Newburyport Receives Consultant’s Report on Improving Government Services

Wednesday July 20, 2022

NEWBURYPORT – Mayor Sean Reardon shares that the City of Newburyport has received a report from an outside consultant that recommends changes to better deliver services to the community.

The City hired Community Paradigm Associates of Plymouth to review the current government structure and identify improvements. The review included both research and interviews with more than one dozen department heads and staff members.

The consultant’s report was received at the end of June.

The City is actively looking to incorporate the following recommendations made by Community Paradigm Associates:

• Shift the Parks Department maintenance crew to the Department of Public Services, with the purpose of providing more efficient and effective support across the City with shared staff and equipment.

• Move adult recreation programming, currently within the Parks Department, to a combined Youth & Recreation Services Department.

• Reassign the staff member responsible for recycling, energy, and sustainability issues to the Mayor’s Office, with the title of Sustainability Coordinator, to support sustainability initiatives across the City.

• Move oversight of a portion of the City’s capital projects from the Planning and Development Department to the Mayor’s Office, under the formalized position of Special Projects Manager, allowing Planning and Development staff to focus on planning and economic development.

• Move Information Technology staff to the supervision of the Finance Director.

If all recommendations were adopted, the number of City Departments would be reduced from 21 to 18 while increasing efficiency and improving services to the public.

The report also recommended:

• That the City works toward increased citizen engagement on boards and commissions, increased diversity of incoming members, and more consistent terms of office.

• That the City consider working with the School Department in the future to consolidate functions and services that may be duplicated.

“The City has a highly effective team of department heads, but it is always helpful to have a professional, outside review with a fresh set of eyes,” Mayor Reardon said. “This report tells us what the City is doing well and how we can be more efficient in serving the public, and will be a guide to our decisions in the coming weeks.”

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