County Administration Reorg Postponed

A reorganization of administrative positions proposed by Washtenaw County administrator Verna McDaniel was pulled from the agenda of the Sept. 21, 2011 meeting of the county board of commissioners. Details of the restructuring had been part of the board’s packet of materials. There was no discussion on the topic.

The proposed changes, which could be introduced at a later date, were expected to save $120,962 and were part of a broader 2012-2013 budget proposal. The reorganization would have put the deputy county administrator’s position – which has been unfilled since the departure of Bill Reynolds earlier this year – on hold/vacant status. A new “cross lateral” team was proposed with four members: Kelly Belknap, director of finance; Greg Dill, infrastructure management director (a new position); Curtis Hedger, corporation counsel; and Diane Heidt, director of human resources and labor relations.

Dill is currently director of administrative operations for the sheriff’s office. A resolution for his new appointment – to the newly created job of infrastructure management director, with a salary of $116,75 – was also pulled from the agenda of Wednesday’s meeting. His new responsibilities would include some previously assigned to the county’s information & technology manager, a position that’s been eliminated following the departure of James McFarlane.

According to a staff memo, the cross lateral team was intended to split the duties formerly handled by the deputy administrator. Department heads would be assigned to a team leader and report to that person for non-critical issues. The proposal called for each team member to receive a $15,000 stipend in addition to their salaries, which would be capped at $125,000 unless a higher salary is authorized by the county board. If the combination of salary and stipend exceeded $125,000, the excess would be paid as a contribution into the employee’s deferred compensation retirement plan.

Other changes in the proposal included eliminating an administrative coordinator position, and creating a new management analyst job.

This brief was filed from the boardroom of the Washtenaw County administration building, 220 N. Main in Ann Arbor. A more detailed report will follow: [link]