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New City Position - Communications Coordinator

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    Posted: Jul 09 2017 at 9:37am
For the Business Meeting of July 5, 2017
City Council Workbook - Beginning Page 150
Legislation Item 8

An ordinance recommending the hiring of a Communications Coordinator was presented as a first reading to the city council on July 5, 2017.  If approved, this position would have a salary range of $48,000 + to $63,000 +.  This employee will report to the Economic Development Director and/or City Manager in coordinating public relations and other community outreach activities.

It's presumed that this legislative item will be presented for second reading on July 18, 2017.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote whistlersmom Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jul 09 2017 at 1:56pm

Thanks Analyiical for posting this:


For the Business Meeting of July 5, 2017

City Council Workbook - Beginning Page 150

Legislation Item 8

An ordinance recommending the hiring of a Communications Coordinator was presented as a first reading to the city council on July 5, 2017.  If approved, this position would have a salary range of $48,000 + to $63,000 +.  This employee will report to the Economic Development Director and/or City Manager in coordinating public relations and other community outreach activities.

It's presumed that this legislative item will be presented for second reading on July 18, 2017.

Why does Adkins need to create a communications coordinator position (which will add add another salary plus benefits to an already bloated budget that Middletown can not afford) to do what he already does so well? That is … spread propaganda by putting a rosey spin on the dire condition of our city from end to end.    Salary range $48,000 + to $63,000 +” !!! Is there some favored person who will be encouraged to apply for this cushy job??   Wake up council, you need to NIX THIS!!!


"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil, is for good men to do nothing" Edmond Burke
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote VietVet Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jul 09 2017 at 6:50pm
Agree whistlersmom. Why the need to create this position and waste 48 to 63 grand (plus benefits costs) using the people's money? Rather than create a totally new position, why not add this "city PR spokesperson" job duty to selected people already on the payroll. Surely someone can send out news releases as an added responsibility as infrequently as this is done by the city. It is not a full time job to do this I wouldn't think and to pay this salary range for this? C'mon.

Just the other day, Adkins told us they were operating with, I believe, around 300 less people in the city building than what they had before. Seems with examples like this, that they are ramping the numbers back up again using a slow paced fashion so as not to be noticed. Looks like we're back to multiple layers of non needed people in each department.

Show us something for a change council. Don't sit on your hands once again on this. Tell the man to find someone already on the payroll to add to their job duties.....you know, a city employee that has trouble filling out the work day on a day to day basis. Let them do this job in their spare time.

The city is revenue starved remember? That's what you have been telling us for years isn't it? Must not be if you can afford this non-needed position.
I'm so proud of my hometown and what it has become. Recall 'em all. Let's start over.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote buddhalite Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jul 12 2017 at 12:01am
I have no choice here but to play devil's advocate......

With a city that has a reputation such as Middletown - is it not worth it to have a full-time manager of communications to help carve a better reputation of the town?

I'm not so sure about whether or not it is a great idea - but a communication person is something I think necessary to fight the negative attitude of certain media outlets around the area and do their best to help spin some positivity about our community.

I'm thinking about applying - but I'm sure my application has about a snowballs chance in hell of being accepted, let alone even seriously looked at.

Bob
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote VietVet Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jul 12 2017 at 6:10am
buddhalite:

"With a city that has a reputation such as Middletown - is it not worth it to have a full-time manager of communications to help carve a better reputation of the town?"

Write a job description for this media job proposed here and, considering your list of job duties, you tell me that those job responsibilities couldn't be incorporated into other's jobs. This doesn't have to be a manager's level pay and title does it? If so, why? Manager of a one person department? I like it when the person is described as an "Executive Director" of something.....then you find out they have no one else in their department reporting to them. What a joke and just a way to jack up the salary with a title like that. It is as phony as it gets to me and the title has no relevance.

Communicating with other communities and "damage control/repairing the damage done" on this city might be futile after examining all of the damage done from past and current city officials. Might be too late. Adkins and company could get an employee already on the payroll to occasionally get in front of a microphone, call a news conference, advertise the city or send occasional news alerts to all major papers and radio stations pertaining to activities in this city. What does a "media spokesperson" do when they are not publically seen while presenting an announcement?

