Communications director position moved again
Changes were again made to who will likely supervise the city’s communications director.
The council approved two changes on their first readings for a salary ordinance related to the city’s communications director position. The first ordinance was a reduction of appropriations, and the second was an appropriation by reduction taking the money from the mayor’s budget designated for the communication’s director in 2012 and putting it under the control of the city clerk’s budget.
“Once this is finally passed, they’re going to move the position and the money appropriation from the mayor ... and then place it under the city clerk,” said City Council Attorney Scott Lewis.
However, at the council’s Oct. 22 meeting, a change was made to place the city’s position under the park’s department for 2013.
City Council President Ed Zastawny said long-term the plan is to change next year’s salary ordinance to reflect the decision to move the job into the clerk’s office.
“I think what it was one — to get it an arm’s length away from the mayor,” he said. “The mayor’s not here every day to manage somebody. The clerk does a lot relating to communications, and retaining documents ... we thought maybe that was the best place to go. I think we’re still refining the position and the proper placement in the organization.”
The city’s former communication’s director, Leah Farris, was fired Oct. 26 and she has retained legal counsel following her termination.
The vacancy for the position is already posted on the city’s website and is now being called a public relations officer.
A site plan for a new Taco Bell restaurant, to be located in the parking lot of the Rural King on 10th Street, near Allison Lane, was unanimously approved.
The plan came to the council with a favorable recommendation from the planning commission for a new building that would be located on about one acre of parking lot space south of the Pizza Hut in the same parking lot.
Todd Huntington, project coordinator with the GPD Group, said another Taco Bell location on 10th street will remain open.
Merkley suggested that instead of enforcing a requirement for developers to provide sidewalks in front of a new building, the city asked the developer to place the money for the sidewalks into a fund it will use in the future to construct the sidewalks.