I have to give this mayor credit when credit is due. He knows how to play the publicity game at City Hall. There has never been a mayor who has pushed out more press releases on everyday business goings on like he does on a daily basis. That is not a bad thing as long as the steady stream of pablum from 9th Street is interesting and informative. And sometimes it is and sometimes it is pablum.
On January 3, 2012, the mayor's special projects coordinator presented the city's top 10 project list to the city council. She stated this list was not all inclusive as there were many projects she was tracking as well as projects the departments were doing on their own. What was interesting, at the conclusion of the presentation, there was nary a question regarding these projects. The only question was would the coordinator be back for updates or would the information be posted online.
Projects on the "Top 10 List" that we haven't heard a lot about at City Council Information Briefings are the Health Department initiative to push forward a plan to reduce community heart disease, cancer, stroke, and diabetes by 5%; the Pension Plan project to reduce the city's contributions rates by reducing the employee pension benefits; or the new software projects related to finance, land management integration and online plan review & work flow. All the other "top 10" projects have been on the information radar for quite some time.
Project management was happening long before the mayor's special projects coordinator came on board. The Engineering Division of Public Works is the master on project management. . Major projects "sponsored" by various departments with departmental "project managers" have always existed in city administrations. The directors and management staff have always performed project management duties. So let's not start beating the drums of mayoral accomplishments at business acumen again. Project plans, summaries, milestones, risk planning process, dependency planning process, project sponsor, project manager - all fancy terminology to show something new is happening down at City Hall when it's really not new at all.
I looked for the Top 10 Project List on the city's website but it is not posted yet. It probably has something to do with that "outdated software" issue. Personally, I like the fact that I will be able to go online and track progress on major projects in the city at one location on the city's website. That's what's new. What's not new is project management where directors and former mayor's used their Chief of Staffs to do the same thing internally.