City of Raleigh, Public Utilities Department: Strategic Plan
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The merger of the Meters Division and the Utility Billing Field staff, which combined staff
members of 83 and 17, respectively;
A 35% reduction in workforce needed to complete Meters Division tasks (from 100 to 65
full-time positions).
The reassignment of employees to critical vacancies in Hydrant Maintenance, Cross
Connection Control, Sewer Maintenance and Drinking Water Quality programs. The
reassignments often provided promotional opportunities and opened new career ladders
for staff;
Overtime work experienced a 10-fold decrease from approximately $200,000 to $20,000
per year; and
The 25% reduction of the Meters Division/Utility Billing fleet by 20 vehicles and trailers.
No lay-offs.
A second example of recent change within our Department occurred on January 1, 2012 and it
involved the realignment of core water and core wastewater functions under respective
Assistant Directors. Prior to the realignment, all treatment plants (water and wastewater)
reported to one Assistant Director and all utility field operation functions (water distribution,
wastewater collection, meters, warehousing) reported to another. This division between plant
and field operations led to breakdowns in communications, with several documented incidents
of avoidable communication failures. In an attempt to address this communication issue, all
divisions dealing with core potable water functions (water treatment, water distribution,
meters) were placed under a single Assistant Director, while all divisions dealing with core
wastewater functions (sewer maintenance and collection, wastewater treatment and reuse)
were placed under a separate Assistant Director. The warehouse division (also known as Utility
Support) was placed under a third Assistant Director whom also oversees administration
support. The purpose of the realignment is to facilitate communication between divisions that
had similar core functions. The evidence to date seems to indicate that effort has been very
successful, opening doors for further reorganization opportunities in the future.
A third example we can spotlight would be the realignment of the Code Enforcement officers
and reorganization of code enforcement reporting; a matter where the business practices were
analyzed and evaluated by the Code Enforcement Officers themselves. The realignment of
core water and wastewater functions that occurred in January provided an opportunity to look
at the Code Enforcement program within the Department. The program contains three Code
Enforcement Officers, who reported directly to one Assistant Director. The Code Enforcement
Officers could receive service requests from as many as 65 people within the Department and
external to the Department, including the City Manager’s office, the City Council Office and a
number of other City Departments. This complex chain of “customers” led to conflicts over