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Mays in as interim city manager

May 8. That is City Manager Taylour Tedder’s last day working for Boulder City. In other words, Tuesday was Tedder’s final city council meeting.

Finding a new city manager is likely a months-long process, which means the council had to appoint someone to fill Tedder’s spot while the search started for his replacement.

With little discussion beyond getting him to the podium to confirm he was willing to take on the duties, the council voted unanimously to name Community Development Director Micheal Mays as interim city manager.

In outlining the proposal, Tedder noted that Mays had already served in the same capacity once in the time between the dismissal of former city manager Al Noyola in October of 2020 and Tedder’s hiring in 2021.

There was a lot more discussion about a change in the structure of the city’s administrative staff to create a deputy city manager position (essentially a second in command to the city manager) as well as changes in the fire department and parks and recreation.

“Currently, the eight department heads and the communications manager report directly to the city manager,” Tedder said in introducing the plan. “The large span of responsibilities for the city manager is such that it could create ineffectiveness and inefficiencies with so many direct reports. Delegating some of the day-to-day responsibilities to a second in command is conducive to effective organizational operations.”

Then came the reason this is being discussed now.

“It also,” Tedder said, “allows for succession planning.” This last bit is crucial given that, as previously noted, Tedder is on his way out the door, having accepted a new job as the city manager in Rehoboth Beach in Delaware.

So where does the money come from?

Tedder explained that this is about moving existing money around, not increasing city costs.

Due to a recent retirement, there is a vacant position for an administrative services director and what the city has been spending for that position would transfer over to this newly-created position.

The path the council took was not one of smooth sailing. Council member Cokie Booth led off comments by saying she thinks the city needs to hire a new city manager before they think about changing the administrative structure. Noting that new managers come in and often start by changing management structure to reflect their preferences, she said, “There could be a lot of changes under a new city manager.”

Addressing Tedder directly, she said, “If you were going to be with us for a while, I would say, go for it. But I think a new city manager coming on board might have all kinds of different plans.” She further noted that she did not want to see the city create a new position now only to rescind or eliminate it in the very near future.

Council member Sherri Jorgensen added that there are responsibilities under the current administrative services director that are not specifically given to others under the plan presented by city staff.

She agreed with Booth about possible changes under a new city manager, saying that the position could be brought up again after a new manager is hired.

Taking an opposite view, Council member Steve Walton said he was supportive of adding the deputy city manager position now, noting that the existence of the position, even if not filled before a new city manager is hired, might influence how the new city manager sets up the division of labor among the department heads he or she will be overseeing.

The creation of a deputy city manager was part of a discussion about three total positions being proposed, the others being an assistant fire chief and the change in title of an existing position within the Parks and Recreation Department.

In the end it was sound and fury signifying nothing. Despite stated misgivings about the deputy city manager position by four of the five council members, the vote was unanimous to approve all three positions.

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