In light of some city of Gahanna positions being in jeopardy pending the outcome of May's proposed income-tax increase, some employees have left and some part-time positions have been eliminated.

Mayor Tom Kneeland said employee turnover continues based on staffers accepting positions with other employers, and that is to be expected.

"Given how lean we are at this point, however, continuing to keep headcounts this low will impact what we are able to accomplish in 2019," he said.

As part of the 2019 approved budget, the city administrator's position is scheduled to be defunded on June 1.

Council President Brian Metzbower said the charter gives council authority to defund full-time positions; to eliminate them altogether would have to be done in conjunction with the administration.

He said the positions poised to be defunded could be retained if voters approve Issue 12 on May 7.

Dottie Franey, who spent the last year as Gahanna's city administrator, left the city March 1. She is working as assistant director of customer service in Columbus' Department of Public Utilities.

She was a Gahanna employee for 27 years, having worked seven years as director of public service, nine years as deputy director of public service and 10 years as a secretary for the department of public service.

Kneeland said the city administrator was intended to manage operations-level departments and act similar to a chief operating officer.

"The duties of this position are currently spread across the senior-management team, including the mayor's office, while some tasks are being delayed," Kneeland said. "Given the critical nature of this role, if funding were restored, I would seek to fill this position as soon as possible."

He said the parks and recreation director position, also scheduled to be defunded June 1, is also appointed by the mayor and is required by city charter.

"It's important to the operation of the Parks and Recreation Department and overall customer service," Kneeland said. "Given the important nature of this role, and the existing charter language, if funding were restored, this position would be maintained."

Duties of Gahanna's Senior Center supervisor position, also scheduled to be defunded June 1, include management of operations, interacting directly with center members and management of a long-term special project to improve cross-functional communications and the health of Gahanna services and civic groups.

Kneeland said Patrick Monaghan, the center's former supervisor, left Gahanna on April 5 to work for the city of Upper Arlington.

He had worked for Gahanna since April 2015.

"Duties of this position are currently assigned to another employee as additional duties," Kneeland said. "If funding were restored, I would anticipate seeking to fill this position."

Gahanna's public information manager is responsible for public relations, communications, public information and community outreach.

Niel Jurist, who formerly filled that role, accepted a position with the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission and left city employment March 22.

Kneeland said the position is being backfilled with a consultant and duties are being shared between the consultant and a part-time employee.

He said the intention is to hire a replacement for this position in the near-term.

This position wasn't affected by budget reductions.

In order to increase funding for priority areas such as street maintenance and concrete street reconstruction, Kneeland said, City Council implemented funding reductions affecting part-time employees in various areas.

He said numerous positions were defunded in parks, camps, recreation, finance, information technology, payroll and human resources.

"Duties are currently assigned to other employees," Kneeland said. "Rehiring decisions for these positions will be based on funding allocations from City Council and an analysis of strategic needs and priorities in order to match the services with the future needs of the community."

Metzbower said it's unfortunate the city has lost some very good employees who had a lot experience and a knowledge of the workings of the city.

"We as a governmental body feel the loss," he said. "We're working hard to get it right this time and pass Issue 12."

Prior to adopting the 2019 budget, Metzbower said, City Council consolidated positions in the council office from three to two.

He said the duties handled by the records administrator were taken over by council's deputy clerk.

The council is reviewing applications for the council clerk position, following council clerk Kim Banning's departure.

Krystal Gonchar, the deputy clerk, is the acting council clerk, Metzbower said.

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