By Malory Ragon
The city council managed to pass a budget for the next fiscal year this week. The decision came after an extended discussion of City Manager Steve Arbo’s reorganization plan.
The conversation dragged on for nearly two hours, with councilmembers finding themselves talking in circles. They seemed unable to come to a decision, or even to agree on what role they played in the process. The council was divided with some councilmembers taking issue with the number of communications employees that would be employed by the city. Some suggested that it was not the council’s responsibility to decide how the city manager manages staff.
Arbo’s reorganization plan calls for two restructured groups reporting to him, under the development center director and a communications director. The plan creates some new titles and shifts responsibilities, but is actually a personal savings of about $27,000.
In the end, Arbo made the decision for them. While the council was attempting to vote on whether to approve the budget (or whether to approve the budget excluding the reorganization plan), Arbo explained that it was not his intent to cause such divisiveness among the council. He said that even with the passage of the budget, he will not implement the reorganization until additional conversations can take place and there’s a greater consensus.
With that issue off the table, at least for the time being, the budget was passed. Councilmembers Rob Binney and Bob Johnson voted against.