Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Steady Pace of Improvements

It is really hot this weekend!! I hope everyone has found a place to keep cool during this hot spell. The trees and flowers love it after all this rain, but I’m trying to stay some place that is air conditioned. That is Wisconsin for you… hot in the summer and cold in the winter. We are sturdy folks!

On Tuesday evening, Dodge County Sheriff Todd Nehls led a discussion at the Fire Station to identify what the fire department feels is important to the future of their department. Todd reported that the meeting was extremely well received by the fire fighters. They identified their primary requirements of a Fire Chief, what they would like to see improved in the fire department and how those improvements could be implemented. They talked about their role as a fire department, and considered the roles of Emergency Management and Emergency Medical Services and if they should be integrated into the fire department or affect the way the fire department does business. This information is the beginning of a discussion to determine the position of Fire Chief. The next step is for the City Council to begin discussions on options for salary, hours, duties, etc. The process of hiring a chief is outlined in City of Columbus Resolutions 04-08 and 05-08.

Late last week City Staff met with Melissa Destree from Destree Designs to review a plan to more efficiently use the space in City Hall. Her proposal was amazing. Staff identified a number of problems with space, the biggest issue, of course is with the police area. Melissa developed a plan that reworked the police space, reusing wasted space to create a police area that is efficient. Right now her proposal is being reviewed by the department heads. They will make any changes based on their need and then it will be presented to the City Council. I’m totally amazed with what she has been able to squeeze out of the existing space in City Hall. The plan includes 4 conference/meeting rooms, evidence processing, a waiting area for police, two interrogation rooms, an office for the Economic Development Director, and much more. Do I have your interest? She proposes moving the council meetings to the Senior Center where there is more room for folks to sit, and it frees up a substantial area in City Hall for office space.

The City Administrator has been working hard on ways to meet our 2009 budget limitations. We will be holding a planning meeting on July 29th, where the City Council gives direction to the departments for their 2009 budget. Meanwhile there’s lots of work going on to try to find ways to work more efficiently without substantially reducing services.

Have a great weekend!