Post-Meeting Summary of the July 10, 2018 City Council Meeting:
The City Council agenda on 7/10/18 may have been short but the topics generated a significant amount of discussion. For the public tuning into the live webcast, we apologize for the technical problems with the broadcast. The meeting was recorded and can be viewed through the link below.
Two topics comprised the agenda, one regarding a reorganization, filling of vacant positions and approving of classifications, and the other was about beautifying the triangle at the Palos Verdes Blvd, Palos Verdes Drive North and Palos Verdes Drive West intersection.
In regards to the reorganization, the City Council supported the reorganization of the Planning, Building and Public Works Department relative to creating the position of Community Development and Public Works Director, Planning Manager and part-time City Planner. The decision was also to maintain a part-time, rather than full-time, Code Enforcement Officer. The cumulative savings of these organizational changes are approximately $115,000. The total compensation of the combined positions will change from $517,644 to $402,650.
Much discussion ensued about how and if to fill the Police Support Services Manager. For cost savings of approximately $50,000, the Lewis-McCrary study recommended a civilian Police Support Services Manager to fill the vacancy of the sworn Police Captain for administration. Please recall that only two LA County cities are known to have (had) a civilian in this position, one of which has converted back to a sworn Captain and the other having filled the position with an internal candidate. It is also relevant to know that professional recruiting firms are not known to have recruited for a civilian Police Support Services Manager. It is further notable that the Lewis-McCrary study recommended the reduction of one Police Sergeant position that would either require layoffs, severance for everyone in the position interested in leaving City employment or attrition. The City has been relying on attrition, thus we have not realized the savings of approximately $180,000 associated with the fully benefited position.
Over a six-month period, the City conducted an extensive recruitment for the Support Services Manager to find no one qualified. The choice before the City Council (please reference the staff report and Attachment D) was to re-advertise using a professional recruiting firm (cost of approximately $20,000) over the next six months, or revert back to filling the vacancy with a Captain by an internal recruitment that, in turn, would immediately eliminate and save the salary and benefits of a Sergeant.
The advantage of a Captain over the $50,000 projected savings associated with hiring a Support Services Manager is as follows. A Captain:
- Provides 7-day-a-week, 24-hours–day availability of a sworn Officer for response to routine calls, incidents, as well as emergencies, and disasters (i.e. fires, cliff rescues, containments, etc.).
- Serves as an Acting Chief when, for example, the Chief is on vacation and the Operations Captain is not accessible.
- Supports employee retention and internal succession to Chief.
- As a successor for Chief, will have experience developing and implementing the Department’s operating budget and overseeing Dispatch/Jail functions
Recognizing that it would cost $20,000 to conduct a recruitment, the City would achieve approximately and immediately $180,000 in savings by reducing a Sergeant position, the incremental cost increase (ranging between $5,000 and $20,000) associated with a promotion is not overwhelming, and there are clear measurable benefits of the position filled by a Captain, it was decided to fill the position with a Captain. This explanation will be re-stated in a staff report on the July 24 City Council agenda.
The other topic discussed was landscaping the entry triangle at the Palos Verdes Blvd, Palos Verdes Drive North and Palos Verdes Drive West intersection. In summary, it was agreed that the triangle should be landscaped as soon as possible, directing that a proposed design be presented to the Parklands Committee in September. This would ultimately result in planting in late winter, early spring. Staff will work with a professional landscape architect and support any private efforts to conduct a charrette with students to develop an additional design.
Please view the City Council meeting HERE to see the meeting in its entirety.
Thank you, Tony
To download a PDF of previous City Manager's Previews or Summaries, please click on the links below:
- July 10, 2018: City Manager's Meeting Preview