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Archive for Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Auditor ready to begin critiquing city operations

February 6, 2008

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City commissioners soon will have a new set of watchful eyes in City Hall.

Michael Eglinski, a Lawrence native and longtime auditor with the city of Kansas City, Mo., has been named Lawrence's first city auditor - a new position that will conduct performance reviews of city services and seek to improve efficiency in City Hall.

"This is a position that makes an awful lot of sense to me, especially because you're talking about the public trust here," said Commissioner Rob Chestnut, who led the search for the new position.

Eglinski will be charged with conducting reviews - or audits - of various city departments, services and policies to determine whether they're working as well as they should, or whether there's wasteful spending or activity occurring inside city government.

It's a role that he has long played for Kansas City, Mo. Eglinski served for about 15 years as an audit manager in that city's auditing department. In May, he became the director of policy analysis for Kansas City Mayor Mark Funkhouser, who previously was Kansas City's lead auditor.

"This position can identify ways to improve services, identify ways to save money," Eglinski said. "It is a position that really can help the City Commission do its job."

The new auditor will report directly to the City Commission, and will not be under the supervision of the city manager. Commissioners and Eglinski said they expect the auditor would work closely with City Manager David Corliss, but added it was important that Eglinski be independent of all city departments.

"This position isn't an indictment of anything that has happened in the past, but really is a recognition that it is always wise to have an independent set of eyes reviewing an organization," Chestnut said.

The position pays an annual salary of $87,500. The position was approved as part of the city's 2007 budget, but had not been filled because of budget woes. The city's budget remains tight, but commissioners said the new position would be a good financial investment.

"On the surface, I'm sure there are people asking why we're spending this type of money," Mayor Sue Hack said. "But a major point of this position is to help us ensure that we're spending money judiciously. I think this position will give us some very valuable information for future budgets."

Now, commissioners have to decide what issues they want the auditor to begin studying. Chestnut said he would lobby fellow commissioners to order a review of the city's development process. City Hall has received complaints that it takes building projects an inordinate amount of time to get through the review and approval process. He also said a thorough review of the processes in place with the Utility Department may be in order, especially because work is under way to build an approximately $80 million sewer treatment plant.

Hack said commissioners would need to sit down soon with Eglinski to determine a work plan.

"I don't have a list, but I also don't have anything that is off limits," Hack said.

Eglinski, 43, said he also would make suggestions after studying the most recent citizen survey and getting to know City Hall operations better.

Eglinski - who has an economics degree from Kansas University and a master's degree from Stockholm University in Sweden - will begin work the week of Feb. 25.

Comments

Michael Capra 6 years, 10 months ago

its about time the planning department has to answer some hard questions heres a good one why does your time sheet say you were here and why did this sit on your desk for 8 weeks and why do you have a meeting on fridays to give the project a thumbs up or down when you havent even look at it who made you planners God

Michael Capra 6 years, 10 months ago

Eglinski they cant tell you how much time they have spent on any project let alone how much time they spend at work and how rude they are to people who question what they do because as you know its an ego trip and a power trip with these people the new director of planning needs to learn how to put the hammer down maybe michael eglinski has a hammer you can borrow scott

Michael Capra 6 years, 10 months ago

plumbers crack have you ever tried to get a project as simple as a remodel though the planning dept

KsTwister 6 years, 10 months ago

Let's start by asking why the plows are 10-13 in a row(a couple with the blades up) and not doing a tinker's darn to help the streets. The little plows on large private lots have outdone them again,they are clear to the pavement. And I dare anyone to show any sand/salt at the intersections. From the time of this post, Missouri roads has Kansas beat altogether, and its been snowing for 9 hours now. Corliss needs to give up his raise is the way we feel about it. As long as your burning the gas, put the blade down.

Michael Capra 6 years, 10 months ago

plumbers crack all you need to be a builder is a cell phone and a pickup truck

BigPrune 6 years, 10 months ago

The UNDERSTATEMENT of the DECADE: "City Hall has received complaints that it takes building projects an inordinate amount of time to get through the review and approval process."

No sh*t? Is this why Lawrence is dying? Time to put some people on the chopping block.

pace 6 years, 10 months ago

The front line of public works and Sanitation are pretty good people, who work hard in all weather but the management positions and procedures are so inapt and bloated that is is like throwing money in the Kaw.

pace 6 years, 10 months ago

They got rid of the Energy auditor and replaced the position for someone who could become a staff shill so Sue Hack doesn't have to run around promoting packages to her "special investments". She wants some one else to take the responsibility, She put that idea forward after she got caught pushing the bales of money out the door with her shoulder.
If they plan to audit costs and assess efficiency of current practices, great. If they plan to develop a new Development secret service, boy are we going to pay. At least we can charge a commissioner with criminal charges, it is harder if she has inhouse stooges.

jafs 6 years, 10 months ago

Bowhunter,

It is hard to believe that new houses are being built well - a simple drive by many houses under construction reveals that they seem to use very inexpensive materials.

Also, I know of people with newer houses who needed to repaint them, others who had problems with new siding as it was installed incorrectly, etc.

My wife and I have owned two houses that were over 75 years old - I wonder what the current houses will look like in that time?

BigPrune 6 years, 10 months ago

Funksfrontporch, he with his plump wife sitting on his lap. Then there's the photo of wifey holding onto his cute little goutee'. It made me wonder....I'm not going to say what I was thinking about as a caption for that photo.

http://funksfrontporch.typepad.com/

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