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Commissioner Steve Novick

Official Website for Commissioner Steve Novick

Phone: 503-823-4682

fax: 503-823-4019

1221 SW 4th Ave. Suite 210, Portland, OR 97204

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Portland Tribune: Study says city top heavy with supervisors

March 5, 2014 | Portland Tribune-- A new report says Portland city bureaus have not implemented many of the cost-cutting recommendations from a 2011 study that looked at how many employees were supervised by each manager.

The 20-page report by the Council Budget Subcommittee, “Citywide Span of Control Study,” released Wednesday after a Portland Tribune public records request, found that some bureaus were top heavy with more managers than necessary.

The bureaucratic phrase at issue is “span of control.” Ideally, city bureaus would have no more higher-salaried supervisors than is necessary to direct lower-salaried employees. But the new report says the Portland Police Bureau in particular, is top heavy with command staff and that between $500,000 and $2.5 million could be saved if 22 command-level positions were either changed to sworn officer status or eliminated. The report found that there are 33 police officers receiving supervisor pay who oversee three or fewer officers.

The new report describes a city bureaucracy that has evolved bureau by bureau rather than by design, and that has taken shape by organizational changes that did not take into account optimum efficiency. Some bureaus, according to the report, have supervisor to employee ratios based READ FULL ARTICLE