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Task force proposed to study city posts

June 08, 2005|by GREGORY T. SIMMONS

gregs@herald-mail.com

After what was some of the first public disagreement last week between members of the new Hagerstown city administration, two of the sparring members have come together on one of the first public agreements since the officials took office May 30.

The agreement, however, likely will delay the hiring of a city management position that has been open since March.

During Tuesday's mayor and council work session, Mayor Richard F. Trump announced an effort to review the duties by city personnel and to see if any of those duties should be changed. A task force would report back to the council in about two months, he said.

Trump said the task force would include city supervisors and other staff members, as well as union representative Jim Bestpitch and Councilwoman Kelly S. Cromer.

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The announcement came a week after city officials discussed hiring a new director of administrative services. The position was held by John Budesky, who left in March to take a job in New Kent County, Va.

During last week's meeting, Cromer and Councilwoman Penny M. Nigh questioned the need to fill the position, but Trump said the council shouldn't "micromanage" the duties of the city staff, and said, "We can't be second-guessing every people decision."

City Administrator Bruce Zimmerman, who requested last week that the administrative services position be filled, said Tuesday he doesn't expect the job to filled soon.

"At this point, we're waiting until after the task force completes its work," Zimmerman said after the meeting.

Cromer said after the meeting that the task force idea was hers. She said she expects the council will discuss it further at a later meeting and will decide who will be on the task force, and what they will do.

One goal Cromer said she hoped the task force would accomplish is to have a study the council can refer to later, as job vacancies arise, to decide whether those positions need to be filled.

After the meeting, Trump said the task force plans are still unsettled.

"It's just going to take shape as we go," Trump said.

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