Assistant City Manager Job Back on the Table
Right-hand person needed to handle economic development, information technology and other issues, city manager says.
Elmhurst City Council members on Tuesday were presented with a potential personnel change that would cost the city $125,000 to $150,000.
Aldermen learned that the proposed 2012-13 budget is essentially flat compared to last year, with general fund spending down about 7 percent, but funds are now being proposed for an assistant city manager, an idea that was nixed last year.
The proposed budget eliminates two unfilled positions in the police and planning departments to accommodate the major personnel change.
Before City Manager Jim Grabowski was hired last summer, aldermen said they wanted to let the new city manager tell them if the position was needed. Grabowski told aldermen Tuesday that this right-hand person is needed to handle economic development and information technology, among other things.
Currently, Mike Kopp, who is Elmhurst's fire chief, also serves as assistant city manager.
First Ward Alderman Paula Pezza assured residents that while the position is included in the budget, there would be more discussion before it is filled.
“This is not written in stone,” she said.
Grabowski called for vigilance on spending, but he predicted the city had weathered the worst of the economic storm. The proposed budget represents a cautious but “busy and fruitful” plan for the year, he said.
In January, aldermen heard a list of proposed capital projects, including intersection improvements on the south side of the city, upgrades to the city's storm sewer lift stations and a York Road resurfacing project.
The budget also adds about $600,000 to the city's general fund balance, which aldermen have been trying to build up to have about three to six months of expenditures on hand.
Not yet included in any budget planning are expenses related to stormwater improvements or additional tax increment financing districts. The process for creating new TIF districts has not yet advanced to a stage where the city can plan for expenditures, and the Stormwater Task Force has not yet presented its recommendations to the council.
The next step is for the city's standing committees to review the budgets for each department. A public hearing on the budget is set for March 19, and the council is expected to approve the budget on April 2.