Cindy Manestar: Reorganization Not on the Road to More Transparency
The Brentwood alderwoman doesn't like a proposal that department heads report to the city administrator and not committees.
Brentwood Ward 2 alderwoman Cindy Manestar sent her constituents an email on what she called a "hot topic."
In the Aug. 13 email newsletter, which was forwarded to Patch and she gave permission to use, Manestar expressed a concern about changes to Brentwood's organizational structure that she said does not meet its current codes.
Instead of department heads reporting to a committee, they will report to the city administrator.
"This drastic structure change would alter the duties and responsibilities of each level of government within our city and minimalize the role of the board of aldermen. It would remove the board from involvement in certain steps and processes that we currently oversee," she stated in her newsletter.
“So if you sum that all up, that’s every department that the city has reporting to the city administrator, who reports to the mayor,” Manestar said later in an interview.
“I feel like if we’re supposed to be on this path to better oversight, better transparency,” she said. “I don’t think that that’s the road that this handbook is proposing, takes us.”
In Aug. 15 ways and means committee meeting, committee member Maureen Saunders said she would like to know who gave the direction to write the manual and change the organizational structure. She asked if it was mayor Pat Kelly.
City administrator Bola Akande said it was the existing aldermen at the time she was hired.
Kelly was in the audience at the meeting and asked committee chair Tom Kramer if he could take the podium and answer the question.
“I have not talked to the staff about the personnel manual at all since it started, so I did not direct any change with regard to the organizational chart,” Kelly said.
He said he thought what the staff was trying to do is develop best practices and bring forward what was a logical change.