The City of Howell’s leadership hopes that a new administrative position will allow the municipality to communicate with and serve its residents in a more timely fashion.

The Manager’s Administrative Assistant is a currently vacant, full-time position that operates out of the third floor of City Hall. Interim City Manager Erv Suida says that vacant position provides officials with the opportunity to re-evaluate the organizational structure of the third floor and develop a plan to better serve the community. City Council at their meeting Monday discussed expanding the vacant administrative role to include the Public Information Officer.

The person in that position will be tasked with keeping the municipality’s legacy and social media up to date. The administrative assistant/PIO will work with all departments to ensure that any message coming from the City is consistent, accurate and timely. Suida explained to Council that the importance of a timely response was recently highlighted when the municipality had to deal with information about trichloroethylene vapor intrusion and air emissions coming from a local business, noting that it is difficult to deal with that issue and conduct public outreach at the same time.

Suida says another need on City Hall’s third floor is for a full-time Administrative Assistant for the Clerk and Community Development Director. A resolution was proposed at City Council’s meeting that would authorize staff to replace the part-time administrative support position with a full-time administrative assistant to the aforementioned departments. The resolution received unanimous support from Council. Suida says this will aid in the creation of the new Manager’s Administrative Assistant position because the assistant to the Community Development and Clerk departments will take on work that was previously taken care of by the Administrative Assistant.

Suida says the structure changes will have a minimal impact to the City’s General Fund budget at about $10,000 to $15,000 annually. Staff has already moved forward with posting about the manager’s administrative assistant position and will be accepting applications through January 26th. (DK)