Just seems to be a part time public relations gig and overkill to me that could be handled by a well spoken person already employed by the city. Why do big shots need spokespeople? Can't they speak for themselves? More government waste to create and fund this position IMO.
I'm so proud of my hometown and what it has become. Recall 'em all. Let's start over.
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I noticed on Sunday, July 9, the city is advertising the newly created permanent full-time position of Communications Coordinator in The Journal News BEFORE council has had a second reading on the ordinance or approved it!!!. City management is advocating the replacement of a part-time intern, who evidently was doing a fine job PART-TIME (with what experience and education we don’t know); with an UNNECESSARILY highly educated, very experienced, very expensive FULL-TIME position!!!! Why???? Just because Economic Development recommended it (perhaps prompted by Mr Adkins)? Their reasoning in the staff report to Mr Adkins (at his prompting?) “Not creating the position, (which) will negate the strides we have made in raising our profile ….. ”

Wouldn’t the staff in Economic Development have adequate time and expertise to manage without a Communications Coordinator position?? Thus saving money instead of spending money that we don’t have!! Additionally, Downtown Middletown Inc’s director position (salary paid by the city!) is partially described as media coordination and promoting Middletown. That is redundant. That is redundant.

"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil, is for good men to do nothing" Edmond Burke
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mike_Presta Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jul 12 2017 at 9:26pm
Here's a cold, hard fact:

Upscale couples come to Middletown in their brand new, solid Mercedes and BMWs. They spend a few hours checking out our town and looking for homes by driving  around on our third world, bombed out, bone-jarring streets and leave driving rattletraps.

No amount of coordination of communications can fix that!!!
“Mulligan said he ... doesn’t believe they necessarily make the return on investment necessary to keep funding them.” …The Middletown Journal, January 30, 2012
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote buddhalite Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jul 13 2017 at 4:59am
Mike,

Are you sure they come here to begin with? Our reputation is pretty poor right now...why are they here? I guess that's why I'm not entirely against a good communications position. Makes sense at some level to try to have someone constantly managing the external communication for the city.

Just my thoughts.
Buddhalite - about 50 pounds short of a full buddha, but was 30 over so the diet is working! Never mind - diet quit working, but then again, I quit the diet! :-)
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“You leave me no choice” but to explain …. Mr Presta’s scenario merely describes how Middletown’s current condition might impress upscale visitors who were drawn here by a spin master (Communications Coordinator) who is “constantly managing the external communications for the city” (which would necessarily be half truths or lies).

Anyone coming here under such misinformation will soon see the truth. Why not begin to solve the problems rather than hide them using some unnecessary spin doctor??  

"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil, is for good men to do nothing" Edmond Burke
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote buddhalite Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jul 13 2017 at 1:40pm
In order to correct perception, one must correct not only the problem, but also the perception.   I believe that it is a multi-pronged approach which includes identification, planning, execution and remediation - but they all have to be done simultaneously.

I think the hardest part of overcoming a bad reputation is understanding that it never hurts to start attempting to rebuild it  - meaning that we need a good solution, good outcomes and good positive press (even when that press is sometimes hyping the smallest of changes....) because let's face it, right now we have no positive press.

I'm not saying that positive things aren't happening - just that in the eyes of the media and popular think - Middletown could use some positive reinforcement.

Bob
Buddhalite - about 50 pounds short of a full buddha, but was 30 over so the diet is working! Never mind - diet quit working, but then again, I quit the diet! :-)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Analytical Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jul 13 2017 at 1:55pm
From your multiple ramblings it almost sounds like you're preparing to run for City Council?  Surely not?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote buddhalite Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jul 13 2017 at 2:21pm
You never know - stranger things have happened.  There's going to have to be a grass roots movement to make a candidacy like that happen - whether it is me or someone else.  I am not sure at this point that the Middletown electorate even gives a care anymore.

Plus, from the tit-for-tat crap that happens here - I'm not sure that it is viable.

I want the best for this city.  I want to accomplish great things here - but from the constant smack down that happens here I'm not really sure that I'd want that kind of hassle in my life.

