Intended originally to be a kind of ombudsman for the citizens, the title was re-cast during the McWilliams administration as the person in charge of economic development. In one budget document, the Planning Division was placed under the new Office of Economic Development, creating a de facto fourth department in violation of the City Charter.
But that is all water over the dam. In 2006, the Green team chose not to fill the post and economic development matters were placed, with council consent, in the hands of the Union County Improvement Authority, whose executive director happens to be the head of the Union County Democratic Committee.
Now Plaintalker is hearing that the post of deputy city administrator may be filled again.
Can it be that the person brought in from Ohio at public expense to be the new head of Administration & Finance, Health and Social Services may need a different title instead?
Just to backtrack, the hodge-podge of divisions under A&FHSS was the creation of another former mayor, who decided to take health and social services divisions out from under Public Affairs & Safety and put them under Administration & Finance, because the person he had in mind as finance director had a background in social service. The appointee didn’t last long in the post, but the restructuring remained.
If in fact the current administration now sees fit to revive the deputy city administrator job 30 months into a 48-month term, what will the job description be? Will the city fire the UCIA and let the new person manage economic development? Will there be yet another transmogrification of the title’s duties?
Any attempt to back a favored person into a high-paying post that has been vacant for two and a half years must be viewed with alarm by the taxpayers. Keep an eye out for this one.