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Lebanon City Manager Seeks No. 2

Lebanon — The city manager’s office is looking to beef up its second-in-command in a proposed staff reorganization.

The newly created deputy city manager position would take the helm of an entire department and run the city when the city manager is out of town. Twenty-six-year City Hall veteran Paula Maville, now the city manager’s executive assistant, would fill the position on an interim basis.

In an interview yesterday before last night’s regular City Council meeting, City Manager Greg Lewis cited Human Services as an example of a department Maville might run under her new title.

The city recently hired a temporary director for the Human Services department after former director Shannon Hastings-Fox went on medical leave in February. Maville has experience running the department, which acts as the city’s safety net for low income residents by providing assistance with rent, utilities and medical care.

The deputy city manager would replace Maville’s former position of executive assistant, and includes a minor bump in salary, from a maximum weekly pay of $1,575 to $1,606.

At last night’s Council meeting, City Councilor Nicole Cormen said she sees the position as “an evolution in our quest here to continue keeping the city on sound footing and becoming a more sustainable community.

“I appreciate the city manager’s creativity and flexibility in bringing these ideas forward,” she said. “I’m excited about what we can expect to see with this.”

Lewis told the Council that the deputy city manager could also take over managing an interactive question-and-answer section of the city website and other communications projects such as the city newsletter.

He said the shift in responsibilities would allow him to focus more on “fiscal stewardship,” including the crafting of a 3-year-budget and negotiations with all four of the city employee unions. Lewis has been working to streamline all four union negotiations into one process.

“This allows me to shift and focus my energy on those pieces of importance,” Lewis said.

Before last night’s meeting, Lewis said the position “provides redundancy” if he is at another location, meaning Maville would have the authority to delegate assignments, oversee department functions and manage projects in his absence.

“Right now as executive assistant, she works on all of (that), but I’d like to empower her to take charge of that issue for delegation,” Lewis said.

Ben Conarck can be reached at bconarck@vnews.com or 603-727-3213.