Newell: Public Works revamp will not cost jobs

PARKERSBURG – A revamp of the city’s Public Works department will result in several supervisor positions being eliminated, but city officials say no one’s job will be lost in the process.

A plan to eliminate multiple supervisor positions in the department will be done through attrition, and a recent reclassification of numerous jobs within the department is part of the process, Mayor Bob Newell said.

“Through attrition there is a level of supervisors in Public Works that won’t be replaced,” he said.

In Public Works, the city had a building and grounds supervisor, a street supervisor, a street cleaning supervisor, a central garage supervisor and a sanitation department supervisor.

The mid-level supervisors were the same grade and base pay as the foremen for the daily operations, which is redundant, officials said.

City Council on Tuesday unanimously approved the creation of an assistant Public Works director.

Newell said there are three employees still in the supervisor positions. One of those three will become the assistant Public Works Director position. The other two will continue to work as supervisors.

“The (supervisor) position is gone upon retirement or vacancy,” Newell said.

Reorganization of the Public Works department is expected to save the city about $300,000 annually.

Elimination of those supervisor positions, along with other cost-cutting measures and savings, have allowed the city to give across the board raises to employees this year.

Newell said more than 40 positions have been eliminated by the city during his time as mayor at a savings of about $1.3 million.