Upper Arlington city manager Virginia Barney plans to recommend the elimination of 10 city positions in the 2011 budget.

Upper Arlington city manager Virginia Barney plans to recommend the elimination of 10 city positions in the 2011 budget.

Six of the positions currently are empty or will be vacant because of retirements and other resignations, Barney said.

Those positions include three public services superintendent positions, a fleet maintenance position, a fleet technician and a sign technician, she said.

The four positions that currently are filled are the cultural arts coordinator with the city's parks and recreation department, a management position in both the police department and the public services department, and the city's animal control officer.

"There has been a lot of very detailed and serious discussion among Ginny and her department heads to address the shortfalls in the budget," said Emma Speight, deputy city manager for communications.

Though eliminating the positions currently is a recommendation for council to consider, the employees in the positions have been notified about the city's plans.

In an e-mail to ThisWeek on Wednesday, Oct. 20, cultural arts coordinator Lauren Emond stated that she believes "it's unlikely (council) will not be approving it."

Barney said many factors were considered with her recommendation.

"It was a number of different things that we looked at," she said.

In speaking with council members and city department heads, Barney said, it was decided that the duties filled by these positions could be accomplished either internally or with the help of contractors.

"For example, with (Emond's) position, we have put money in the budget not as much for a person but some money for outside contracting to help with some of the arts programs so we can continue them," Barney said.

She said the department heads would be in charge of making sure the work was accomplished.

Barney said the elimination of the city's animal control officer means the city would rely on Franklin County to handle animal control issues on public property.

They city would recommend that residents handle animal issues on private property with private companies or call Franklin County.

"We are one of the few cities that do have an animal control officer," Barney said. "There won't be as much special attention, and we will not be giving attention on private property. Citizens already pay into the county coffers where Franklin County has animal control."

Barney said the recommendation likely would save the city approximately $600,000 annually in salary and benefit costs.

Council's first budget hearing is slated for Nov. 1. Council is scheduled to vote on the full 2011 budget Dec. 13.

gmartineau@thisweeknews.com

Twitter:@GailMartineau