Councilman Larry B. Johnson questioned why the mayor needed both an administrator and a chief of staff. He asked City Administrator Bill Reynolds what exactly Chief of Staff John Asmarâs job description is.
âHe does much as I do, what the mayor determines he should do,â Reynolds said.
Johnson replied that he âmight have a hard time voting for the budget this timeâ if more specific job descriptions were not available. Councilwoman Sheri Myers agreed, adding that sheâd like to see an organizational chart.
Today, Johnson elaborated on his question regarding Reynolds and Asmar. The councilman said that with the cityâs expected $1 million deficit, the board needed to search out areas for potential cuts.
âI just think we need to take a look at consolidating those two positions,â Johnson said.
The councilman had also brought up the issue during Mondayâs Committee of the Whole meeting. At that point he also requested job descriptions and an organizational chart.
âBecause I feel like a real dumbâ … a real dumb person when I see people on the street and I canât explain whoâs responsible for what,â Johnson said.
Council Vice Chairman Ronald Townsendâacting as chair during that meetingâtold Johnson that he felt they were âtreading on tedious territoryâ but thought it would be reasonable to get the job descriptions. Councilwoman Maren DeWeese said the conversation might be better had at a later date.
âI hate to air this out, Mr. Asmarâs not here,â the councilwoman said.
During last nightâs meeting, council members looked ahead to upcoming budget workshops. Councilwoman Megan Pratt suggested taking a look at the cityâs marketing contractââOne advertising representative told me that when he saw that number he fell out of his chair.ââand Johnson inquired about the boardâs ability to adjust line items in the budget.
âWe need to ask if this is going to be a charade,â Pratt said of the upcoming budget sessions. âIf our budget is meaningless, why waste our time?â
Council members also said the workshops would be an appropriate place to explore larger issues. Myers told the council that she thought they needed to address the âgreat imbalance of power.â Chairman Hall said the council should use the opportunity to get its post-charter growing pains worked out.
âI think the mayorâs past his growing pains,â Hall said. âI think heâs pretty much figured out what he wants to do.â
Councilwoman DeWeese suggested that some of the boardâs questions might could be addressed during the upcoming annual audit. She referred them to the âperformance auditâ portion of the annual exercise.
âAll the things weâve had questions about for the last year can be handled under the performance audit,â she said.
While some members of council have consistently requested clarification about separation of power and charter-specific issues, Johnson has traditionally been supportive of Hayward. Today, the councilman said that he didnât view his recent concerns as indicative of a departureââItâs not a matter if Iâm on anyoneâs bench or not, Iâm on the taxpayersâ bench.ââbut rather the beginning of a âtoughâ budget season.
âFrom the sense I got last night,â Johnson said, âI think the budget hearings are going to be very interesting.â