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King proposes elimination of Human Resources Department

By Staff | Jul 15, 2011

City Council will discuss the possibility of eliminating the Human Resources Department Monday during its first workshop since going on hiatus in June.
City Manager Gary King said the agenda item, as listed on the city’s website, is a bit of a misnomer since the department will not be eliminated, but instead transferred to Financial Services and director Victoria Bateman.
“It won’t be a stand alone department any longer,” King said.
King previously reorganized portions of the Public Works Department to fall under the direction of Bateman, including Facilities Management, Fleet Operations and Real Estate Services. Bateman also assumed the duties of overseeing Risk Management.
Ordinance 41-11, if approved, would accomplish much of the same by completing the reorganization of the Human Resources, which previously housed Risk Management.
King said the HR director position, formerly held by Wayne Howard, and now by Scott Slusser in an interim capacity, will be downgraded with the change.
With Risk Management already moved, King said the movement of the rest of Human Resources completes the vision.
“As a department it will no longer exist,” King added.
Councilmember Bill Deile, whose sponsoring the ordinance, said he isn’t worried that Bateman is taking on too much responsibility with various moves that have been dropped in her lap.
He said he doesn’t know of plans to outsource any of the functions of HR either, and that for now Bateman has responded well to the additional duties.
“I haven’t seen her fail to respond in a timely fashion to anything and she certainly hasn’t complained,” Deile added.
According King, no jobs will be lost in the move.
Councilmember Marty McClain said he would have to see a full proposal before supporting the change, but added that changing the HR department in some fashion is not a new idea and had been kicked around by previous administrations.
McClain doesn’t expect any jobs to be lost, either, but said it might be important to look at distributing work for a department that no longer has a high turnover of personnel.
“I’m not in favor of losing any employees, I fully expect a reassignment of that personnel,” McClain said.
King said 1,369 full-time positions are authorized for Fiscal Year 2011 and the city has 1,276 current full-time employees.