City manager wants a No. 2
May 12, 2009
Park City Manager Tom Bakaly has requested money during City Hall’s budget talks to hire an assistant city manager, a position that would be among the highest-ranking staffers in the municipal government.
The request, made when Bakaly presented his budget proposal to Mayor Dana Williams and the Park City Council early in May, has not been widely publicized. The elected officials started their annual budget talks last week, but they have not yet delved deeply into the details. The talks are scheduled to run through June, and the City Councilors normally spend time discussing staffing later in the budget negotiations.
If the City Councilors agree to the request, Bakaly would be given the money he needs to hire somebody to be his No. 2. The position would become part of the municipal government on July 1, the start of City Hall’s fiscal year.
According to his proposal, the assistant city manager would be paid between $72,828 and $96,757 in the first year, the same range as other top staffers like the city engineer and the human resources manager. The salary would rise to a range between $82,260 and $104,040 in the second year of City Hall’s two-year budget.
City Hall has left vacant a position with the same salary range — the budget and grants manager post — meaning that additional money would not be spent by hiring an assistant city manager.
"Park City has continued to grow and become more complex," Bakaly said in an interview, explaining the request for the position and saying the assistant city manager would be "an extension of my office."
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If the position is approved, Bakaly said City Hall would conduct a search for an assistant city manager. The job would be advertised, he said, predicting that filling the post could take a few months. He said there is a possibility candidates from inside City Hall could emerge.
Under Bakaly’s scenario, the assistant city manager would not hold a supervisory role over other staffers like department managers, who now report to Bakaly. The command chain would remain the same, he said.
In a half-page statement about the position provided to the elected officials, the assistant city manager is described as a staffer who would "enhance communication" within City Hall and between the local government and regular Parkites. The person would also be the acting city manager in Bakaly’s absence.
The statement also said the assistant city manager "would handle a broad spectrum of duties and administrative responsibilities." Bakaly said in an interview if the person was knowledgeable in Statehouse issues, Bakaly could spend more time on City Hall’s finances or vice versa.
According to the statement, Williams and the City Council in 2007 asked Bakaly to put together what is known as a succession plan, which is used as a guide to replace staffers once they leave. While considering the plan, as well as workload, Bakaly determined an assistant city manager position is necessary, the statement said.
City Hall last employed an assistant city manager during the 2002 Winter Olympic era, when many of the local government’s resources were put toward the Games. Bakaly held the position then after rising from lower-level posts within City Hall. The assistant city manager position was left vacant once Bakaly became the city manager after the Olympics, though. There were not detailed public discussions about hiring another assistant city manager at that time.