Councillor Cynthia Block has formally requested an audit of the staff-to-supervisor ratio and overall cost of supervisors per full-time position at the city, to be conducted by the city’s auditor. This request comes as the councillors grapple with a projected $51 million budget shortfall for next year.
City administration has already proposed adjustments that would save over $20 million, primarily by delaying spending. However, some business leaders in the city have called for a closer look at staffing costs, particularly at the management level.
Councillor Block stated that the purpose of the audit is to ensure that no stone is left unturned in the quest to create an efficient and lean city. She expressed confidence in the administration’s management of staff but believes a refresher on the process is necessary. She also hopes that the audit will provide insight into how the city compares to others in terms of staffing.
The audit request received unanimous support from other committee members present, including councillors Randy Donauer, David Kirton, and Zach Jeffries. Councillor Jeffries clarified that the audit is not a response to potential misinformation circulating online, but rather an opportunity to assess whether the city is on the right track and identify areas for improvement.
Councillor Kirton emphasized the independent nature of the city auditor’s office, highlighting that the auditor answers directly to the city council and is not part of the administration. This independence is seen as an important component in the audit of the city’s staffing levels.
The audit, to be conducted by city auditor Sohail Saleem, is expected to be presented to the council prior to budget deliberations in November.