Bay City contemplates city planner position

The Bay City Council met Nov. 11 for their workshop.
The council talked about the opening of the city planner position. Mayor Christopher Kruebbe asked if the city planner and the city recorder positions be advertised. Attorney Monson said the City’s policy said they are going to advertise but they can promote from within.
Hilary Dorsey
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Councilor David McCall said he supports making this transition to making a city manager. Chance Steffey, currently the public works director, is someone the council is thinking of promoting within. As city manager, he would still be doing the duties of public works director, temporarily, which the council worried may be an overwhelming load.
In the short-term, McCall sees the juggling of the two positions as a struggle. He also strongly believes in advertising the two positions. Steffey said in the long-term, there cannot be two positions on one person and that it is not ideal. Councilor Wendy Krostag voiced this concern, saying she didn’t want Steffey to burn out.
“We already have the city manager right here,” Councilor Helen Wright said of Steffey.
Wright said the City knows what they would be getting with Steffey and that they should do it and take care of it.
Council President Kathleen Baker said the City is more prepared for this transition than they were two years ago.
“This will hopefully not be a long transition,” Baker said.
Steffey said planning in the Public Works can be a struggle and that there are some things he would still need to be involved with. He said there are a lot of transition issues that need to be dealt with.
“I will be there to learn as fast as I can,” Steffey said.
City Recorder Linda Downing is retiring from her position on the Nov. 30 and would be willing to help with the transition of a new city recorder.
Baker said the council should repeal personnel ordinance to create and hire a new position. Attorney Monson said she has a model personnel handbook and that the council could repeal certain sections without replacing the handbook. Ordinances can only be repealed by other ordinances.
Baker said they could hire the city manager before repealing the ordinance. Attorney Monson said the council can generally hire any way they see fit. McCall asked if they would no longer appoint fire chief, fire marshals and captains for the fire department. Monson said they would not anymore.
Councilor Helen Wright announced there would be a retirement part for City Recorder Linda Downey Friday, Nov. 22.

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