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Absences from meeting on restructuring noted

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As details of Augusta's restructuring plan emerge, a closed-door meeting of select department heads Monday did not escape the notice of those who were not invited.

Proposed radical changes -- revealed in a draft organizational chart leaked by a city official last week -- preserve or expand the departments led by most of those present Monday while eliminating others.

Administrator Fred Russell, who formed the group a few months ago to effectuate a streamlined city government, said its work was nearing completion.

"A lot of our discussion is looking at management positions, and increasing the span of control," Russell said. "We're trying to flatten the organization."

The effort is expected to fill about $1.5 million of a $9 million deficit in the 2011 budget.

The restructuring is being done completely in-house and seeks to transform a government that resembles a column -- with higher-paid staff from top to bottom -- to one with fewer supervisors overseeing the bulk of Augusta personnel.

Present Monday were the heads of Augusta's engineering, planning, human resources, information technology, procurement, recreation and housing and community development departments.

Not everyone there has a sure future with the city, however. In attendance also was Heyward Johnson, whose transit department isn't on the new chart.

Russell said a request for proposals from private bus system operators, who likely would hire many displaced Augusta drivers if awarded a city contract, was nearing completion.

Also present Monday was longtime employee Robert Leverett, who recently announced his retirement as deputy city administrator and head of the city's inmate labor camp.

The changes are not on the agenda for today's commission meeting, but Russell has said he's meeting with commissioners one-on-one to ensure that he has sufficient support to implement the restructuring plan.

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Brad Owens
Brad Owens 12/07/10 - 05:01 am
Seems like a sort of musical

Seems like a sort of musical chairs to me, I wonder who will be left without a chair when Fred's music stops?

They need to cut all the Boards and Authorities out 100% and take on the work load themselves or make it all vol.

I do support the Arts so the small bit of the budget that supports Arts in the Heart and other Arts Council items should be kept.


justus4 12/07/10 - 07:59 am
Oh, oh. This is not a

Oh, oh. This is not a positive development for U know also demonstrates that so-called "transparency" is a red herring that's dragged out whenever convenient. In other words, where is the hand wringing about these proceedings being "closed door"?

CabisKhan 12/07/10 - 08:35 am
Brad. You say that YOU

Brad. You say that YOU support the arts, and then imply that WE, the taxpayers, should fund them through taxpayer supported organizations. At one time in the old USSR the "art bureaus" determined what arts would be supported with the people's monies. The private individual in America, like yourself, can and should elect to support the arts as one sees fit themselves.

bettyboop 12/07/10 - 10:03 am
So fred does that racist and

So fred does that racist and money mongering sams keep her job or are you going to do the City a great favor by canning her once and for all? Otherwise this "restructoring" is a lot of bull..."A tale told by an idiot full of sound and fury..signifying nothing".............
(my regrets to the Bard)

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