There are big changes in store. That’s what Mayor-Elect Jean Stothert tells Channel Six. Brittany Gunter sat down with Stothert for a one-on-one interview.
“I’m just ready to get to work,” said Stothert. She is currently in a transition office. Next Monday she will officially be sworn in and then move into the Mayor’s Office, but already she is hard at work. First up she’s working on a budget that will go to the printer in less than a month. “The budget is always a challenge and it will be, but we are going to make sure that every department is running efficiently, that every director keeps their department within budget."
She’s promised a 10 percent budget cut and a 10 percent cut in her own salary. Her salary cut will be put to a vote by the city council on Tuesday. What’s also changing under her leadership is the HR, Finance, Parks, and Planning Directors. Stothert’s been very vocal about her issues with the Planning Department. "We want to do everything that we can to keep our present businesses here and attract new business and not chase them away because we are taking too long."
Another position she’s taking a look at is the Fire Chief. “It's no secret that Chief McDonnell is eligible to retire. I don't think it's any secret that I have said repeatedly over the last four years that I think that department can be better led and better run with a new chief."
Stothert says that all these things are part of what she promised to the taxpayers and she plans on taking those issues on the very first year. “We need to run leaner and smarter. I promised the taxpayers I would look out for their money and that's what I'm going to do."