The Mayor and her Administration have the managerial prerogative to continue recreation programs without adding money into the budget if that is their goal. Below are Mayor Sharon's three options:
1. During the absence of a Department Head or Division Head, the Mayor has the ability to assign the City Administrator or another Department or Division Head to cover the duties and responsibilities of that office. The Mayor has used this approach before to cover top level management responsibilities (i.e. As City Administrator, Bibi Taylor was assigned the responsibilities of the Director of Administration & Finance and CFO. Currently, the new Director of Administration & Finance, Al Restaino is assigned the responsibilities of CDBG Director and PAS Director. Additionally, Jacques Howard, the UEZ Coordinator, is also assigned the responsibilities of the Department of Public Works and Urban Development.) So, the million dollar question...why is Recreation any different?
2. The Mayor has the ability to create the Recreation Superintendent's position on a part-time basis versus full-time thereby extending or cancelling the April 15, 2011 lay-off. When the new fiscal year begins on July 1, the budget reduction would then be spread out over 12 months instead of 2 months. This option allows the Mayor to work within budget and still have the current Superintendent of Recreation maintain his position.
3. The Recreation Committee is a committee created by ordinance and comprised of concerned residents to provide guidance and recommendations on City-wide recreation programs. Its important to note that all Committee members were appointed by the Mayor last year amid controversy surrounding Queen City Baseball League and the Division of Recreation. Should the Recreation Superintendent's position become vacant, the Recreation Committee's services are still needed. The Committee could fill the service gap and provide the much needed citizen input into the type of programs our community deserves.
Each of these three options would work if the administration made a commitment to work within the resources provided by the approved budget. That has been the way every year including the last two years in which layoffs created staffing gaps that had to be filled. When there is a will, there is a way. These three options can be also be used in combination. All it takes is the usual effort expected of a Mayor.