Council set to take final action on mayor’s restructuring plan

Controversial director of administration post remains sticking point

MANDEVILLE — Mayor Clay Madden’s proposed director of administration post has drawn a lot of heat lately, prompting the new mayor to publish an open letter asking voters to get their council members behind the measure, which is up for a vote tomorrow night (April 22, 2021).

The proposal, first introduced at the March 25th meeting and then deferred at the April 8th meeting so the mayor could tweak the proposal, would add two new positions: a director of administration and a grants and contracts administrator.

The outcome of the vote is far from certain. The City Council has two options: vote on the plan as is, or vote on the plan with amendments. Any amendments would have to be approved by the mayor, he being the author of the ordinance.

The mayor could opt to ask the council to kill his legislation for him, instead of settling for a partial victory, where he could potentially see just the grants and contracts administrator advance while allowing the director of administration to be stripped out via amendment.

The two new posts were seemingly the mayor’s response to a recent efficiency audit, commissioned by the city late last year. The study recommended sweeping changes to the city’s organization chart and department processes.

The Mandeville Efficiency Study, prepared by Pyramid Consulting, LLC, and published January 20th, was requested by Madden upon entering office and approved by the City Council.

Critics of the mayor contend the director of administration post is unnecessary and would be a waste of resources. Some even suggested that the plan is a step toward a city-manager style government.

However, Madden told the Mandeville Daily in a recent interview that both Covington and Slidell have positions under their mayors called “chief administrative officer” (CAO) to whom all other directors report.

But Madden said his proposed director of administrator does not have the same authority as those positions, and would not be in charge of other directors.

The director of administration is somebody that will work in conjunction with the mayor and will have a supervisory role over projects, but not people.

— Mayor Clay Madden

He added, “I never wanted it to be a CAO, because that implies deputy mayor… which is higher than the other directors.”

Next Meeting : The meeting is scheduled for Thursday, April 22nd, at 6 p.m. at the Paul Spitzfaden Community Center located at 3090 E. Causeway Approach. The statewide mask mandate and social distancing will be observed. Read the agenda published by the City of Mandeville.

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