By Curt Yeomans
Morrow officials said they expect department moves approved this week, by the Morrow City Council, will help streamline operations in the city.
On Tuesday, the city council approved a change to the Morrow government's organizational chart, that will see the city's human resources and grant departments placed under the authority of the finance department.
Another change will see Morrow's planning and economic development department moved, from being under the direct authority of the mayor and city council, to working under City Manager Jeff Eady. The Morrow Center, whose officials previously reported directly to Eady, will now report to Morrow Planning and Economic Development Director Michael McLaughlin.
Eady said the organizational chart changes should create a chain of command that is easier for him to manage. A comparison of the city's new organizational chart, with one dated Nov. 23, 2009, shows the number of people reporting directly to Eady will decrease from nine department heads, to seven department heads.
"We're just streamlining our organizational structure so we can improve the process and efficiency of how we run the government," Eady said.
The city council approved the changes by a 3-1 vote. Councilman John Lampl, who is a former Morrow city manager and former planning and economic development director for the city, cast the lone vote against the changes. He did not explain, at the time, his reasons for voting against the department moves.
Eady said the heads of the affected departments were given notice, approximately a year before this week's city council vote, that he was planning to recommend the moves. He said he gave the department heads that much advanced notice because most of them were new to their positions at the time, and he wanted to give them time to become acclimated with their jobs, before moving their departments.
"Basically, what I've done is waited until I thought everyone was where they need to be, knowledge-wise, on how we're operating the city, my vision for the city, and how I would like the city to be structured -- with the support of the mayor and the council, obviously -- so we could manage it more efficiently," Eady said.
The city manager said the grants and human resources departments are being moved under the authority of the city's finance department, because the role of those three areas is to support the other departments in the city. Post-move, the finance department has been renamed the administrative support finance department, according to the city's new organizational chart.
In the case of moving the planning and economic development department, Eady said the department is actually being put back where it was before the last organizational chart change in 2009. It was moved, at the time, from being under the authority of the city manager, to reporting directly to the Morrow mayor and city council.
That change, Eady said, was because of personnel changes in the city that saw Lampl go from being city manager, to being the planning and economic development director. Eady, who had previously been the public works director under Lampl, then became the new city manager.
If the planning and economic development department had not been moved under the direct authority of Morrow Mayor Jim Millirons, and the Morrow City Council, then Lampl would have gone from being Eady's boss, to his subordinate, Eady said.
"When they offered him [Lampl] the economic developer's position, the agreement was made with him that there would be a lateral move, that he wouldn't answer to me, he would answer directly to the mayor and council," the city manager said.
Lampl left the planning and economic development director position in early 2010, to run for a vacant seat on the city council, and McLaughlin was hired to replace him. Eady said McLaughlin was hired by the city to replace Lampl nearly a year ago, with the understanding that there would eventually be changes made to the city's organizational chart.
"When we hired the [new] economic developer [McLaughlin], he was told that he would report directly to the city manager, and not to the mayor and council," Eady said.
Millirons, who was once Morrow's city manager, before he became mayor, said he understands what it takes for Eady to manage the city. He said he had endorsed the city manager's plan to make changes to the city's organizational chart.
"I've been in Jeff's position, and I know that you can't have everybody answering to you," Millirons said. "You've got to have a chain of command, and organization."