Everett Mayor Readies First Budget – Changes Look Of City Staffing

October 7, 2018

Everett Government

org chart

After 14 years the city organization chart is getting a major reshuffling. Click to enlarge.

Everett Mayor Cassie Franklin is about to present her first budget to the Everett City Council.

In the lead-up to that the Mayor is presenting a revised organizational chart for city staffing with new departments and net staff reductions.

In an address to the City Council on September 19th Mayor Franklin said in part,

“It’s very clear from our community that public safety is the #1 service they expect from their City government. Our residents expect us to respond when they call 911 and they expect to see our police officers out on the streets, working to keep them and their families safe. My proposed budget keeps public safety a top priority. The changes that I’ve proposed in police and fire reduce our staffing levels at the top in those departments, and actually add more boots on the ground.”

“My proposed budget restructures our City teams to provide a strong focus and investment in economic development, including tourism and marketing, and on community development and engagement. The new structure also allows those teams to work in close coordination to have an even stronger impact on our neighborhoods and business districts.”

Here is the full address by the Mayor to the City Council on September 19th.

Sept. 19 Budget Remarks

Over the last couple of weeks MyEverettNews.com has been working to find a way to explain the various personnel moves being made by the administration. We turned to Meghan Pemborke, the now Executive Director of the city’s Communications and Marketing department to help explain the various staff changes and realignments. Here’s her outline of what is happening:

Public safety remains a top priority for our community and the Mayor. As she said in her recent remarks, the proposed 2019 budget includes reorganizations in police and fire. Chief Templeman and Chief DeMarco implemented changes that allow for some consolidation and restructuring at higher levels while preserving front-line positions.

In police, the special investigations lieutenant and criminal intelligence sergeant positions have been dissolved, and the individuals in those positions have been moved to fill other vacancies within the department. The detectives that worked in the criminal intelligence and computer/digital forensic units have been reassigned to other chains of command. Mayor Franklin authorized adding two line-level officers for 2019, which will maintain overall commissioned staffing at 206 FTE positions.

In fire, Chief DeMarco has similarly implemented a leaner command structure, reducing the number of assistant chiefs to three: Assistant Chief of Operations, Assistant Chief/Fire Marshal and Assistant Chief of Administration. The Assistant Chief of Administration position is a consolidation of the former Assistant Chief of EMS and Assistant Chief of Training positions.

While the City has not experienced a mayoral transition in more than a decade, it is very common to see staffing changes and reorganizations under a new administration. One of the changes that Mayor Franklin has made is to establish two new departments to better align our resources around community priorities and to centralize functions that have previously been done throughout the City (including in Administration). This reorganization of existing staff and teams will provide better coordination and more transparency about how we are allocating resources.

The two new departments are Communications and Marketing (under me) and Community, Planning and Economic Development (under Deputy Mayor Nick Harper). The Communications and Marketing team oversees city-wide communications and marketing efforts, including media relations, the website, social media, video, graphics and branding, and public outreach, and will continue to support all departments in those efforts. We also work closely with the Economic Development team on business recruitment and tourism initiatives. As you noted, part of this reorganization brings graphics functions being done in other departments into this centralized team.

The Community, Planning and Economic Development department includes three divisions, Community Development (which will be led by Julie Frauenholtz), Planning (led by Allan Giffen) and Economic Development (led by Dan Eernissee). The new Community Development division pulls together similar functions that are currently being done throughout the City, such as neighborhoods and community engagement, boards and commissions, housing and human services and Safe Streets programs.

To answer some of your specific questions about individual employees: Julie Frauenholtz has served as a special projects manager under the Mayor since joining the City in January, and will be moving into a new role leading the Community Development and Neighborhoods division of the Community, Planning and Economic Development department. As you’ll see on the staffing changes overview in the packet, Hil Kaman’s Public Health and Safety Director position has been eliminated and he is now allocating 75 percent of his time to the Prosecutor’s Office and 25 percent to supporting Safe Streets programs, as part of the new Community Development division. The Executive Director position filled by Paul Kaftanski will be eliminated from the Administration and he will move into a new role overseeing four departments, and his salary will be distributed among them.

Taken together, the net savings to the general government from the restructure is just under $92,000. Non-general government departments will see a net savings of more than $215,000 and the total savings citywide is more than $307,000. Those are all sustainable, ongoing savings. The department restructure work is also just one part of the labor reductions in the proposed 2019 budget. The overall total is nearly $1.8 million.

Our thanks to Meghan Pembroke for providing some clarity to all of the restructuring happening. The city council still has to approve the new departments and will have a first reading of the authorization ordinance for them at their meeting this Wednesday with a final reading and vote scheduled for October 24th.

At the October 3rd budget committee hearings the list of proposed changes and cuts for the 2019 budget and the city’s structural deficit was still being fine tuned. Proposed funding cuts long term to the library have been restored with just 2019 seeing a reduction in funds to match the closure of the south Everett branch for remodeling. The funding for the Animal Farm has been restored for 2019 with plans by Parks and Community Services to try and find a private-public partnership model to sustain that program.

More tweaks to the 2019 budget plan are likely before it is presented. Formal public hearings are scheduled to be held in late November or early December and a balanced budget must be approved by the end of December.

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About My Everett News Staff

My Everett News is a hyperlocal news website featuring news and events in Everett, Washington. We also cover City of Everett information and items of interest to those who live and work in Everett.

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