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City looks at succession planning

On May 22, Red Wing City Council will consider approving an extensive reorganization of the city's administration department.

If approved, the move would eliminate three positions, create two new positions and promote five existing employees. The reorganization would increase costs by $60,000 during the 2018-19 fiscal year, but could decrease costs by as much $65,000 by 2020, according to city documents. The cost fluctuation is due to the anticipated retirements of several employees in leadership positions. Planning for the reorganization began three years ago, in an effort to, according to city staff, "improve efficiencies and provide better service to the mayor, City Council and internal employees," a staff memo states.

However, the largest reason for the reorganization is to plan for upcoming retirements among city staff. City Administrator Kay Kuhlmann said she believes there will be significant turnover of leadership in five to 10 years.

The plan would allow those employees to begin phasing retirement while existing staff moves into new positions and new employees can be hired, she said.

She also said she envisions that reorganization would simplify the administration department's structure, consolidating four departments into two. This shift "will support more efficient business processes."

If council approves the plan at the 7 p.m. meeting, Monday, May 22, the assistant to the council administrator, deputy city clerk and employee services director positions will be eliminated, while a human resources generalist and administration support manager position would be added to the staff.

The proposal comes a few months after the city created the Community Development Department. After some delays, the Personnel Committee, including council members Dean Hove, Dustin Schulenberg and Evan Brown, voted to advance the plan to the council.