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Council Streamlines Public Works Duties
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Some changes in the organizational structure for Escalon’s Public Works Department should help make for a smoother operation.

Action taken at the recent Escalon City Council meeting saw the council approve some recommendations made by consultant Dennis Turner, who was hired to conduct an organizational review of the department. Part of his review included evaluating procedures, processes and mentoring of the Public Works Superintendent, Juston Collins.

His report recommended the addition of clerical support, a crew leader and a maintenance worker, with the council approving those items, which also were part of the 2016-17 budget.

“We are in the process of recruiting for the clerical and maintenance worker,” said City Manager Tammy Alcantor.

An internal recruitment for the Crew Leader was conducted and Jake Cook was introduced as the new crew leader at the council meeting.

Other recommendations in Turner’s report include identifying technology for a computerized maintenance management system.

Alcantor said having Cook as the crew leader should prove to be a valuable tool for the city, helping Collins focus more on his administrative duties.

“Juston’s time is currently consumed with providing proper organization supervision of the day to day operations, leaving insufficient time for the important task of planning, oversight and administration for the Department,” Alcantor explained. “Shifting the in-the-field responsibilities from Juston to Jake will allow more time for the planning and administration functions.”

Cook will be responsible for organizing and assigning the crews to accomplish tasks, confirming that all the necessary supplies or equipment are readily available for the jobs.

“The Maintenance Worker will be additional staff,” added Alcantor. “Clerical staff will assist with the data-entry, file organization and documentation of maintenance efforts.”

In other business at the meeting, the council members heard that the First Street road construction project is on schedule and nearing completion, while Mayor Gary Haskin was appointed to represent the city on the Mosquito and Vector Control District Board while the city seeks additional applicants from local residents.

Also, the council passed a water conservation ordinance and asked for staff to bring back recommendations for amending the current conservation requirements at the first meeting in August, with an eye toward loosening the current watering restrictions. Any changes made will take effect in mid-August.