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Councilman: City needs to go back to drawing board on new position

Council bill to be withdrawn

A proposed bill to combine the positions of information technology director and finance director is expected to be withdrawn Tuesday before any council action can be taken.

On Jan. 23, Jefferson City announced the promotion of Bill Betts, current information technology services director, to the yet-to-be-created position of assistant city administrator. The new position would combine the IT director and finance director positions after the city’s two national searches failed to find a new finance director.

The promotion was decided in a closed session vote Jan. 22, though it technically wouldn’t take place until the new position officially is created in open session, which was scheduled to happen Tuesday.

First Ward Councilman Bob Weber, sponsor of the bill, said his intention is to withdraw it Tuesday and allow the council to start from scratch.

“I feel that we need to go back and study this more and just go back to the drawing board,” Weber said. “We’ve all received a lot of comments from citizens, and I just feel that at this point in time we need to go back and take a look at the process.”

Weber said his intention only is to withdraw the bill, not specify what the next step should be. He said if the council feels the planned restructuring is the way to go, it can be sent to the committee level and be brought back to the council after an open discussion. Or, he said, the council can go back to the original plan and look simply to fill the original finance director position.

“It would be left up to the council,” Weber said. “With that ordinance withdrawn, it means we still have an opening for a finance director ... I just think that this needs more evaluation and discussion.”

Carrie Carroll, 4th Ward councilwoman and co-sponsor of the bill, said sending the bill to the committee level, which would likely be the Council Committee on Administration chaired by Carroll, “would be the most open discussion way to do it.”

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