Gilbert Town Manager George Pettit aims to reorganize the town’s top administration next year in an effort to save money by avoiding new hires and make planning the town’s future more efficient.
"I’m trying to get some reorganization done when I have the chance to do it," he said. "It’s easier to reorganize, creating cost savings, and more efficient operations."
Pettit said he expects to come up with a specific plan in January.
Some Town Council members say the promised reorganization can’t come soon enough, as two top positions have been left open for nine and 18 months during a time critical to the town’s future.
The topic resurfaced this week as Town Council members met in a closed session Monday to discuss Petitt’s annual review and his goals. Petitt has worked for Gilbert 20 years, including four as town manager.
Pettit must fill three positions, including director of planning, left open nine months ago when Jerry Swanson resigned, and director of finance, vacant for 18 months since Marc Anderson resigned.
Linda Edwards has been the acting director of planning and Marc Skocypec, assistant town manager, has taken on the director of finance duties.
Police Chief John Brewer also finished his last day Friday, but the holidays have held up a nationwide search for a replacement.
Councilman Steve Urie said Pettit has been planning a reorganization for at least two years, and planning positions in particular are important as several staff members have been enticed out of town by other employers.
"Our staff does a great job, but when you’re one person short or if your planning department is constantly being picked off by the private sector or to other municipalities, it’s difficult," he said. "Let’s either get serious about the reorganization, or let’s go ahead and hire the positions. It’s caused increased burden and stress."