By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
City may downgrade Lemcke's post
Placeholder Image
After eliminating jobs to pare down budget deficits, city officials are on the hunt to save more dollars by reclassifying a department head position.

City officials want to knock down Doug Lemcke from Recreation Director to Recreation Manager and cut his salary. Under the restructure plan, the Recreation Department would become the Recreation Division and placed under the watch of the Public Works Department.

The resulting savings is relatively small, about $10,800 per year, based on $7,200 savings in salary and $3,600 savings in car allowance.

The city took actions recently to trim $1.13 million from the budget, of which $725,824 is in the general fund. The city is still staring at a $2 million deficit.

At the March 9 City Council meeting, Councilman Ken Lane wanted to know the fate of Lemcke's administrative secretary's position, specifically if it would be downgraded to a secretary position that earns less. City Manager Brad Kilger said he hadn't thought about the effect on Cara Butler's position. "It's generally been the practice that administrative secretaries are aligned with directors and secretaries aligned with managers," said Kilger. "I'm not sure if that's a hard and fast rule."

Mayor Anthony Cannella wondered if other secretaries might clamor for more salary if Butler is kept on as an administrative secretary working for only a manager.

Councilman Guillermo Ochoa said the city needs to be cautious in cutting recreation department staff "because that's a revenue maker there. Of all the departments, I think it's the only one that tries to carry itself by making income."

He wondered aloud the wisdom of saving $10,000 by possibly "run the risk of losing an individual who has a lot of experience running that department."

At Monday's meeting the matter was scheduled for a vote but deferred to the city's council's budget subcommittee for further review. Kilger would only say that Lane's concerns were "correct" and the matter needed to be studied further.