Two assistant city managers will start work Monday as part of a reorganization of city departments.
The change was announced last week, and it was approved by the Durango City Council with little discussion.
City Manager Ron LeBlanc said in an email the council has been asking him for two years to make the changes to help relieve his workload.
“The level of details that were discussed at the City Council meeting on Tuesday were developed over the past two months. However, I have been thinking about this for over a year,” he said.
The city expects to save $62,215 as a result of the restructuring. Most of the savings will be in the transportation fund. A transportation administrative assistant position will not be filled and that will save the city about $35,342, he said.
LeBlanc says changes will improve and speed communication between the city manager’s office and city departments and between the city and residents because the two assistant city managers will help him respond to requests.
Kevin Hall, former director of community development, and Amber Blake, former director of transportation and sustainability, were named assistant city managers.
The City Council also approved a new city pay schedule that states assistant city managers can make between $104,083 and $145,704 annually. The community development director and transportation and sustainability director could earn up to $134,576, according to the pay schedule.
Hall will oversee planning, engineering, business development, code enforcement, parking and special projects. He was going earn $119,600 in 2017, according to the city budget. Blake will be in charge of human resources, 911 emergency communications center, Durango-La Plata County Airport, administrative services, city clerk’s office, records, public information office, public engagement, legislation and public affairs, and special projects. She was going to earn $105,227 in 2017, according to the city budget.
Blake will continue to write grants for the transportation department, he said.
She will oversee the city’s community engagement efforts.
LeBlanc’s expects all of city’s departments will have a greater social media presence over time.
The transportation and sustainability director position has been eliminated, LeBlanc said.
Levi Lloyd, the director of city operations, will oversee transportation, such as trolley and bus services because it is similar to other city operation duties, LeBlanc said.
Assistant to the City Manager Mary Beth Miles will be the chief strategy and innovation officer and oversee sustainability and multimodal efforts.
Assistant to the City Manager Sherri Dugdale resigned, LeBlanc said.
Neither one of these positions will be filled.
Dugdale was also the city’s public information officer and the city has not determined who will fill that role, Le Blanc said.
As a part of the changes, the city’s arts and culture programs will be managed by the planning department instead of the city manager’s office.
LeBlanc will continue to directly oversee finance, parks and recreation, utilities, city operations, Durango Police Department and the Durango Public Library.