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City of Puyallup

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AI- 4236   10.    
City Council Agenda
Meeting Date: 02/25/2014  
Subject:    Public Affairs Officer Recruitment
Presenter: Bill McDonald
Department: City Manager's Office  

Recommended Action
Authorize a budget adjustment for a full time Public Affairs Officer position and approve a new job description showing increased responsibilities including the inclusion of community relations officer duties.
The 2014 Budget established the position of Management Analyst as a new classification. Melanie Harding transitioned from the Community Relations Coordinator position to the duties of the new position. During the budget process, I agreed that for the time being Melanie would continue to provide Community Relations functions. I am concerned that the substantial menu of items that are on the docket to investigate in our organization challenge the time Melanie will have available. I have attached a short list of subjects we would like to investigate as we continue to move down the path of organizational development.

As Council will recall, the Public Affairs position in the City Managers Office was eliminated as a difficult but necessary action while building an austere 2013 budget. That decision was aided in some part by the incumbent (Glenda Carino) taking a new position in another city. Subsequently, in 2013 a part-time temporary position was approved by the City Manager to make sure we were updating the city's significant website and social media tools. The 2014 Budget provides for a part-time Public Affairs position. I do not think that is adequate to meet the demand which now exists and is increasing.

This item takes on added importance for the City Manager's office because our constituent tracking system is administered through the Community Relations desk. It is a valuable tool and needs adequate capacity. Additionally, Councilmembers often contact the City Manager or the Community Relations Coordinator when they have constituent questions and problems that need attention.

Previous Actions (Discussions/Presentations)
The City Manager proposed the full time Public Affairs Officer position at the February 11th Council Study Session. The Council was generally supportive but asked that a job description and more specific cost information be brought back when formal action is considered.
Summary of Proposal
Proposal: Recruit a a full-time Public Affairs Officer with added constituent response duties previously handled by the Community Relations Officer positon.

The primary alternative would be to recruit for a part time Public Affairs Officer positon and try to mangage the need for improved  media,  messaging and constituent tracking capacity in another manner.

Fiscal Impact
Public Affairs Officer job description
PAO budget scenarios

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