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Mayor: Cookeville Focusing On Cohesion, Efficiency

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
Mayor: Cookeville Focusing On Cohesion, Efficiency

As Cookeville continues to grow, it becomes even more important to consider how to best provide city services most efficiently.

Mayor Laurin Wheaton cited the consolidation of the Planning and Codes departments into the Department of Economic and Community Development, and the merging of the Gas and Electric Departments. She said the council, along with City Manager James Mills, are not only dedicated to physical infrastructure, but to the city’s internal infrastructure.

“It’s part of that plan of strategic growth that we talk about,” Wheaton said. “How we are growing, but we want to do it in a way that works best for the city and for the community. And so, taking a look at, ‘hey, what are we doing right now? How can we improve? How can we make it better?’ And not just internally, but recognizing, you know, there’s other resources out there.”

Wheaton said Enterprise Resource Consulting is a prime example of the city looking for external feedback on how processes can be streamlined or improved. Software options exist that maybe the city has not considered, Wheaton said, or partnering with outside entities can help strengthen the bond internally.

“It’s a momentum and a movement that I think is going to be really beneficial down the road,” Wheaton said.

Council approved the first step of that process Thursday, hiring an outside firm to look at processes in areas such as HR and accounting. Some of that work is still done by hand.

Wheaton said the council wants to ensure that the city is using all of its assets as effectively as possible. She said because of that priority, we are beginning to see some of those entities come together as one.

“This is the type of growth that I like to see within city government,” Wheaton said. “You know, coming together, streamlining processes, and making things more efficient. Really utilizing all of the assets that we have.”

Wheaton said Mills has worked tirelessly as well in an attempt to create cohesion and efficiency within city departments and through city processes. She said while council members and city staff may hold different opinions and ideas, they have done a good job collaborating to find ways to help the city operate effectively and keep the needs of the community first.


The post Mayor: Cookeville Focusing On Cohesion, Efficiency appeared first on News Talk 94.1/AM 1600.