Second deputy may be planned

COLUMBIA, Mo 12/29/14 (Beat Byte) -- Three years after he eliminated a popular assistant's position, Columbia city manager Mike Matthes may add a second deputy city manager, sources close to City Hall tell the Columbia Heart Beat. 

The choice of a second #2 may prove controversial, however.  Rumor has it public works director John Glascock will take that job. 

"One deputy city manager will be responsible for all city utility operations and the other deputy city manager will be responsible for everything else," the source tells the Heart Beat.  Glascock is the rumored utility operations deputy. 

Matthes eliminated assistant city manager Paula Hertwig Hopkins' position in 2011 through a budget-cutting strategy that included slashing 15% of the city manager's funding.   A popular second-in-command, Hopkins was a Columbia city government employee for 11 years.  "She kinda got the shaft," retired Columbia parks director Richard Green wrote in one of several newspaper comments in which he was critical of the decision.    

Upon eliminating Hopkins' position, Matthes promoted then assistant city manager Tony St. Romaine into the newly created position of "deputy city manager."   Matthes has worked with a single deputy since.

Controversy has marked Glascock's tenure, from his decision to cut old-growth trees on Old Southwest streets without first notifying adjacent homeowners, to his promotion of a scheme to tear down historic homes in the Grasslands to accomodate a Providence Rd. expansion and over 1,000 new student apartments planned for the area.