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Suggest Outside Organizational Review before Adding More Non-Essential Staff

From: domainremoved <Lynne>
Date: Tue, 11 Jun 2019 15:06:31 -0700

Dear City Council Members,

You are being asked to approve 6.25 new staff in addition to the .5 Public
Works Position that you've already agreed to hire. The police are removing
1 FTE. However, that position was for the Red Light Camera operations and I
believe that the position was paid for out of the fees collected. You may
not consider this a subtraction in terms of actual costs.

New Staff Requests:

· 1 FTE/Public Engagement Program (Pilot)

· 3.25 FTE/Library

· 1.5 FTE/Public Works

· 1.0 FTE/Administrative Services (provisional)

The size of Menlo Park’s overall organization is large. The true size is
also unclear given the numbers of long-term temporaries, contractors and
outsourced operations. Including that information in the Budget document
would be helpful to the public. The City's website also doesn't provide an
overall list of current job descriptions. Finally, some have also suggested
that our Staff Organization is management-heavy.

I suggest that Council wait to approve more Staff until after Council
oversees an outside Organizational Review of the Staff Organization, with
the exception of the police operations. While individual departments have
had reviews, the entire organization has not. The auditors conducting the
Department Reviews also reported to Staff, not Council. That reporting may
have influenced the recommendations.

Additional comments

· Should you consider more staff, I suggest that Council ask Staff
to submit a detailed job description for each requested positon, along with
reporting and proposed salary.

· The public hasn’t been asked what services we don’t value and
would like to see cut.

· The City could make better use of volunteers, to reduce staff
costs. That would also increase general civic engagement and fresh

· The Library’s comparative data is selected. It also mixes
Libraries organized as Municipal Libraries along with Libraries organized
as a Joint Powers Association.

· The Library’s comparative data doesn’t answer the central
questions: Does the public want to see more programs, more open hours, and
specific new library services? If so, what are they and how do you know?

· Library’s salary comparisons do not include benefits. A
comparison of salaries also doesn’t explain the justification for adding
more staff.

· Public Works. The justification refers to a draft report. Do we
need so many cars? Can the fleet service operations be outsourced?

· Administrative Services Budget Manager. The justification refers
to recommendations made by members of the Finance & Audit Committee. Given
the recent meeting regarding the role of the F&A Committee, I suggest
asking the F&A Committee to discuss this topic along with what the
residents serving are willing to help implement as volunteers.

I also suggest that Council consider the idea of Menlo Park joining the
12-city member San Mateo County Libraries. Joining this regional solution
would strengthen regional ties and it could cut library staffing costs
while increasing programming.

Lynne Bramlett
Received on Tue Jun 11 2019 - 15:01:18 PDT

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