AUBURN — Combining the Public Works, Engineering, Parks and Recreation departments and city arborist under one department may not save money for the city, but it would make the operation work more efficiently, the city manager told councilors Monday.

“In my opinion, the biggest efficiency you will see is that you have better leveraged resources,” City Manager Clinton Deschene said during a workshop meeting. “You will have these staffs working together. Some of this is about improving all the overall services at Parks, Recreation and Public Works so more work can get done.”

Deschene explained a new organization chart to councilors that would create a new heading: Department of Public Services.

Councilors said they liked the idea initially, but had questions.

“I think we have to look at this model, and you’ve done a good job,” Councilor Leroy Walker said. “I think we can do more. I think our recreation field can get bigger and better, and we can do more for this city than we have the last five, eight or 10 years. We just need to have department leadership that will work together.”

They’ll see it again in three weeks, at their next regular meeting.


The city’s highway, fleet maintenance and city engineers would have to be separate divisions of the new Public Services Department.

The new structure would break apart the parks and recreation functions, putting parks and park maintenance in a division of its own, along with the city forestry work and arborist.

Recreation would get its own division, and the councilors hoped that would lead to better events and recreation programs around the city.

“We need more to bring more,” Walker said. “This community is waiting to bust at the seams, and we need to make it happen. We can do more downtown than is happening now, and there are so many other opportunities.”

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