City administrative changes coming?

Mayor Gabriel J. Campana said Monday that he told City Council during a recent executive session regarding personnel that he wants to see a shift next year in his cabinet and plans to move his administration around and to have the city pay to create new positions in 2017.

Campana calls it his proposed “flow chart,” and it begins with planning for next year’s retirement of John Grado, the city engineer and director of community and economic development, who is leaving after 35 years.

Hired in July 1978, Grado, who has a salary of $88,000, will have worked for the city 39 years when he retires. Grado was hired as city engineer but has for the past 10 years directed the Community and Economic Development Department. He also served as director of the Streets and Parks Department for 15 years.

The engineer will be located at the city Public Works building at 1550 W. Third St., and the Streets and Parks Department will be renamed Public Works Department, Campana said.

Additionally, the city will need to hire a professional planner, who would then be part of the community development department, Campana said.

Recreation Department Director Jessie Novinger will answer directly to Campana as part of his cabinet.

Until now, the position was under River Valley Transit, Campana said.

These changes would require council’s authorization and changing the city ordinance. When asked if the flow chart would result in the city spending more money, Campana said it would because the city never had a planner and because Grado acted as an engineer and director of the Department of Community and Economic Development.

“We’re not going to find someone with his experience,” said Council Vice President Randall J. Allison regarding Grado’s exit and versatility. “We realize we will need two people to take his place, one a straight-up engineer.”

The most logical progression would be to move Stephanie Young up to director of the Department of Community and Economic Development, Allison said.

“She is knowledgable and capable of handling that part of it,” Allison said.

Council has final approval on what goes into the proposed ordinance change, he said.