Bob
Buddhalite - about 50 pounds short of a full buddha, but was 30 over so the diet is working! Never mind - diet quit working, but then again, I quit the diet! :-)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Analytical Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jul 13 2017 at 2:57pm
You earn everything that comes your way, BUDD BOB.  Ponder that thought, will you?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote buddhalite Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jul 13 2017 at 3:18pm
Nelson,

If your ideas here can't withstand my immediate criticism of their ability - why post those ideas? I notice you never actually counter my points on your ideas.  I realize where you came from and your expertise, Nelson, but you can't just propose ideas that have a snowballs chance in hades of ever being implemented - it is just a waste of time and energy that could be better put to use in real solutions.

And, for the record, what exactly have I earned?  I joined this forum to help make this city better - and share thoughts and ideas.  What exactly have I 'earned' by doing that?

Sometimes I wonder why I bother.  I should just start my own site and encourage positive folks with a passion for change to join me in making things happen.  I don't care about the past - my vision is for the future.

Bob
Buddhalite - about 50 pounds short of a full buddha, but was 30 over so the diet is working! Never mind - diet quit working, but then again, I quit the diet! :-)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote spiderjohn Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jul 13 2017 at 4:14pm
quit whining budbob--u r fine here--we all luv u
go for it---make a difference--we need it!
b careful--the deep state might chew u up or worse totally ignore u
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Analytical Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jul 16 2017 at 10:48am
BUSINESS MEETING -- July 18, 2017
Workbook Excerpts -- Agenda Item 6
Second Reading

ORDINANCE NO. O2017-31 AN ORDINANCE CREATING THE POSITION OF COMMUNICATIONS COORDINATOR IN THE UNCLASSIFIED SERVICE OF THE CITY OF MIDDLETOWN AND ESTABLISHING A PAY RANGE FOR SAID POSITION.

BE IT ORDAINED, by City Council of the City of Middletown, Butler/Warren Counties, Ohio that: Section 1 There is hereby created the position of Communications Coordinator in the unclassified service of the City. Section 2 The pay range for the position of Communications Coordinator is 180. Section 3 It is hereby determined that the subject matter of this legislation is not of a general and permanent nature, does not provide for a public improvement and does not assess a tax or payment. Section 4 This ordinance shall take effect and be in force at the earliest time permitted by law.
 __________________________ Lawrence P. Mulligan, Jr. Mayor
1st reading: ___________ 
2nd reading: __________ 
Adopted: ____________ 
Effective: ___________ 
Attest: ______________________ Clerk of the City Council
 H:/Law/leg/2017 Leg/O Communications Coordinator position.doc

S T A F F R E P O R T For Business Meeting: July 5, 2017
DATE June 22, 2017
TO: Douglas Adkins, City Manager
FROM: Jennifer Ekey, Economic Development Director
PURPOSE Amend the Pay and Benefits Ordinance to add new position “Communications Coordinator.” 

BACKGROUND AND FINDINGS The City created a “Communications Intern Position” in 2015 and hired Carley Berman to fill that position. The position was created as a 2-year trial, to be evaluated at the end of that period. Because of that, we have been evaluating the intern position and feel that the City would be better suited to create a “Communications Coordinator” position as a permanent position. This position requires 3-5 years of experience. Job description is attached. ALTERNATIVES Not creating the position, which will negate the strides we have made in raising our profile including: social media, including FB, Twitter, and Instagram; a variety of partnerships including the use of Atrium’s billboard and the new city gateway message board and working on the revamping of the city website with IT.
FINANCIAL IMPACTS Salary for this position will be at range 180 $48,462.96 – 63,839.36. This is an increase of about $10,000 annually over the intern position. Because the position will be vacant for a period of time between the Intern’s departure and hiring
EMERGENCY/NON EMERGENCY Non Emergency. However, we do intend to advertise for the position and begin interviewing in anticipation of this legislation successfully passing. RECOMMENDATION Staff recommends approval of the new position.
 CITY OF MIDDLETOWN Position Description Date: June 19, 2017 Position Title: Communications Coordinator Department/Division: Economic Development Department Reports To: Economic Development Director Classified or Unclassified: Unclassified Exempt or Non-exempt: Non-Exempt Union or Non-union: Non-union Salary Range: ____________________________________________________________________________ 
Position Summary Performs professional staff duties, under the direct supervision of the Economic Development Director and/or City Manager, involving the collection, preparation, organization, analysis and/or dissemination of public information to and for citizens, customers, media outlets, employees and other community stakeholders. Plans, develops and administers a public relations program to promote a positive image of the City of Middletown. This is an important public relations professional position involving the responsibility for effectively informing the public of City governmental activities in a simplified manner. The candidate should demonstrate proficiency in handling all phases of a public relations campaign, experience in design of publication for distribution and managing social media platforms. The employee works independently on assigned projects and receives general supervision and administrative direction from the City Manager and Economic Development Director. The candidate must be a team player and serves as a liaison to various committees. This position is primarily sedentary. It includes some walking; standing; bending; carrying of light items such as papers, books, and various equipment as needed. This position may also have duties that extend beyond the regular 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Monday-Friday work week. 

