Cibor bloomerangs in order to head up new city engineering department

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. Continue reading “Cibor bloomerangs in order to head up new city engineering department”

Bloomington city council set to OK new engineering department next week

On Thursday, the Bloomington city council’s four-member administration committee gave a favorable review to a proposed ordinance by mayor John Hamilton’s administration to establish a new engineering department, outside the current planning and transportation department.

At Thursday’s meeting, corporation counsel Philippa Guthrie called the need to establish a new department through an ordinance a “formality,” which councilmember Jim Sims said was “refreshing [for him] to hear.”

The requirement that the city council take legislative action to create a new department is required under state law. [36-4-9-4]

The creation of the department was anticipated as a part of the 2021 budget adopted by the city council in mid-October.

The proposal does not add new positions or change the physical location of any staff, but does put the city engineer, which is a mayoral appointment under state law, at the head of their own department.

The position of city engineer is currently vacant. Senior project engineer Neil Kopper currently serves as interim city engineer. The new configuration would give the engineer more direct access to the mayor and a bump in pay, compared to its current placement under the director of the department of planning and transportation.

Not a part of the proposed ordinance that the city council will vote on next Wednesday is a change to the name of the department that currently houses the engineer, which is planning and transportation.

When the administration’s intention to eliminate “transportation” from the department’s name, making it just the planning department, emerged at a budget meeting this fall, it rankled some councilmembers, in particular Steve Volan.

On Thursday, Volan said he supported the creation of an independent engineering department, and was glad no name change was a part of the proposal: “It serves everybody to make the engineer head of a separate department. So I’m very happy to support that. I’m also pleased to see that something that I expected to see is not here, which is that the name of the planning and transportation department would change.” Continue reading “Bloomington city council set to OK new engineering department next week”

From police, to parking, to public works, to bidets: Bloomington 2021 budget Q&A flush with facts

Late August marked the conclusion of a four-night series of city council hearings on Bloomington mayor John Hamilton’s proposed 2021 budget. Shortly after that, councilmembers submitted written questions to city staff.

In the second week of September, staff responses to councilmember questions were posted in a Q&A document on the city’s budget web page.

Whether the concerns expressed in the written questions or during the budget hearings will result in changes to the budget won’t be known for sure until the final budget is presented to the city council on Sept. 30.

A vote to adopt Bloomington’s city budget is set for Oct. 14. Continue reading “From police, to parking, to public works, to bidets: Bloomington 2021 budget Q&A flush with facts”