By Ben Lane, TSB Staff
The McKinney City Council unanimously approved the addition of a third deputy city manager at its meeting on Tuesday evening. Council Member Geralyn Kever said that the council initiated the request for this addition due to the increasing workload placed on City Manager Jason Gray.
Gray told the council that he and his current deputy city manager, Rob Daake, are spending too much time with ongoing economic and community development issues and are not currently able to provide adequate direct supervision to the various city departments’ executive directors. The council members agreed and several cited the need for an additional deputy manager to alleviate the burden currently placed on Gray and Daake.
“As the community continues to grow, the ability to respond accurately and quickly becomes increasingly difficult,” Gray told the council. Gray said this additional deputy city manager is necessary to increase the level of service throughout the entire city government.
The additional deputy city manager is set to cost the city $87,356 for the remainder of 2013, according to the documents made available for this council agenda item. The salary and benefits account for $82,835 of the total. Computer hardware/software for the new employee are set to cost $2,921. The additional financial breakdown of the total is: Communications (Telephone & Internet) $200, Travel/Training $900, and Associations $500.
The new deputy city manager will report directly to Gray and the position will be subject to review based on the economy (specifically the tax base of McKinney and if the city’s budget can afford the position) and performance.
Gray said that the budgetary and performance reviews are ongoing processes for the entire city government as they attempt to operate as efficiently as possible. “If we need to lay people off, we’ll lay people off,” he said.
Kever stated that the council has done research into other cities, similar in size and grown to McKinney, and determined that adding an additional deputy city manager is commensurate with those other cities’ governmental structures.
Mayor Pro Tem Travis Ussery said, “I’m not interested in spending people’s money. I’m in search of greater efficiencies.” He also said, “If this fails, we’ll correct it.”
Council Member Roger Harris echoed Ussery’s sentiments and said, “We don’t take this decision lightly. I’m looking at this as an investment.”
TAPS Vote Delayed: A motion to officially authorize TAPS as the city’s transportation provider was indefinitely tabled until a later date. Gray requested the tabling of the issue because he said the city is still ironing out some of the details of the switch from CCART to TAPS. Gray said he anticipates the council being able to vote on the TAPS switch within a few weeks.