consultants are sandburs

Friday, March 02, 2012

City of Ramsey and the likelihood, at present at least, of downsizing top adminsitration by attrition.

In an email exchange with Mayor Bob Ramsey, he affirmed that with Nelson leaving to take an opening in Wayzata and one of the two top salaries now gone by attrition, he is still thinking that saving cost by eliminating a salary line is a good thing, and he will not want to hire a replacement. I am guessing McGlone would be going in that direction, as would Wise, each of whom previously voted to eliminate one of the top two administrative jobs. With Tossey wanting city costs lowered but having voted against firing Kurt Ulrich as a way of doing this, my guess would be he would not be against shrinkage at the top by attrition. I am awaiting an email reply from Tossey. I think letting attrition stand in this instance would be good. A tiny Podunk town such as Ramsey never has needed an Administrator and an Assistant Administrator, especially if organized having active and largely autonomous Department heads as with Ulrich's willingness to delegate; and I have always viewed having two costly and basically redundant top jobs to be an affectation from James Norman times, when the biggest fear in building the Norman Castle was that the man's empire building urge would want to populate it with new staff, the way a gas expands to occupy the volume available to it.

At lower levels, too much attrition can be a bad thing. In comparison, this particular likely shrinkage by Nelson's exceptional good fortune in moving to Wayzata seems a win-win all around.

Nelson clearly has moved on to something much better, and we all should wish her well in taking a job where her predecessor held the position for 36 years until deciding to retire. The implied security in that must be reassuring to Nelson. And Wayzata seems a cordial community, prosperous, and free of pettiness and discord. Nelson, hopefully, will be quite happy with her decision to move, once she is at work in Wayzata.

Jason Tossey by email informed me he believed that there should NOT be an additional, or deputy, city administrator in Ramsey. Without pinning down any opinions from others on council besides Tossey and the mayor, it appears unlikely there would be a council majority favoring a new hire for such a spot now or later in the year. It appears Ramsey will have close to a full year's experience, in today's development climate, in running itself without a deputy administrator. The chance to see how that works is an opportunity.

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