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San Diego City Council Explores Management Reorganization In Mayor’s Office

SAN DIEGO - The City Council is scheduled today to take up a proposed management reorganization of the San Diego mayor's office.

Interim Mayor Todd Gloria said he developed the plan in order to reduce the workload of the chief operating officer, who has been tasked with overseeing all city operations with the help of one assistant.

Under his plan, three deputy COOs would be hired to oversee neighborhood services, internal operations, and infrastructure and public works.

Similar positions were cut a few years ago because of the recession.

Gloria also wants to create three new departments: Planning, Communications, and Analytics and Performance Management, implement management training and hire a consultant to search for efficiencies within city operations.

Incoming COO Scott Chadwick, who helped develop the plan, wrote in a memo to council members that the city's greatest needs right now are at the top of the management structure.

"For too long, the city has attempted to adequately manage one of the nation's largest municipalities without addressing a key management responsibility: oversight,'' Chadwick wrote. "The city of San Diego's governmental structure lacks adequate oversight required to effectively manage and implement the mayor and City Council's goals and objectives.''

He wrote that he wants to implement a new organization and culture "by instilling and promoting a politically and operationally sustainable structure bringing stability, accountability, transparency, efficiency, effectiveness, fiscal discipline, as well as a sense of collaboration and teamwork from the top down.''

The Planning Department would be created by a breakup of the Development Services Department, which currently includes the planning functions.

Splitting the DSD was first proposed by ex-Mayor Bob Filner, who saw a conflict of interest between city planning and developer services being under the same organizational roof.

The Communications Department would consolidate the city's 22 public information officers, who are currently spread across seven departments.

Chadwick said that would help change the city's image as lacking transparency and being slow to respond to public requests for information.

PIOs may continue to be embedded within certain departments, like police and fire, he said.

The Department of Analytics and Performance Management would focus on strategic planning, performance management, research and efficiency studies, and the city's competitive bidding program known as "managed competition.''

The reorganization would take place over the next year. Meanwhile, Chadwick's nomination to be promoted to the chief operating officer position is due to be considered by the City Council Tuesday.

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