Michael J. Sorba, Staff Writer
Posted: 01/14/2010 09:16:10 PM PST

COLTON – A major reorganization proposal of City Hall could result in six employees — including three department heads and a mid-level manager — losing their jobs, City Manager Rod Foster said Thursday night.

Along with the layoffs, several departments would be consolidated and some employee classifications would be added, eliminated and revised in the sweeping round of organizational changes the City Council will consider at a special 9 a.m. Saturday meeting at City Hall.

The reorganization, proposed by Foster, will save the city $339,253. Direct savings to the city’s General Fund is $245,212, which will eliminate about 25 percent of the $1.2 million deficit projected in fiscal year 2010-11, a city report says.

“We hired (Foster) to come in and reorganize the city and have the strength to be able to make the changes. He’s doing exactly that,” said Councilman David Toro. “We hate to see people lose their jobs, but the city is in dire need of a makeover and reorganization.”

Directors of the the Redevelopment Agency, Water and Wastewater Department and Electric Utility would be laid off, as well as a mid-manager and two general unit employees, Foster said.

Eleven city departments would be consolidated into seven. One example is merging the Public Works Department with the water and electric utilities to create a “Department of Public Works and Utility Services,” the report says.

The position of interim deputy city manager, which was created by Police Chief Bob Miller during his recent stint as interim city manager, to cover the vacant human resources director position would be abolished.

Bill Smith, who is acting as interim deputy city manager, would return to his role as community services director and a new human resources director would be recruited.

Public Works Director Maritza Tapia would become an interim director and a new director with a civil engineering degree would be sought. Once a new director is hired Tapia would return to a former assistant director position she once held.

“The organization that I’ve proposed is a more lean, streamlined organization,” said Foster, who started in December.

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