Position Qualifications 1. Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism, Marketing, Communications, Public Relations, English, Public Administration, Business Administration or related field plus 3-5 years of experience in a similar capacity.
2. Good working knowledge of local government operations is helpful, but not essential.
 3. Must have exceptional communication and interpersonal skills. Must demonstrate proficiency in handling all phases of a public relations campaign.
 4. Must be proficient in all social media outlets including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Linked In, etc.
 5. Must be self-motivated and a self-starter, creative and collaborative.
 6. Proficient with graphic design software such as PhotoShop, Illustrator and InDesign. 
7. Articulate and present a positive and professional image both in person and on the phone. 
8. Possess and maintain a valid Ohio Driver’s License.

 Duties and Responsibilities (For Performance Appraisal) 1. Plan, coordinate, and direct the overall communications strategy for the City of Middletown. 2. Consults with the City Manager and Department Heads and staff to assess public information/relations needs and formulate courses of action that support specific objectives. Develops key messaging for City leaders. 3. Respond to inquiries seeking information about the City and act as the City’s daily spokesperson for non-emergency issues. 4. Develops a working relationship with media contacts and works with media (print, radio, television and social) to provide information and promote a good relationship between the City and the media and to promote a positive image for the City. Maintains database of public relations contacts. 5. Develops, coordinates and supervises the City’s public outreach program, including the coordination of marketing plan and branding to promote City objectives and achievements. 6. Coordinates and oversees all marketing functions of the City including project management responsibilities of marketing and public relations contractors. 7. Produces a quarterly city newsletter for distribution to the public, staff, various media outlets and other community stakeholders. 8. Manage all City-sanctioned social media outlets 9. Update and maintain the community calendar. 10. Responsibility for overseeing the continuing development of the City’s website, including content generation in conjunction with Information Systems staff. 11. Create various marketing pieces as needed by the various municipal departments. This includes pamphlets, brochures, booklets, newsletters, etc. 12. Photograph various City and community events. Organize and inventory photographs so that they are readily available to municipal staff. 13. Organize employee information sharing meetings. 14. Organize and coordinate special business events including: the state of the city address, ribbon cuttings, business appreciation events, citizen recognition events and other similar municipal events. 15. Attend various community and other meetings on behalf of the City. 16. Perform related duties and responsibilities as required.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote whistlersmom Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jul 16 2017 at 2:20pm

Thanks Nelson, for posting from the upcoming July 18, 2017 workbook.


ORDINANCE NO. O2017-31 AN ORDINANCE CREATING THE POSITION OF COMMUNICATIONS COORDINATOR

The duties and responsibilities of the new position of Communications Coordinator seems to closely describes the Economic Development directors job. How many employees are already working under Jennifer Ekey’s direction? What MAJOR economic developments have they (or she) accomplished? Adding another position to perform that departments duties will only be added cost to the city !


"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil, is for good men to do nothing" Edmond Burke
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote dezzyfits Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jul 18 2017 at 10:52am
Hello! First post on here! I am confused...... This is not the same as the Downtown Middletown Director? Has that position already not been filled? I am thinking that there is an overlap here - - or no? Thoughts?Sleepy
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Some questions might be raised about how salaries are determined, and how the required level of education is valued; by comparing the two positions that the city is currently seeking to fill:


Communications Coordinator and Staff Attorney


The city of Middletown is advertising in The Journal News under “legal employment” in the classified section for:

“an attorney licensed to practice in the state of Ohio to serve as Staff Attorney. Position assists with prosecution of criminal cases in Middletown Municipal Court, and other activities as required. Position is considered entry level. Recent graduates are encouraged to apply. Salary range $38,499 - $50,740 plus excellent benefit package.”


