There is good news for the taxpayers of Wixom! I have to write it again,”There is good news for the taxpayers of Wixom!
City Manager, Tony Nowicki and his staff have made significant and extensive strides in reducing the disruptive potential that a busted economy can have on the city’s services.
Tony Nowicki has reorganized the Administration’s staffing of many departments, structured the Police Department’s command structure with two-Lieutenants, streamlined the Finance Department and the DPW. The Fire Department is doing well, and they just got a brand new piece of equipment which was needed. Presently, all is at full-speed at City Hall and the Citizens should appreciate this fact.
With his own unique style of management and team building, Mr. Nowick should be acknowledged by our citizens and appreciated for his Administrative management and strategic budgeting efforts.
Some consideration also has to go to Council for they too have had some tough decisions to make. However, it is not the job of the Council to micro-manage the man they hired to do the tough job of reorganizing an administration that was deeply in denial of the obvious debt issues. Give Council credit for all those Budget Study Sessions and late hours of work leading to passing a balanced budget.
Mr. Nowicki’s team building has made progress in reducing costs and saving taxpayers dollars. He and his staff have achieved many of their goals and objectives for maintaining services while reducing costs that where previously pushing the taxpayers further into debt.
What has changed? Gone is a previously Administration that was hell-bent on raising taxes and maintaining an unaffordable staffing status-quo, aligning management with unattainable and unrealistic strategic planning, and presenting unattainable budget recommendations. Thankfully, this is in the past and the future is brighter.
A City Manager has to make many undesirable decisions when dire economic issues raise their ugly head out of a muddled revenue stream. Now the Administration has made obvious progress in addressing staffing, sharing fringe benefit costs on an equal partnership with employer to employee’s contributions made to fund retirement systems. I have always said that promises made to employees have to be kept. Promises made have been kept.
Certainly, the City Manager and his team have more challenges ahead. The Council has also supported Mr. Nowicki in consideration of those challenges. However, there is a number of changes made by this Council that are costing taxpayers dollars and were not a part of the City Manager’s program of getting costs reduced.
Micro-management injected into the Manager’s budget is bad business; review and comment, certainly; micro-management and staffing, definitely NOT! Hold the Manager accountable for what is successfully achieved as well as responsible for those developments that need correction.
But don’t bite the hand that feeds you!
Mr. Nowicki has added staffing and structure to the Police Department. It has only taken 30-years to get a Police Department command structure. Hopefully, we will be back under the City Charter when we can get Council to approve the Position of Police Chief that is certainly desirable.
Police Departments require a command structure for obvious reasons. Needless-to-say a potential for promotion up through the ranks of all employees is essential. No new officer wants to work in a department with no possibility for a promotion. Without internal depaartment structure, the new-hire works for three-years gaining experience and then moves on to a job with future potential! Turnover of Police employees is not a foundation to have knowledgeable city officers.
Certainly, there is much left to do in the coming Budget years, but Mr. Nowicki and his staff are on the right track…provided the Council can control their desire to micro-manage the city service needs and staffing.
Mr. Nowicki knows this city better than anyone; he knows his staffing needs. Furthermore, to date, his team of professionals have reduced costs and maintained services without missing a heart-beat.
Let us support the City Manager and his staffing and their efforts to continue the progress made to date. The benefits of such support will be a real potential for unwarranted requests for future tax increases.
Any member of Council’s statement of, “I think we need” is not a valid request! “Thinking” is not a fact if there is no basis in fact supporting the need. Any member of Council must substantiate with fact/s any request made of the City Manager. Council should Legislate not micro-manage the Administration.
Mr. Nowicki and the Administration are succeeding in their difficult task to retain city services and keep a balanced budget with revenues available. With council’s help, what could not previously be done, is getting done. The city is getting out of debt and the budget is balanced…there may even be a surplus! Time will tell when all the figures are finally known.
The State of Michigan and Oakland County have a way of making budgets difficult.
In closing , Mr. Nowicki’s message to Council (April 8, 2014) in the Operating Budget year 2014-2015 is one of the finest and most succinct three-page Budget Messages that I have ever read.
It is worth noting and reading again. The Administration is on track with its goals and objectives of that report and the community’s taxpayers are the benefactors.
How about that!
P.S. VOTE, VOTE, VOTE on November 4th…