MACEDONIA – City Council favored creating the position of service department supervisor at its Nov. 14 meeting, but not all members were in agreement. The ordinance passed 3-2.

Mayor Nick Molnar proposed the new position, saying it would establish more efficiency in the department as the workload for the service director and crews increases. He explained the city once had an assistant director, but that position was not filled because of a budget crunch after the previous assistant left in 2009.

The mayor said the supervisor’s salary would be around $65,000 a year, which would be significantly less than that of an assistant director. "In addition to this new person, we’re looking at increasing our seasonal workers in the department, and are looking at other staffing needs such as possibly adding a foreman," he added.

Council reps Vini Ventura, Shane Barker and Jessica Brandt voted "yes" on the ordinance, while Kevin Bilkie and Jan Tulley voted "no."

Bilkie said he believes money for the position could be better spent hiring more service department workers, addressing the city’s information technology needs or building a splash pad. "I just don’t think this position is needed right now," he said.

Bilkie said he’s talked to many of the service department staff "and they said they couldn’t care less about a supervisor, but they’d like to have an extra pair of hands to with with." He added the IT upgrades the city is pursuing will help improve the department’s efficiency.

Tulley said when an income tax hike was approved by voters last year, city officials promised that more workers – and not just seasonal ones - would be hired to handle the increasing demands. The service department now has 16 full-time crew members.

"Our service staffing is down 25 percent [three to five people] and our demands for service are up 40 percent," Tulley said. "I think we need more feet on the street, not an extra boss."

"We are doing the best we can with the resources we have," said Molnar. "The new software will help. But to sit here and say we need more help is irresponsible without having data to back it up, and the supervisor will help determine what is needed to improve our operations."

A separate ordinance adding the service department supervisor to the compensation schedule for non-union city employees also was passed.

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