At its Nov. 18 meeting, Bloomington’s city council approved the creation of a new engineering department It amounted to a statutory legal formality, after a new department was included in the structure of the 2021 budget, which was adopted by the city council in mid-October.
The city now has a name to slot into for the head of the department: Andrew Cibor. (It’s pronounced “see-bore.”) A press release issued by the city on Thursday afternoon says Cibor will start Jan. 11, and receive an annual salary of $101,418.
The creation of the new department added no more net employees—it just moved the engineering division out of planning and transportation to make a new independent department.
Cibor will be coming to Bloomington from Asheville where he currently serves as traffic engineer for that North Carolina city.
The press release quotes Bloomington’s mayor, John Hamilton, saying, “I am thrilled to welcome Andrew back to the City to further the excellent contribution he has already made toward Bloomington’s transportation goals.”
It’s a welcome back from the mayor, not just a welcome, because Cibor served as transportation and traffic engineer for the city of Bloomington from 2015 to 2018, within the planning and transportation department.
In August, during the media preview of the 2021 budget, Hamilton described the planned re-organization to establish a separate engineering department. On that occasion, Hamilton cited Cibor as supportive of the idea.
Cibor thought a separate engineering department would make sense, Hamilton said at the time.
Cibor had previously been hired into the Bloomington position after it sat vacant for 11 months. Adrian Reid, who held the position before Cibor, resigned in April of 2014.
After Cibor’s departure in August 2018, his replacement, Craig Shonkwiler, was not hired until more than a year later, in November 2019. Shonkwiler resigned after seven months, in May 2020. It took another seven months to fill the position this time around.
In August, deputy mayor Mick Renneisen responded to a reporter’s question by saying he thought a part of the challenge in recruiting the position of city engineer was its embedding in the planning and transportation department. Renneisen called that “a bit unusual.”
Most city engineers, if they’re embedded anywhere, it’s in the public works department, Renneisen said. The salary was not competitive when the engineer was in a subordinate role, Renneisen said.
When a 2014 re-organization of public works and planning and transportation was approved, the salary grade for the engineer was a 10 on the 12-point scale used by the city of Bloomington. It was subsequently bumped up to 11. As a department head, the engineer will have a salary grade of 12.
In August, Renneisen called the market for engineering services around the country “very competitive.”
Neil Kopper has been serving as interim engineer for the city of Bloomington, in a position that it required to be appointed by the mayor under Indiana state statute.