Mayor Carolyn Kirk is looking for more than just a new economic development director's position while reorganizing the city's Community Development Department this year.
It'll need a new community development director and she is adding the new post of harbor planning director as well.
Mayor Carolyn Kirk has not put former Community Development Director Sarah Garcia up for reappointment to that position this year. But while the city is searching for someone to fill her former role, Kirk has hired Garcia back on as the city's harbor planning director, one of several new positions in the reorganized department. The new framework for the department calls for eight new full- and part-time positions to be phased in over two years.
"These positions aren't going to be absorbed in one budget," said Chief Administrative Officer Jim Duggan.
The overall reorganization aims to add a marketing and event project manager, an economic development director, grant development manager, two project managers, senior planner, visitor center coordinator, and Garcia's new post of harbor planning director.
Some of the positions, like project managers, are funded through grants, and not through the general fund.
Duggan said the first part of the reorganization will cost the city $170,000 in the budget for fiscal 2013, which begins July 1. That funding would cover the marketing and event manager, the economic development director, and the community development director's position, which would be paid completely through the city's budget for the first time. The position was funded 50-50 through Gloucester's general fund and through money from the state's Seaport Advisory Council.
The city also will add the harbor planning director's job, which, at this point, is funded entirely through Seaport Advisory Council dollars, Duggan said.
He added that the city plans on hiring the new community development director and marketing manager in July. The new director, he said, will help pick the next economic development chief by October.
The rest of the reorganization, he said, would be phased in during fiscal 2014, which begins July 1, 2013.
The city reinstated the development director's position in 2008. The City Council approved the reorganization on March 5.
Bob Whynott, Council ordinance and administration vice chairman, said he's concerned the reorganization has a surplus of managers.
"They haven't fleshed out all positions yet," Whynott said.
Kirk could not be reached for comment on this story, but Garcia said the restructuring would be a boost for Gloucester's economic planning.
"We set the stage for these people to be useful," said Garcia.
The next community development director, she said, will have a lot on his or her plate, with the Newell Stadium project coming to a close, as well as Fuller School reuse or development and continuing Open Space planning efforts in the Dogtown woods.
Gloucester's economic development director, she said, will market the city and work to fill vacant industrial space. The director, she added, will also work on branding the city.
When Garcia served as the director starting in 2008, she also became the harbor planning coordinator. Garcia will continue that work as the harbor planning director. She took that position last Friday.
In the immediate future, she said, she'll focus on the 2013 Harbor Planning process and start a working group for reuse of the I-4, C-2 site. The working group, she added, will look for public-private partnerships to develop the long-vacant parcel.
No matter what the city does with the department, said local economic development consultant Ronn Garry, the department has to do some analysis and find out what industries will actually fit in Gloucester.
"We can't dream about it any longer," Garry said.
The city found three areas of focus in the Harbor Economic Development report of May 2011, and the Maritime Summit tightened that focus.
But, he added, it needs further assessment so the city can find people interested in making "an investment in Gloucester" and its future.
Steven Fletcher may be contacted at 1-978-283-7000 x3455, or email@example.com.
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