John F. Kennedy once said, “Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.” Once again, things are changing within the City of Cape Girardeau as we embrace the future and all it may bring!
Recently, Molly Hood’s role within the organization changed. She moved from the Assistant City Manager/Development Services Director to a new role as Deputy City Manager. So, why the change? Here’s a little background information to help explain the situation.
When Molly joined the City in January 2014, she was tasked with two major responsibilities: 1) running the Development Services Department which includes Planning, Engineering, Inspections, GIS, and the Airport; and 2) performing the duties of Assistant City Manager which are quite varied and organizationally widespread. Both are very time-intensive and challenging roles. Molly thoroughly enjoys both roles and has made great strides since she joined the City of Cape team.
As Development Services Director, she restructured Development Services by contracting out Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to Alliance Water Resources, resulting in a high-performing GIS program that will soon be expanded to benefit other City departments; she streamlined the Capital Improvement Program process; oversaw the roll-out of the Neighborhood Development Initiative; oversaw the adoption of the 2015 building codes; established a quarterly Development Roundtable meeting with the development community; and has coordinated the Transportation Trust Fund 5 Initiative approved by voters at the Aug. 4 election. Molly also serves as the Executive Director of the Southeast Missouri Metropolitan Planning Organization (SEMPO).
As Assistant City Manager, she coordinated several special planning City Council sessions on topics like fiscal discipline, public safety, and transportation; she worked with the federal government to acquire the old Naval Reserve building (which may be our new Police Station); she assists with the indoor sports complex site selection and development process; she works with community partners like the Chamber of Commerce, Old Town Cape, and MAGNET on a variety of projects such as the new downtown Tax Increment Financing district, the downtown Community Improvement District, and business/job recruitment; and she serves on various Boards and Committees. She also fills in for City Manager Scott Meyer in his absence.
It has been challenging to simply meet the basic demands of these multiple roles. It has been impossible to perform these tasks in a way Ms. Hood feels is in accordance with her work ethic and standards and in a way to fully support Development Services and the overall good of the of Cape Girardeau and its citizens. Thus, the decision was made to hire a new Development Services Director that will be able to provide their full attention, support, and time to the Department.
In Molly’s new role as Deputy City Manager, she will assist Mr. Meyer in overseeing the day-to-day administration of the City and she will tackle special projects, programs, and initiatives. This will allow Mr. Meyer to focus more on the City Council’s initiatives and priorities and major economic development projects critical to the long term sustainability of the City’s tax base. Mr. Meyer also will continue to spend more time fostering community partnerships and meeting with community members and citizens on important matters.
Several departments will report to Ms. Hood including Public Works, Development Services, Finance, and Human Resources. In addition, the Airport will be removed from Development Services and will stand on its own as a separate department that will also report to Molly.
It should be clear: This change is not intended to add another level of management. Ms. Hood serves as an extension of Mr. Meyer. The change is meant to streamline the organization and make the City higher-performing and more efficient. If Mr. Meyer is not available, Molly can address any questions/issues that may arise in his absence.