AFN Organizational Change
|Meeting Date:||May 3, 2005||Primary Staff Contact:||Lee Tuneberg, 552-2003 email@example.com|
|Department:||Fnance||Secondary Staff Contact:||Dick Wanderscheid, 552-2061 firstname.lastname@example.org|
This report is in response to the request from Council made during the April 26, 2005, study session in which staff presented a proposed change in staffing for AFN and Finance, moving all of Telecommunications and Computer Services into the Finance Department from Electric.
Included in the proposed FY 2005-06 budget is the transition of Telecommunications into the Finance Department. This change moves 15 employees and a budget of $4,432,687 from the Electric Department thus increasing the Finance Department operational budget from 21.65 FTE to 36.65 FTE and from $2,585,893 to $7,018,580.
Key elements of this reorganization are to create two new positions, one to provide operational support to the Finance Director and one to manage Telecommunications and Information Technology. The finance position is identified as a Controller and will manage day to day activities for most of Finance operations, picking up the areas needing more attention than the Finance Director has time to do, allowing him to focus directly on AFN and technology as needed from an administrative purview.
Please note that the Finance Department had already requested an additional accounting position be added to help deal with workload and to "free up" time for the director to work on high level finance and management issues. The added position would be paid for by Central Service charges recognizing the benefit all departments and funds receive in the way of finance and budget support.
A technician position in AFN was traded for a management position recognizing that the new manager would review all levels of operation, leveraging talents and skills where necessary and identifying any gaps that exist. The position eliminated was a vacant position created after the consultant study whose work was being accomplished through other avenues. A memo speaking to the impact of this change and potential options is attached.
Attached is a schedule showing impacts on the proposed reorganization on the Electric, Telecommunications and Central Service funds. The estimated pay ranges for the two positions were arrived at by gauging what may be required by the market and, to a lesser degree, how they fit within the city structure. FY 2005-06 includes these amounts with estimated benefit costs in the 45% range. It is expected that the finance position would fall in the $70,000 - $75,000 range whereas the AFN position is budgeted at the $80,000 - $85,000 level.
The most critical addition is a dedicated manager to AFN and technology to focus on the day-to-day operations, building upon them to align city efforts with the long term success of this utility.
This change raises questions as to how locating AFN under Finance is beneficial and what is the impact on Finance and other departments.
In recognition that AFN is not the normal municipal service and has a need to operate differently and often times act proactively in an expeditious manner, the new position will need to have some license to function at a higher level than many other division managers. However, it must be noted that every day in the City of Ashland there are division mangers making decisions regarding water, sewer, electric and emergency services that do not require direct input or managerial authority by department heads or city administration.
The Finance Director operates from the perspective that it is his responsibility to keep current with divisional operations, supporting the managers by providing the tools and resources necessary to accomplish operational goals and to provide quality customer service. Managers operate within the guidelines established by the city and other levels of oversight authority and it is up to them to identify gaps in resources, barriers encountered and alternatives to accomplishing the established goals and in meeting targets. In turn, the Finance Director assists the manager in obtaining what is necessary and in accomplishing what is needed, remaining cognizant of the ramifications of paths taken and complying with legal requirements.
Examples of legal requirements are budget law, purchasing rules, federal state and local reporting requirements, personnel standards & pay requirements, contractual obligations, etc.
From an operational stand point, the Telecommunications Manager will need to have the latitude to adjust staff roles and responsibilities and daily operations as needed to meet work load, operational goals and resource allocation to meet established targets. Adjusting targets and methods of accomplishing goals must be flexible and remain under this manager's authority to provide the flexibility necessary for this industry…within the legal requirements identified above and the general guidelines established by top management and the elected body.
Many different names have been discussed for the top position in AFN…director, supervisor, business manager, etc. The title is not as important as the skill set desired which must include technology and industry experience and the ability direct, motivate and manage. The process for identifying the most important talents and their priorities must be broad-based so that the recruitment process is successful. Our goal should be to identify the right skills and pay to generate sufficient interest to obtain a sufficient number of applicants to choose from. There is considerable interest from elected officials, management, staff and the public that we are sure getting input will be relatively easy whereas identifying a realistic skill set, prioritizing them and associating the compensation will be more a difficult process that should be more internal.
|Related City Policies:|
Authorize staff to proceed with reorganization as proposed.
Direct staff to proceed with reorganization as amended by Council.
Direct staff to make no changes.
Staff recommends that Council accept staff's proposal and authorize us to proceed.
Council accepts staff's recommendation (as amended by Council?).
|Attachments: (click on link below for attachments)|
Proposed Staff Change - cost comparison by fund
Vacant Telecommunications Technician Position
April 29, 2005 AFN Reorganization Memo
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