Compare this to the salary range for the communications coordinator (spin doctor) position at $48,462.96 – $63,839.36. “This is an increase of about $10,000 annually over the intern position.” (quoted from the workbook) So we might assume that the PART-TIME intern was making at least $38,000- $53,000. That’s about equal to the proposed FULL TIME Staff Attorney salary range!!! Is the Communications Coordinator position of more value because it has an unnecessarily padded, lengthy and wordy list of qualifications, duties and responsibilities (see the Workbook excerpts, July 18, 2017 posted earlier in this topic)? And isn’t the coordinator really just an unnecessary “pet” position aimed at promoting the downtown?


Do you think that public relations and an ability to use a computer and the internet requires more knowledge and training than a law degree? Also, how many attorneys are already in the city’s employ? Note the city’s frequent call for outside attorneys as consultants for most issues of any importance. It appears that our city attorneys have not been equal to the positions they hold. MAYBE THIS NEW POSITION WOULD BE UNNECESSARY if our law department was more expert. SPENDING MORE MONEY to hire another inexperienced “entry level” attorney as an “assistant to the Assistant Law Director” will not alleviate the need for costly outside attorney consultations. Besides a more experienced attorney might find it difficult to justify the city’s law practices . . . that’s Landen/Adkins City Law


The full position description for Staff Attorney (about one third the length of the wordy Communications Coordinator description) on www.cityofmiddletown.org/jobs is . . . quote:


Position Summary

This is professional legal work principally assisting the Assistant Law Director (General Counsel – Criminal Division) with the Law Department’s prosecutorial duties. This person will regularly handle the prosecutorial docket in the Middletown Municipal Court. This person may occasionally be required to work on civil matters in the Law Department. Work is performed under general direction and affords latitude for the exercise of independent judgment and initiative. This is a non-supervisory, entry level position. This position is primarily sedentary, with some walking, standing, bending, and carrying of light items such as papers, books, and equipment.


Position Qualifications

Graduation from an accredited school of law and license to practice law in the State of Ohio. Experience in legal work, or any equivalent combination of education and experience that provides the following knowledge, skills, and abilities:

1. License to practice law in the State of Ohio.

2. Ability to perform basic legal duties.

3. Know judicial procedures, rules of evidence, rules of criminal and civil procedure and methods of legal research.

4. Analyze, appraise, and organize facts, evidence, and precedents concerned in difficult and complex cases.

5. Present material in clear and logical form for oral and written presentations, briefs, opinions, orders, or decisions.


Duties and Responsibilities (For Performance Appraisal)

1. Assist in providing prosecution services in Middletown Municipal Court, and advising the Middletown Division of Police concerning the prosecution of criminal and traffic cases.

2. Represent the City in hearings and investigations before trial and appellate courts, and administrative tribunals.

3. Provide thorough and accurate legal research.

4. Assist upon request in drafting ordinances, resolutions, contracts, leases, and other legal documents, preparing cases for trial, investigating claims and complaints, trying cases before City, state, and federal courts.

5. Establish and maintain effective working relationships with City staff and others. 6. Perform related work as required.


"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil, is for good men to do nothing" Edmond Burke
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote buddhalite Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 3 hours 25 minutes ago at 3:35pm
Hey Whistler,

I have diligently compared both job descriptions - and there's one point that I think you are missing.

The 'Staff Attorney' position is classified as 'entry level' in its own description.

The 'Communications Coordinator' position is classified as a multi-year experience required position.

Therefore -we can debate the merits of the position all day long- but I think the salary ranges are nothing more than just a reflection of the expectations of any given qualified candidate.

Bob
Buddhalite - about 50 pounds short of a full buddha, but was 30 over so the diet is working! Never mind - diet quit working, but then again, I quit the diet! :-)
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