Thursday, April 26, 2007

UPDATE: 2 Assistant positions dumped...everyone happy? reporter Joel Massey attended today's buget hearing and files this report.

"It was delayed 2 days but the Alexandria city council voted this morning to approve the next year's budget after removing an assistant security position for the new mayor.

Jacques Roy will not lose any of the 5 assistants he's already hired. Those positions are economic development, chief of operations, public relations, publicist, and workforce development. A personnel liaison position has not been filled yet but remains in the budget. The mayor defended the importance of the new assistants and the process used to determine why they were needed. Also scrapped - a proposal to increase sanitation fees by 4 dollars.

Today was the last day the new budget could be approved; otherwise the current budget would have been extended without planned raises for classified city employees. "

Who won the Mayor or the City Council? Does it really matter?


Anonymous said...

Of course it matters - what a stupid question. Nobody won this fight, but there are more to come that's for sure.

Pawpaw said...

THe bigger question is: Who Cares? Every town has inter-political squabbles. It's part and parcel of our Democratic system to be adversarial. If suddenly all the local politicos started agreeing on everything, I'd believe there was a conspiracy.

Anonymous said...

I don't think that this was over the budget. The impact of this $100K omission in a $23+ dollar budget is negligible. This was the council pushing back against the administration's assertion of it's authority and prerogotives. I doubt that this tug-0-war is over. My guess is that this mayor doesn't like having his hand slapped when he's right.

Anonymous said...

My guess is the ugliness came out in the meetings held yesterday between the Mayor and councilmen heading into today's meeting. He knew what he was up against and realized quickly they could unfund all the positions.

He had to give some and so did they. A compromise was reached, but now there's more pressure than ever for some of these assistants to perform - my bet is some won't make past the first 3 month deadline, others might survive 6 months.

I can't wait to hear the first monthly report from each of them in the personnel committee.

I also applaud the efforts to keep our "utility bills" down by not increasing sanitation, but we can't keep subsidizing all the other utility departments with our electric department revenue. At some point, we're going to have to face reality and pay what it really costs to have the trash picked up.

Anonymous said...

I completely agree we're going to have to face reality about sanitation costs, but I really think you're jumping the gun on these appointments. I'm going to give the mayor the benefit of the doubt. Many of these people seem really committed to helping our city move forward. Maybe not all of them, but we shouldn't doubt them before they've been given a chance. I would like to hear reports from all of them. I listened to the meeting today after I got off work. I work a graveyard shift, obviously, and it sounded to me they're all doing many different things. I used to work in government in Charleston, SC, and in Charleston, the mayor's assistants worked harder than anyone. They all had different tasks. We can't expect two or three people to do the work of ten people, and I applaud Roy for recognizing Alexandria is a mega-million dollar corporation in need of a strong and intelligent staff, each responsible with their own duties. I'm also glad he broke down Lamar White's and Jaqueline Whitle's jobs, because I wondered why one was a publicist and one was a public relations person. It now sounds to me both have a bunch of different responsibilities. I know some people may have political issues with Lamar White, but no one can deny Junior knows how to do his research. I only hope we can not make this about the people Roy put in place but about the quality of the work they produce.