Title change for community development head debated
Updated: October 8, 2012 6:27PM
PARK RIDGE — Park Ridge employee Jim Testin is slated to become director of his division.
The title change, though, would come with neither new responsibilities nor a pay increase. The move by officials is simply to comply with the city’s zoning ordinance and municipal code.
The Committee of the Whole voted 5-2 on Sept. 24 to make Testin, who has served in a managerial capacity since June, director of Community Preservation and Development, with formal approval to come the following week.
Responsibilities of the division had shuffled from person to person during the past few years following organizational restructuring and, most recently, turnover of top staff.
City layoffs in 2010 resulted in the elimination of the Community Preservation and Development director and creation of a manager.
At the time former Deputy City Manager Juliana Maller took over director duties for both Community Preservation and Development as well as Economic Development. Then, the past spring Maller was called to serve temporarily in a city-manager capacity following the dismissal of Jim Hock. She soon left for a post in Hanover Park, and Shawn Hamilton became the acting city manager Aug. 1.
Testin, meanwhile, assumed director responsibilities for the division.
Neither the zoning ordinance nor the municipal code, though, were modified to reflect the 2010 changes and, thus, still make reference to an unnamed director.
And while Testin has carried out the work, his annual salary of $95,486 is just below the minimum pay for someone in a director role. The pay grade for the position is between $96,722 and $135,410.
Hamilton said he would not recommend a salary bump until after conducting a full analysis of city compensation.
Sixth Ward Alderman Marc Mazzuca said changing titles but not keeping salaries in line is “solving one problem and creating another.”
He and 3rd Ward Alderman Jim Smith voted against the move.
Smith called the retitle a “quick-and-dirty way” for ensuring consistency with city code.
An amendment he proposed to have a manager of any department serve as director when one is not named was defeated.
Though he ultimately supported the motion, 1st Ward Alderman Joe Sweeney said giving Testin a new title with the same responsibilities is similar to a promotion without a pay raise.
“What are we accomplishing? Nothing,” Sweeney said. “It’s shuffling paper.”
According to Park Ridge Municipal Code, the Department of Community Preservation and Development (now a division under the Administrative Services Department) purports to “provide general direction, coordination, supervision and control so as to preserve the existing character of Park Ridge as a high-quality residential community.”