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Three City of Peoria departments consolidated

PEORIA — The City of Peoria has consolidated the Planning & Growth Management, Inspections, and Economic Development departments into the newly-christened Community Development department. City Manager Patrick Urich has appointed Ross Black as director. Black was formerly the interim Planning & Growth Management director. According to a recent Issues Update:

The three [former] departments had a combined total of 51 employees during the 2011 budget year. The 2013 budget authorizes the new department to have a total of 37 employees; a 27% reduction in staff. With new procedures that have already been put in place and with an ongoing program targeted at identifying and implementing efficiencies, the new Community Development Department will be able to provide enhanced service to the community with far fewer employees than in past years.

The new Community Development Department will continue to provide the same suite of services that were provided under the prior three departments. These services include planning, zoning, mapping & analysis, neighborhood development, grants management, code enforcement, building inspections, economic development, and real estate management.

The new department will also have two assistant directors. Joe Dulin, former interim Inspections director, will fill one of the positions. The other position, which will focus on economic development, is expected to be filled by early second quarter.

My Take: So we’ve combined three departments, but we still have three management-level employees, each overseeing one of the three former areas. Sounds like an exercise in semantics. And does anyone really believe that we’re not going to see a drop in service as a result of this supposed 27% reduction in staff? Speaking of this “reduction,” isn’t it interesting that they compared proposed 2013 staffing to 2011 levels instead of 2012 (current) levels? Curious as to what the 2012 levels are? I’ll tell you: 33. So the new 2013 level of 37 employees is actually an increase of four employees, or 11%. (It’s better at budget time to give the impression you’re cutting, even if you’re not really.)

Nevertheless, that’s way down from ten years prior:

Department FY 2002 FY 2012 Change Pct
Planning & Growth 25 12 -13 -52%
Inspections 54 20 -34 -63%
Economic Development 8 1 -7 -88%
Total 87 33 -54 -62%

These decreases in staffing are going so well that the City (in addition to adding staff while pretending they’re cutting it further) is now seriously considering outsourcing code enforcement due to lack of performance. This must be part of that “new and strong foundation upon which we can build for the future of our city” that Mayor Ardis talked about in his State of the City address this past January.

10 comments to Three City of Peoria departments consolidated

  • Pat Lewis

    Will this new department only deal with the Council’s dreams for the future, or will they concentrate their efforts on the realisms of the present so these do not become the nightmares of the future? In Peoria politics the realisms tend to be ignored or ‘kicked down the deteriorating road’;the dreams get all the attention and tax dollars.There is a dichotomy between dreams and reality when it comes to current quality of life, or in respect to Springdale, quality of afterlife. Save Springdale; fire the politicians.

  • mazr

    Pat, did you see the ground breaking ceremony this week? The Mayor said people will be moving downtown “by the end of the year”. He is so full of crap, his eyes are brown. These are the projects that will continue to rear their ugly heads. More frosting while the cake crumbles.

  • Joe

    Ross Black is terrible. He should never be in charge of anything named growth. One of those who upholds Peorias reputation as hard to do business in.

  • The American Hockey League (AHL) playoffs have begun. The 16 teams are: Binghamton, Charlotte, Connecticut, Hamilton, Hershey, Houston, Lake Erie, Manchester, Manitoba, Milwaukee, Norfolk, Oklahoma City, Peoria, Portland, Texas, and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.

  • Eye in the Sky

    Can’t wait to see code enforcement out for profit. You know they will only go after the poor folks who are barely making it. They won’t bother the slum lords pretty much more of the same. Of course if they are outsourced they won’t be city employees either so no FAT benifets package. No brand new cars ever 2-3 years either hopefully they won’t just hire the same LAZY ones we currently have. Maybe I should apply then start heading out north to see what kind of stuff they have wrong. Wanna bet I won’t last a week before a big wig calls and complains.

  • Francis Lamp

    Eye in the Sky, you are correct about code enforcement. We have already been the victims of harassment. Why, because the code enforcement happens to be friends of the folks I complained about last July. Seems if you need car repair, you can get it in the alley behind the residents of 1520 Faraday, oh sometimes they will get a heads up is zoning is coming around and keep the garage door closed, don’t believe me, check it out sometime. These people are operating a auto repair business out of the garage, pay no taxes for business and have taken over four lots that surround them to park the cars that come for business. When code enforcement stopped by in the alley behind our home, it was explained that the the man we are buying our home from was called and spoke to about our property, as she does for all his properties. Is that proper procedure, NO! If I had not installed a security cam, I would of never caught the code enforcement doing this inspection, saying that my yard was cleaned up by the crew. I pointed out that no one was here and never cleaned it. The code enforcement said, that the job was poorly done and that it would be marked as void. That now I had a chance to correct it. Wonder how many others have had to pay, because of sneaky tactics? Good thing I caught the whole thing on my Iphone, see I also had to call the police during the same time because I was threatened by the illegal business owner of 1520 Faraday. when I pointed out what was going on at 1520 Faraday to the code enforcement person the only reply was that it was zoning division that takes care of that. However, isn’t parking on the grass code enforcement? Property that isn’t even yours? Hmmmmm I’d love to post the video, which has audio. However I don’t know the legalities of doing such.

  • Eye in the Sky

    Post the video ONLY NO SOUND. I haven’t had any trouble since confronting the inspector at gun point. She was sneaking around the back of my RV saw her on camera grab gun and RAN out. Her excuse was she was checking my sticker. She was NOT wearing a uniform or even city clothes. Could have shot her on the spot. After explaining this to my local police officer he said it’s not the wild west. NO it’s the East Bluff was my response nuff said. He told me they have the right to come up on any property without permission from owner. Looking forward to private company coming up on my property it will get UGLY real fast.

  • Inquiring mind

    Would love to know if Dulins salary is still more than Blacks? $99,000 seems like a lot to supervise <20 employees. And Zero building knowledge. Where did this guy come from?

  • Francis Lamp

    Won’t post the video, will just keep and use it as I can. I’ve cropped stills out from the frame of it. Thinking of starting my own Blog. Oh, Inquiring mind that info is easy to get. Pay for all of them should be stopped! This particular code enforcement stated, that one landlord is personally called if there is a issue with their properties. Hmmmm sounds like this code enforcement has found a way to make up for any short pay issues. If in over 30 yrs, the condition of this city had not improved, instead, deteriorated then it is time for all of them to GO!!!! And in the past 13yrs I’ve lived in Peoria, I’ve only seen major deterioration in the surrounding area’s of city center. Pet projects and greased palms have cost Peoria direly.

  • concerned citizen

    Joe Dulin is a liar. unfortunately, code enforcement for profit already exists. Property owners in peoria can be cited and the fine is automatically assessed. If you contest it, you pay $250. I met mr dulin when one of his inspectors started harassing me. (inspector allen, who has a history of harrassment)

    He assured me i could contest the order and it would not cost more than the $50 fine if i lost. This was a lie. He then lied when confronted with it. He is in no way capable of being a manager or director, and should be fired.