Citing budget concerns due in part to what City Manager Kevin Evans called a “top-heavy administration,” the city is preparing to release two top level directors by Friday, Feb. 29.
According to sources with knowledge of the situation, those two positions will be that of Planning Director Amy Haberbosch and Fire Chief William Kelleher.
The city sent a press release late Friday night, Feb. 22, citing economic concerns for the moves.
“I firmly believe that this organization must be retooled to adjust for current market conditions,” Evans said. “Additionally, I need to make sure that the City is able to sustain basic services to the public as efficiently as possible.”
The release states that the $18 million budget reallocation, brought by Finance Director Roger Kolman to the City Council on Feb. 19, which passed that measure unanimously, called for the hiring freeze of several positions within the city for the remainder of the budget year.
The release also stated the jobs of Haberbosch and Kelleher had been redistributed and that further changes could occur.
“My goal is to have a sustainable, responsive team,” Evans said. “This will mean further restructuring, but it will ultimately provide the citizens with a highly-efficient local government.”
According to Public Affairs Manager Jennifer Grentz, the release of the two department heads was not a move recommended by Kolman in his budget reallocation, but was a separate measure headed by Evans. She said Evans would make himself available for comment on the layoffs early next week.
Haberbosch was the city’s first planning director, brought on board as one of the first department head hires after the October 2003 incorporation by then City Manager Rick Buss.
Kelleher was brought on board with the fire department while it was still a district, continuing in its’ capacity as fire chief when it was taken over by the city in July 2007. The fire department’s current chain of command leaves the Division Chief of Fire Prevention, Mark Boys, and the Assistant Chief for Life Safety, Wade Brannon, as the top officials in that department.