Memorandum 11-144 Special Projects Coordinator Position

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TO: Mayor Hornaday and Homer City Council
FROM: Walt Wrede
DATE: October 24, 2011
SUBJECT: Special Projects Coordinator Position

As you know, Special Projects Coordinator Anne Marie Holen is scheduled to retire at the end of this month. This has provided me with an opportunity to rethink this position and perhaps restructure it in a way that better meets the City’s needs and staffing requirements. I have been thinking about this a lot. I am proposing that the Council authorize me to change the job description and the title and to increase the pay significantly in order to attract qualified candidates with the skill sets we need. The new position would include many of the duties Anne Marie already performs and add new responsibilities related to project management and economic development.
The Position Description
I propose to change the job title from Special Projects Coordinator to Community and Economic Development Coordinator. The amended job description would add duties that focus on areas Council members have identified as important and lacking, such as economic development, marketing the port and harbor, assistance with project management, and public relations. Primary components of the revised job description would include:
• Grant Writing and Research
• Project Development
• CIP Development
• Legislative Assistance and Support for Mayor, City Manager and Lobbyist
• Project Management Support ( paperwork, project tracking and coordination)
• Implementation of Adopted Community Economic Development Strategy (CEDS), Develop a Strategic Plan
• Community, Port and Harbor Marketing
• Implementation of Adopted Comprehensive Plan (infrastructure and community facilities and services)
• Staff Support for Economic Development Commission
• City Liaison to Other Community and Economic Development Organizations such as Chamber, Borough Economic Development District, etc.
• Public Relations Functions, disseminate information about local government
The Special Projects Coordinator position is currently compensated at a Range 16 on the City Salary Schedule. I bumped this position up one range to a 17, changed the job description slightly, and advertised for the position several weeks ago. I did not receive many applications and decided that now was a good time to rethink this, cast a bigger net, and go for the type of position and applicants that I perceive we really need.
I propose that Council approve bumping this position up from a Range 16 to a Range 23. I believe that the job description and the qualifications I would be looking for warrants this and that it is necessary to attract good candidates. This position would remain in the City Manager’s office and would be part of the Administration Department. The compensation would be several ranges below that of the department heads but on par with the City Planner and City Clerk. The position would be exempt (not hourly).
Doing this would cost the City an additional, estimated, $15,000 per year including salary and benefits. I think this would be a bargain because it addresses to some degree areas where we need help, but it does not involve creating new positions or new long term financial obligations. It stops short of creating a Department or Director position. It is not a cure-all by any means, but it does provide some relief for problem areas. I have several ideas regarding where the extra money could be found and if Council approves of this recommendation, I will submit a proposed budget amendment in November.
Next Steps:
Personnel Director Andrea Petersen has a draft job descript ready to go. If the Council approves of this move, Andrea will send out a recruitment notice the next day, Tuesday, October 25th. I will follow that up with a proposed budget amendment for the Meeting on November 28.
RECOMMENDATION: Authorize the City Manager to advertise for a Community and Economic Development Coordinator position as described above.