“I’ve been in the position for over three months, and it was time to make a couple of changes, more to suit my management style than someone else’s,” Cox said Tuesday.
“Lorne Kramer preferred that budget and finance be separate, and Penny preferred that they be together,” Cox said. “I’m kind of in the Lorne Kramer school of thought. I want a wider diversity of views on the budget.”
Cox said he expanded the internal budget process to include greater representation from each department. Culbreth-Graft, who resigned earlier this year and then claimed she was fired without cause, drafted the budget using an executive team that included only the police and fire chiefs, assistant city manager and chief financial officer, he said.
“I’m going away from the executive team concept and have more of a managers’ team, which is larger,” Cox said. “What I’m trying to do is enhance communication and create more of a sense of inclusion by our top managers.”
The new team is meeting today for the first time.
Among the other changes:
Lisa Bigelow, who used to be the former economic development director and the budget director before that, is now the city’s budget manager. Bigelow is still responsible for economic development, and she also picked up strategic planning, Cox said.
“We’re working on a strategic plan for 2011, so that we can get prepared for a new council, a new mayor,” he said.
Terri Velasquez is no longer the city’s chief financial officer. Velasquez is now finance director, a title she held before the Culbreth-Graft era.
“She’s going to focus primarily on finance and sales and use tax collection and contracting and accounts payable and accounts receivable,” Cox said.
Below is the city’s new organizational chart. Click on the chart to make it bigger.