Mayor asks citizens for help getting plan passed in open letter

Details reasoning behind two new top positions and plan to move city away from ‘antiquated’ model

MANDEVILLE — Mayor Clay Madden has released an open letter to the citizens of Mandeville on social media asking for their support getting his embattled staff restructuring plan adopted by the City Council.

Madden lays out his reasoning for the proposal, which includes the now-controversial “director of administration” position, which he argues came from the findings of the 2021 Mandeville Efficiency Study, conducted when he entered office. Critics of the plan say the new post is not justified by the recent efficiency report.

In an effort to keep the community informed, the Mandeville Daily’s policy is to report and publish such statements or letters from the chief executive when deemed appropriate. The issue is up for a vote at the April 22 council meeting.

Editor’s Note: The Mandeville Daily was granted a one-on-one interview with the mayor to discuss these issues and more. That story is in development and will be published shortly. To be notified of breaking stories, click the “Follow” button in the lower-right screen.

Here is the text of Mandeville Mayor Clay Madden’s open letter published on social media April 13, 2021:

Dear Friends,

As is common practice in government, new leadership often brings change to an existing organization. You may recall that I commissioned an operational efficiency audit shortly after taking office.

That report pointed out operational deficiencies in city government. The first seven months of my term have confirmed those and other deficiencies, such as lack of centralized contract oversight, lack of comprehensive emergency operations plans, lack of proper interdepartmental operations management, outdated technology, etc.

In addition to moving forward with updated financial software and other implementation actions, I have proposed to the council Ordinance # 21-08 which includes two new positions: a director of administration and a contracts/grants administrator.

The Director of Administration will operate under the direct supervision and authority of the Mayor and will basically be responsible for interdepartmental coordination and initiation and oversight of administrative projects.

I am committed to meet and exceed your expectations as an accessible and responsive mayor involved in your issues and concerns, and working closely with the city council to advance the goals/vision for the city.

As mayor and chief executive officer of the city I remain focused on providing you with an efficient and effective government that works for you, with an emphasis on addressing long standing, unresolved, big picture problems such as water management/flooding, traffic, getting empty retail back into commerce and others. Mandeville is in competition with other municipalities for big project dollars needed to address these and other issues.

Other local mayors, with Director of Administration positions already in place, are afforded more time and effort to compete for big project dollars. Mandeville must do the same and have an administrative structure that allows the mayor time to focus on the big picture and the future.

The position of Grants and Contracts Administrator will establish a position focused on actively seeking grant money, saving taxpayer money. Grant funding can provide for not only critical infrastructure projects but also beautification, parks, purchase of green space cultural arts , and other projects which will enrich our community. Additionally, this position will provide much needed centralized oversight of all city contracts, a weakness identified in the operations efficiency audit.

The addition of both of these proposed positions will come at no additional cost to taxpayers as we will realize a cost savings from eliminating positions deemed no longer necessary. In fact, the long term goal is to have the grants/contracts position pay for itself, as has been demonstrated in other cities.

The current antiquated business model at City Hall has not been working effectively. Doing things the same old way does not adequately address current and future needs and goals. Mandeville is overdue to realign our business model to meet our challenges. With my plan, we will be able to do new things, correct things needing to be fixed, focus on major issues affecting our city and quality of life, streamline operations, improve efficiency and integrate new technology that will overall allow my administration to better serve you.

I ask for your support for my plan . As taxpayers, less costly and more efficient government is something everyone should be expecting and demanding.

If you agree, I would appreciate you letting your city council members know you support my plan. As always, please do not hesitate to call, text or email me at 985-630-8578.

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