Works Director. Holler’s recommended changes would reclassify the current Senior Engineer position to that of a Public Works Manager. The Public Works Manager would oversee maintenance operations such as roads, fleet, and parks, and special projects such as waste management and land leases. This would reduce three direct reports to the Public Works Director to a single report.
All the changes would have no net impact going into FY 2014-15, Holler said. The net savings of $421,600 from adjustments to positions would be reallocated.
Councilmember John Eastman commended Holler for his effort. “You’ve put this together in a short timeframe, 45 days,” he said. “We’ve been waiting for this for years.”
Mayor Pro-Tem Jo Bacon added that, regardless of Holler’s Interim status, she wished to move ahead with the hiring of a Public Works and Finance Director.
Council unanimously approved Holler’s recommendation for restructuring.