Leader Blues

Friday, July 03, 2009

TOP STORY >> Job titles tell duties of officials

By RICK KRON
Leader staff writer

The new Jacksonville mayor and the human resource director will meet Monday afternoon to better define the job descriptions for the city engineer and the city planner.

Human resource director Jill Ross said this was the first time Jacksonville had both positions filled. The city planner was hired when Jacksonville had no city engineer, but the city used the guidelines of the city engineer’s job description to guide the city planner.

Both positions became filled when Gary Fletcher took over the Jacksonville mayor’s office Tuesday evening.

His campaign manager, Jim Durham, became the city’s director of administration, which moved then-administrator Jay Whisker to the city engineer position, which he once held.

Chip McCulley, who was hired when Whisker left the city engineer post for a job in the private sector, stays on as the city planner.

The finances for the job rearrangements were worked on at the June 24 city council meeting, when aldermen reallocated money set aside for the vacant economic development director’s position and reauthorized the city engineer position.

When all was said and done, Durham had a salary of $73,500, Whisker makes $72,765 and McCulley continues to make $63,000.

But, as one resident asked recently, what do they do? And are taxpayers getting their money’s worth.

Fletcher has said that there is plenty for all to do and has said Whisker will focus on annexation and growth issues, while McCulley will work closely with code enforcement and condemnation issues.

Sherwood also has a city engineer and a city planner, although the city planner is not an employee but on contract.

According to the job descriptions, provided by the human resource director, the director of administration directs and coordinates administration of the city in the absence of the mayor in accordance with policies determined by the city council.

The director of administration oversees the public works department and may be called upon to appoint department heads and staff, interpret policy and provide direction, assist in preparing the annual budget and helps plan for the future development of urban and non-urban areas.

He also supervises activities of departments performing functions such as collection and disbursement of taxes, law enforcement, maintenance of pubic health, construction of public works and purchase office supplies and equipment.

The city engineer, according to the job description, directs and administers the city’s physical and social development, which involves the preparation, installation and adjustment of plans of the city’s improvement and construction of public works.

Duties of the city engineer are carried out with wide latitude, judgment and discretion.

The city engineer advises the mayor, the city council and planning commission on matters relating to planning and development that include public-works improvement programs and projects. He oversees the planning, design, construction and estimating of city public-works projects.

Ross said when McCulley was hired, the city used the city engineer guidelines, but didn’t require the candidate to have an engineering degree.