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Park City cutting 4 posts in a major belt-tightening

PARK CITY — While legislators have been busy deciding how to spend the state's money, one of the state's richest cities figured out a way to save itself hundreds of thousands of dollars.

While money will be saved in Park City's plan, several top jobs won't be. Four of the city's director positions will be eradicated in what is believed to be the largest penny-crunching personnel cut in the town's history.

New city manager Tom Bakaly announced this week that Park City's budget will no longer pay salaries for directors of the Community Development Department, Leisure Services Department or Administrative Services Department. That forces Rick Lewis, Bob Stephens and Bob Johnston, respective department heads who have a combined 52 years of experience in Park City, to either move on or apply for new positions that are being created.

The city also will not appoint an assistant city manager, the position Bakaly held until being promoted to replace his former boss. The restructuring also eliminates a parks and golf superintendent and a capital-projects manager. Sum total savings in salaries and benefits, according to the Park Record: $277,031.

"The streamlined reporting will enhance customer service through better and more efficient collaboration," Bakaly said.

The City Council and mayor are in favor of the moves, which aim to make the bureaucracy more effective and less frustrating. The departments will be overseen by midlevel managers and other department heads.

"We support the city manager's proposal to streamline government functions," said Mayor Dana Williams. "This will facilitate open and responsive government, which benefit(s) all our residents."

The outgoing directors were encouraged to apply for other City Hall openings. If they don't, the city will likely offer them separation packages.

The mayor also announced this week a proposal to restructure the Parks, Recreation and Beautification Board and to consolidate the Historic District Commission with the Planning Commission. That will be discussed at a City Council meeting next Thursday.