Mayor John Brennan won't spend much time delivering his first state of the city address.

Mayor John Brennan won't spend much time delivering his first state of the city address.

Brennan said he plans to speak for about five minutes at Bexley City Council's finance committee meeting at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 31. After the mayor's speech, each of Brennan's department directors will get a few minutes to talk about the highlights of 2008 and goals for 2009.

Rather than doing all of the speaking himself, Brennan thought it would be better to have each administrator hit on a key point or two. This is the first state of the city address in several years, and Brennan said he wanted to keep it low key.

"As far as I can tell the (city) charter requires one, but we haven't been having them," Brennan said.

He wanted to give the state of the city address earlier in the year, but thought scheduling the speech during the finance committee meeting would give him a built-in audience. Brennan said one of the highlights of 2008 -- his first year in office -- was the city's ability to handle a snowstorm, windstorm, heavy rains and flooding.

"We met the challenge," Brennan said. "We have a good unit going with city workers. I have been pleased with their ability to function under different things."

The city also has worked hard to cut costs, Brennan said. He said since he took office, the city has reduced the equivalent of five and a half staff positions.

"The other thing we are doing is less relying on consultants and legal help," he said.

He said service department employees are doing more work that used to be outsourced, such as fixing leaks and maintaining alleys.

Employees are being cross-trained and some projects have been re-evaluated, Brennan said.

In response to the current economic climate, a financial task force was formed to study city finances. The city is awaiting a recommendation from the committee.

"We are looking at everything: how we spend money (and) what we might be able to do differently," Brennan said.

tstubbs@thisweeknews.com