McEwen and the administration have asked city council to consider creating the position of risk manager as part of the city administration. The ordinance creating the position is up for introduction and first reading at Thursday’s council meeting, but would have to be approved on second reading before anyone could be hired to fill the role.
McEwen said he believes that by adding the position the city could save about $1 million a year.
The salary range as set in the ordinance is between $60,880 and $86,614 a year.
The risk manager would be tasked with managing the worker’s compensation claims against the city and follow them through the process. Currently, McEwen said, the city has no one who follows those expensive claims until they become legal matters.
“The city is just reactive to it instead of being proactive and managing that process,” he said.
The risk manager will also be charged with training department directors to know the proper procedure to follow in the event that a city employee is injured on the job. By doing so the administration can be helpful in the process assisting the employee to better their health.
Councilman Alex Bethea was skeptical of the new position at first, but said it made sense once the duties and the need were explained.
“This is a serious issue that we have in this situation,” Bethea said. “I don’t know if this is the answer, but we need to do something because we are loosing tons, millions.”