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Metro Newsroom 

Abramson Streamlines Government Structure

Wednesday November 29, 2006

Mayor Jerry Abramson today announced a new streamlined management structure for Louisville Metro Government, a reorganization that will remove a layer of management and save taxpayers more than $500,000 annually.

The changes, which become effective when Abramson begins his new term as mayor on January 1, will eliminate the cabinet system he selected four years ago for the transition from the former city and county governments to a merged metro government.

“The cabinet system helped us make a smoother transition and ensured we didn’t drop the ball on services,” Abramson said. “But with merger complete, we need a flatter, hands-on organization to take local government to even higher levels of efficiency and effectiveness.”

The financial savings will come from eliminating several positions, including one of the four deputy mayor positions and the cabinet secretary slots. Deputy Mayor Joan Riehm and Public Works Secretary Rudy Davidson are retiring after a combined 55 years of public service.

Four of the six cabinet secretaries will be assigned to other leading roles in the administration. Police Chief Robert White will continue to lead the Louisville Metro Police Department.

The new government structure will consist of 12 departments headed by directors who will report directly to the mayor. The rest of the metro agencies will become divisions of those departments.

The departments are:

· Police

· Public Protection

· Metro Development

· Codes and Regulations

· Parks and Recreation

· Health and Wellness

· Family Services

· Neighborhoods

· Public Works and Assets

· Finance and Administration

· Information Technology

· Human Resources

Two of the departments will be headed by current cabinet directors:

· Kim Allen will oversee the Public Protection Department, which will include urban and suburban fire departments, Emergency Medical Services, Emergency Management Agency, Youth Center, Corrections and Animal Services. David Nicholson, director of the Louisville Metro Crime Commission, is leaving to become circuit clerk and Allen will take over his job responsibilities.

· Bruce Traughber will head the Metro Development Department, which will be streamlined to give greater focus to job creation and downtown development. The divisions include Economic Development, Downtown Development, Riverport Authority, Redevelopment Authority, Parking Authority and Air Pollution Control District.

Bill Schreck will oversee the Codes and Regulations Department, which will include the divisions of Inspections, Permits and Licenses and Planning and Design Services.

Jane Driskell will lead the Finance and Administration Department, expanding her current duties as chief financial officer. The department will include all budget and finance functions, including Purchasing and the Revenue Commission.

Dr. Adewale Troutman will continue to head the Health and Wellness Department, with added responsibilities for environmental initiatives. Mike Heitz will continue to oversee the Parks and Recreation Department.

Melissa Mershon will continue to lead the Neighborhoods Department, which includes the divisions of MetroCall, Brightside, International Affairs, Community Outreach, Projects and Events. Youth Development and community center programming will be added to the department.

The Family Services Department will be headed by Kimberly Bunton, who currently serves as both director of the Community Action Partnership and the Office of Policy and Planning. She will continue to lead the Community Action Partnership and oversee Human Services, Housing and the Metro Housing Authority.

Ted Pullen will lead the Public Works and Assets Department, which will include Streets and Roads, Solid Waste Management, Fleet, Facilities and Project Management.

Beth Niblock will continue to oversee Information Technology and Bill Hornig will continue as director of Human Resources.

Two other current cabinet secretaries and a deputy cabinet secretary will take on new roles, joining the senior staff and reporting directly to the Mayor.

Mary Gwen Wheeler, who heads the Health and Family Services Cabinet, will head the Office of Policy and Planning, which will help develop cross-department and intergovernmental initiatives, including efforts in education and workforce development.

Mary Lou Northern, who serves as Neighborhoods, Parks and Cultural Affairs secretary, will become Senior Advisor to the Mayor, serving as Abramson’s point person for the City of Parks initiative and chief liaison to arts and cultural affairs groups and heading other outreach efforts.

Shannon Tivitt, now deputy secretary for Community Development, will become the Mayor’s Chief of Staff. Her duties will include managing the Mayor’s staff and overseeing board and commission appointments.

Continuing their roles on the Mayor’s senior staff:

· Jim McGovern, Director of Intergovernmental Relations

· Christina Heavrin, Special Counsel

· Chad Carlton, Communications Director