Featured Stories

Other Pamplin Media Group sites

Let the citys bureau shuffle begin

Mayor Potter plugs in short-term plan, solicits creativity

In his first meeting with all of the city's bureau directors, Mayor Tom Potter on Thursday laid out his blueprint for the next three to six months.

He cleared up some of the lingering questions about how the day-to-day management of bureaus would work under his control by providing a list of 16 bureau management guidelines. The guidelines address chain-of-command protocols, divisions of duties and deadlines for filing council agenda items.

Potter also introduced his own Bureau Innovation Project, a long-term effort designed to accomplish four of his main goals.

They include: increasing cultural awareness and diversity of the city's work force; fostering interbureau collaboration and working across so-called 'silos'; enhancing internal and external customer service; and incorporating a strategy called 'managing for results' in bureau operations.

Austin Raglione, who is leading the Bureau Innovation Project, said the point is to get bureau managers and employees to team up to find the best approaches to solving problems.

They'll hold monthly meetings and within three to six months report to City Council with specific recommendations and accountable results.

'The intent isn't to say what you're doing is wrong or not good enough,' she said. 'But let's do things differently. People are encouraged to come to the table with creative ideas and not feel like they'll be diminished.'

As Potter officially takes control of city bureaus Monday, city commissioners will be free to strategize on city priorities and goals with no allegiance to individual bureaus.

During the transition, they will work on collaborative projects such as the city's strategic plan, which will be developed with input from the community. Commissioners also still will be responsible for their liaison work with various boards and committees.

Potter will make new bureau assignments to the commissioners in upcoming months and prepare his proposed 2005-06 budget for the city during the first week of April. The council will hold work sessions April through June in preparation for the final city budget.