I must respectfully disagree with the assessments in the letter written recently by Alderman Michael Bablick regarding the hiring of a city administrator.
I do not believe that our government is inefficient or disorganized by design. Our ordinances clearly lay out the duties of all those involved. “The common council is the legislative branch of the city government. Its primary business is the passage of laws in the form of ordinances or resolutions which shall prescribe what the law should be ... the common council shall fix the salaries … be charged with official management of the City’s financial affairs, its budget, its revenues, and the raising of funds necessary for the operation of the city. The mayor shall be the chief executive officer. He shall take care that all city ordinances and state laws are observed and enforced and that all city officers, boards, committees, and commissions discharge their duties.”
In the 1.5 years I have been in office as mayor, I have made it very clear to the aldermen that any questions regarding the actions of department heads or the task they feel should be assigned to the department heads should be addressed through me. This is in an effort to have a clearly defined chain of command with the office of the mayor as “the boss.”
There have been disagreements in this process and it is in my opinion that the addition of an unelected individual to perform the tasks that I am currently charged with have the potential to escalate an us vs them attitude between the elected officials and city employees while also increasing the inefficiency by adding another layer between the council and the departments. This position, if it would include the duties of the clerk-treasurer, would also come with an increased cost as in addition to the clerk-treasurer duties there would be significant managerial duties to perform as well. It is in my opinion that we would have to bring in at the very least another part-time employee to assist in the duties of the eliminated position. The other cuts to positions that Mr. Bablick refers to would require the city to contract multiple people to perform varying tasks. In the extreme long run that may save financially but I believe it will cost more in time and degrade the services that we are tasked with providing.
I do agree with Mr. Bablick that our citizens should be heard on this issue be they for it or against it and I urge you all to write or call your aldermen or City Hall with your thoughts.
Mayor, City of Park Falls