As a candidate, Councilman D. Michael Collins said he would let the directors run their departments.
Now he seems intent on letting that actually occur.
Instead of taking up half a day (or more) each week for a staff meeting, Collins plans to call his directors in for a staff meeting every two weeks.
Collins' plan, according to spokesman Lisa Ward, is:
1. Require a weekly written report from each department director due Friday (no more than 2 pages). This idea was suggested to him by former Ohio Sen. and Gov. George Voinovich (who was also mayor of Cleveland once upon a time).
2. Meet on Mondays to review the written directors' reports with the executive staff (Chief of Staff Bob Reinbolt, Assistant chief of Staff Joel Mazur and Ward).
3. Meet every other Wednesday (day after council meetings) with directors. ("He wants to be sensitive to the time constraints Directors are under and feels every other week, given the increased communication through the reports, is sufficient," Ward said.)
Carty Finkbeiner used to have a regular Wednesday meeting that members recall as sometimes lasting all day. Mike Bell had weekly meetings on Monday morning with his executive staff and in the afternoon with all the directors.
One negative outcome of the weekly meeting approach was that directors spent hours away from their jobs each week, much of the time listening to issues outside of their purview. (Department employees knew their bosses would be out of contact much or even all of the day).
One positive outcome was that all the directors had a pretty good idea of what was going on across city government.
Mike Bell, though not a fan of Mayor Finkbeiner's long meetings, cited the government-wide knowledge those meetings gave him as one of his qualifications to be mayor.