AUBURN — City Manager Clinton Deschene said he won't put his stamp on Auburn Hall's staff hierarchy until he's more familiar with the job.
"For now, I don't want to get into a rigid schedule," Deschene said. "I think we might be able delegate things and come up with some new concepts. But we're not there yet."
But that doesn't mean that he hasn't started working on creating his style of Auburn government. The city began advertising for an assistant city manager on Tuesday.
Deschene said the deadline for new applications is Aug. 17. He hopes to have a new assistant hired and starting in October.
"Everything is status quo until we hire the new assistant city manager," Deschene said. "Then we can starting working out some new procedures and policies."
Deschene was hired in June to replace Glenn Aho. Members of the previous City Council ended Aho's contract with the city in October.
Aho had tried to reshape Auburn's government, doing away with the assistant city mnager's position after Laurie Smith resigned in June 2010.
Instead, Aho grouped city departments into teams — Police and Fire under the Public Safety Team; Finance, IT, Clerk and Human Resources under the Public Administration Team; and Planning, Engineering, Parks and Recreation and Public Works under the Public Services Team.
Department heads from each team met weekly with Aho to discuss problems, come up with possible solutions and share resources.
Deschene said that structure will change once he gets settled.
"We're not starting over or starting from scratch," Deschene said. "There's not going be a reorganization or anything like that. For now, I told staff to continue the status quo as much as possible. But the traditional term we've used of 'team leaders,' that term will probably not continue to evolve or be in use."
He sees a more traditional structure, with the manager and assistant manager dividing up some tasks and sharing others.
"As much as you'd like to say this is the way it's going to be forever, you can't do that," he said. "You can't say this is going to be the model from now on because too many things change too quickly. So we need to be flexible, more adaptable and have a broader perspective for all services."
And much of what the city looks like depends on his new assistant manager.
"We can create team concepts, but coordinated through the assistant city manager," he said. "I can coordinate on larger matters once a month. Each department will still have their own identity and they'll still work together, but we may call it something different."