Important city job vacant following retirement

The city of Marietta is expected to appoint a new public facilities foreman within the next couple of weeks-and save money in doing so- after previous foreman Tom Kunz retired Friday. The position is especially critical as warmer weather approaches and the city adds seasonal workers to help maintain the city’s parks and cemeteries.

“Tom retired April 4, but the position, which is appointed by the mayor, hasn’t been filled yet,” said Marietta safety-service director Jonathan Hupp.

Kunz had served as facilities foreman since April 2009.

A new foreman should be appointed in the next week or so, but Hupp said he did not expect any impact on facilities services during the interim.

“The facilities foreman basically oversees the daily operation of cemeteries, parks, and maintenance of all city buildings,” Hupp said. “He’s supervisor over two full-time cemetery workers, two parks workers, and the recreation and facilities office manager.”

He said the number of workers in the department increases during the summer months with seasonal employees and the summer youth employment program through Washington County Job and Family Services.

Kunz was also covering the duties of assistant facilities foreman before he retired, as that position had not been filled for the last few years. His final annual salary was $49,523.

Last month Hupp approached city council’s employee relations committee about eliminating the assistant foreman position and lowering the foreman’s starting salary to $39,986 as he would no longer have to cover assistant foreman duties.

“We think the new pay scale would be more in line with his duties,” Hupp told the committee members.

On Tuesday Hupp said the actual starting salary would depend on whether a new foreman is hired “off the street” or from existing facilities staff. If a current city worker is appointed he would likely be paid a higher entry rate.

City council approved the salary change and elimination of the assistant foreman position during the April 3 regular session.

Another change in the facilities department, also approved by council last week, was creating the position of recreation program and facilities office manager which is being filled by former recreation clerk Susan Joyce.

Joyce would continue to be paid her current hourly salary of $16.87 in the new position, but would be eligible for advancement in the future.

“She was working in a Clerk III position, but handling recreation department duties as well as office work for facilities,” Hupp said.

Joyce has worked with the city since 1997 and was a clerk with the recreation department when that unit was consolidated into the public facilities department along with the cemeteries and lands, buildings and parks departments in 2008.

“I’ll be starting my 18th year with the city in July,” she said. “When the facilities department was formed in 2008 I took on additional office work as well as recreation.”

On the recreation side Joyce coordinates the city’s summer recreation program that includes basketball and volleyball leagues and the summer playground program. She also works with the local softball association. And the Marietta Aquatic Center is a major part of her job during the summer months.

“The pool is a big one,” Joyce said. “We have a contracted management group, but I work closely with them and pay all the invoices for the facility.”

Councilman Michael Mullen, I-at large, who chairs the employee relations committee, said the position changes make sense.

“We’re making the salaries commensurate with the duties, and basically with a cost-neutral impact on the city finances,” he said. “In this time when revenues from the state are diminishing we have to adapt accordingly.”

Mullen added that the summer youth employment program through Washington County Job and Family Services has been a great help in reducing seasonal costs for the city.

The program helps provide summer jobs for area teens by subsidizing the cost to the city through state and federal funding for needy families.

“It’s a great opportunity to provide jobs and experience for some area young people through the summer months,” Mullen said. “And the city benefits from the work done. It’s a win-win.”

According to the city auditor’s office, the summer youth program provided a dozen seasonal workers last year, saving the city $41,524.

Hupp said he will be contacting Job and Family Services to begin screening applicants for jobs in various city departments within the next few weeks. The youth workers would begin June 1.