he City of Riverside has decided to eliminate its full time city engineer position and hire a firm to provide services instead.
This action item was placed on the agenda at the last alderman meeting held Jan. 16, but was put on hold to reconsider which firm they should hire.
“This decision does not revolve around a money issue,” said David Blackburn, Riverside’s city administrator.
“We feel that hiring a firm will bring more to the table than just one person can. Depending on what firm we choose to hire, their salary will be based on an hourly fee. Their services will involve reviewing the city’s plans and assisting us with projects.”
Blackburn said the two firms currently being considered include the Shafer, Kline & Warren, Inc. and Cook, Flatt & Strobel firms. John Jackson was employed as the city’s previous engineer for over five years. He is in his early 70’s and said he is now searching for a new job after Blackburn eliminated his position.
“I had no idea what happened,” said Jackson. “They asked me to either quit or retire last summer and the situation finally culminated Oct. 17. David (Blackburn) never gave me a reason for being let go and I wasn’t happy. I firmly believe I was doing the job they hired me to do.”
Blackburn said the ordinance to hire an engineering firm would be decided at the alderman’s next regular meeting Tuesday, Feb. 6 at 7 p.m. in city hall.