Batavia City Manager Rachael Tabelski hasn’t found time to completely move into her new office, but she has wasted little time acting to fill two key administrative positions.
Tabelski, following tonight’s City Council Conference Meeting at the City Centre Council Board Room, said job descriptions for an assistant city manager and director of the Department of Public Works are up on the city’s website and other social media sites and have been sent to municipal and trade associations.
When asked how her first two weeks as the permanent city manager have gone, Tabelski said it has been business as usual except for the task of transferring her workload and possessions to the city manager’s office.
“Well, it doesn’t really feel different. I started moving my office today – I finally got a break .. and this morning I took about 20 minutes to start moving things,” she said. “But I think that the most exciting thing that we have is that we just announced the posting for the assistant city manager job and the director of DPW.”
The city has been without an assistant city manager since June of last year when Tabelski moved up from that role to replace Martin Moore. Just recently, she appointed Ray Tourt to replace Matt Worth (who retired) as DPW director but Tourt has decided to return to his former position of superintendent of the Bureau of Maintenance.
“So, that certainly is progress in terms the first two weeks as the official manager,” Tabelski said. “And that will certainly help with the workload that the managers’ currently have (by) filling those positions and getting projects moving.
“We just released a job description and advertisement on Friday afternoon and started posting on social media. We will be advertising with our local partners as well as with associations across the state to find the qualified candidate that wants to come in and do a lot of project work, actually.”
Tabelski said the assistant manager position is going to be “very project based.”
“This person should have a degree in Business or a business-related field or Public Administration, and with years’ experience and be very comfortable in a top executive role with our city,” she said.
The actual job description indicates the assistant will execute projects “in a timely and professional manner with a focus on financial tracking and compliance … (and) provide … accurate and timely information to support decision-making and policy direction …”
Some of the many “typical work activities” listed include assisting with collective bargaining, operating and capital budgets, and evaluation of the city’s fiscal position in relation to the budget. The assistant manager also will oversee the creation of an administrative services budget to include the clerk/treasurer, youth, information technology, assessor and human resources.
The salary range for the assistant city manager is $82,946 to $100,604, and the selected individual will have to move into the city within six months of the appointment.
No salary range is listed for the DPW director, who is responsible for the management of the Bureau of Engineering and Inspection, Bureau of Water and Wastewater, and the Bureau of Maintenance.
In other developments:
- As first reported on The Batavian, the Genesee Country Farmers’ Market is looking to move across Alva Place into the former JC Penney parking lot this summer (actually beginning on June 4).
Council members seemed to be pleased with the move, especially after Tabelski said that there would be plenty of parking available even if another store moved into the empty building.
Council Member Rose Mary Christian noted that alcohol will be served and questioned whether farmers’ market officials had the appropriate permits or licenses. During a brief back and forth, she asked several times for City Attorney George Van Nest to check into it.
The application submitted by Sharon Brant, farmers’ market treasurer, indicates that the organization has a special permit through the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets and the NYS Liquor Authority for tasting only, and that vendors can sell alcoholic beverages in approved sealed containers.
The market is scheduled to run on Tuesdays and Fridays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and on Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. through Oct. 29.
Tabelski mentioned that she has been meeting with farmers' market officials on a regular basis and is planning a downtown "walk-through" to look at potential permanent sites for the operation.
- Council moved two resolutions to its Business Meeting on April 12.
One was to create a temporary position of superintendent of water and wastewater as a result of current Superintendent Bill Davis’ intention to retire within the next eight to 12 months.
Tabelski encouraged Council to “fill the position in advance to avoid a large knowledge gap,” adding that similar action was taken in the case of police officer retirements.
She said she expects to advertise for the Civil Service position soon, with an eye on filling it by the end of May.
Council Member John Canale asked if the city’s hiring freeze pertaining to this position.
Tabelski said the freeze was for jobs in the general fund, while this is being paid for by the water and wastewater funds.
The other resolution was to authorize the Community Garden board to apply for an AARP Community Challenge Grant of up to $10,000 to improve the garden on MacArthur Drive.
Tourt said proposed enhancements would be for materials to construct a hardscaped patio with a pergola (outdoor garden feature forming a shaded walkway, passageway, or sitting area of vertical posts or pillars) and to add more planting beds.
Deadline to submit the grant is April 14.