Consulting firm recommends part-time mayor for Superior

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SUPERIOR, WI– The City of Superior is looking through lot of recommendations after hiring a consulting firm to address issues like staffing concerns, budgeting, and technology upgrades.

Superior Mayor Jim Paine says some suggestions were unexpected.

“They made the recommendation about a change in government structure, which is not what we asked them to do. That’s not something I think the City of Superior is interested in right now, not to say our councilors wont talk about it now though,” Paine said.

The report recommended hiring a full-time city administrator and cutting the Mayor’s position to part-time.

The study cited several other smaller Wisconsin cities that operate the same way, but Paine says cutting down his position does not make sense for the size of Superior.

“You don’t go backwards in community development. Most communities go forward and increase their staff as they grow in size and complexity,” Paine said.

Rather than decreasing the Mayor’s hours, he says hiring an additional administrator could be an option, but it’s not currently a necessity.

“I would absolutely love more administrative assistance, that doesn’t mean that’s what is best for the city right now though. There are a lot of departments that are also understaffed, and they need to be staffed as well,” Paine said.

Paine said the firm’s study did provide some important recommendations in regards to updated technology.

“We need much more significant software in a number of departments, especially our finance department,” Paine said. “We’re going to work aggressively over the next year to invest in really bringing us to the 21st century.”

City Council Vice President Craig Sutherland says the councilors haven’t had a chance to speak with the consulting firm about their findings, so he does not think it’s fair to make any judgement just yet.

Councilors will meet with the consulting firm on Tuesday.

Ultimately, Paine says.. how the city moves forward is up to its people.

Superior City Council President Brent Fennessey and Vice President Craig Sutherland released an official statement about the consulting firm’s study.

“We’ve never really had a comprehensive plan for our staffing levels.  Historically hiring has always been addressed on a case-by-case basis.  This study provides us with unbiased report, detailing how efficient we are as a municipality, and offers a widespread approach to improve our efficiency, adequately staff each department, and expand city services where we are lacking.  We now have the opportunity to implement some of these recommendations to allow each tax dollar to stretch as far as possible.
After looking at the draft report, there are some interesting recommendations, and we look forward to the presentation from the RW Group outlining their findings.”
-Brent Fennessey, Council President
-Craig Sutherland, Council Vice-President
The document with the study and its recommendations can be found here.
Jenna Wells

Jenna Wells

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