Realigning the City of Greenwood’s workforce is expected to save nearly $200,000 in the proposed 2021 budget.
“I think we have the right people in place to make it successful,” Greenwood City Manager Julie Wilkie said.
Several longtime city employees have retired during the past year, which has created opportunities for Wilkie to shift some responsibilities. The staff member who carried the most roles and responsibilities was former city finance director Steffanie Dorn.
Dorn, in addition to her main function as finance director, was also clerk to city council, the city’s FOIA officer and also functioned as assistant city manager. Dorn left the city after 20 years of service to become assistant Greenwood County treasurer.
While the city is still searching for a finance director, Wilkie said she has taken some of the roles Dorn served as and given them to other staff. Tiffany Albert, executive assistant in Wilkie’s office, was appointed as clerk to council. Ryan Thomas, formerly the assistant to the city manager, has been promoted to assistant city manager.
Wilkie said she looked at each job in the city government and tried to find ways to make the city function better.
Shameka Brown, who served as the municipal court administrator, will now handle Freedom of Information Act requests. Haley Pulley, the city’s ministerial recorder, was recently appointed to take over Brown’s position in the municipal court.
Two upcoming retirements have also led to some realignments. Lynn Walker, who has worked for the city for 42 years, will retire as benefits coordinator. Brown is training with Walker to take this position upon her retirement.
Assistant Fire Chief Robby Stevenson will also retire at the end of the year. Fire Marshal Tanner Hall will become the new assistant chief while Travis Lathren, who serves as Hall’s deputy, will become the city’s fire marshal.
The city is eliminating the deputy fire marshal position.
“The staff generally seems excited about these changes,” Wilkie said.
Sara O’Dell, acting finance director, will move to a new role as a human resource specialist, responsible for developing policies and procedures.
“For many years, I felt like we needed a stronger HR department,” Wilkie said.
Wilkie said O’Dell has been attending HR training for a while and will move to this new position once a finance director has been hired.
The finance and municipal court clerks will now be located in the finance department. Wilkie said each clerk has been cross-training in each department. City court business will now be handled at the front windows of the finance department.
Some departments didn’t see a change in the number of positions but have seen their share of turnover.
Kelly McWhorter, executive director of Discover Greenwood, has seen two staff members leave in the last few months. While Wilkie said the city will keep the director of sales position, the visitor services manager will be changed into a marketing coordinator position to support the organization’s new role in economic development.
Discover Greenwood is handling the marketing element of Greenwood County’s economic development consortium.
Another change resulting from the consortium is expanding Uptown Greenwood Manager Lara Hudson’s role. Hudson will also work on the city’s retail recruitment and retention, Wilkie said.
The city will use the $20,000 that was invested annually in Greenwood Partnership Alliance toward Hudson’s salary, taking some of the burden off Uptown Development Corp.
The city is seeking an events and marketing coordinator to assist Hudson with events in Uptown Greenwood, manage the market and handle social media.
Some of the savings the city is seeing come from having longtime city employees who are at the top of their position’s salary range retire.
Those savings were also seen in the police department where longtime chief Gerald Brooks along with other high-ranking officials retired. The same could be seen in the public works department as well.
First reading of the city’s $16.03 million budget was approved at Monday’s council meeting. The budget is 2.35% lower than the previous year’s budget.