Riverside Realigns Functions to Focus on Innovation, Organizational Excellence, and Accountability

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(This press release was written by Paul Pitchfork, Communications Officer for the City of Riverside on November 8, 2017.)

New alignment at City Hall also creates a new Office of Homeless Solutions

RIVERSIDE, Calif. – The City of Riverside has completed a restructuring aimed at enhancing the City’s focus on innovation, organizational excellence and taxpayer accountability, including the creation of a new Office of Homeless Solutions.

The changes made by City Manager John Russo were outlined for the Riverside City Council at a presentation Tuesday (11/7). Russo expects the new structure will make the City even more entrepreneurial in its approach to delivering city services to Riverside residents and business owners.

“The City of Riverside takes its commitment to innovation seriously,” Russo said. “These changes will enable our staff to focus their efforts like never before on driving change within our organization and executing the priorities of the Mayor and City Council.”

The changes utilize existing employees and budgets, so there is no fiscal impact.

The new structure aligns City departments along three tracks – Administration, People, and Place, each overseen by an Assistant City Manager. Russo will continue to personally oversee the City’s Intergovernmental Relations Officer, Ward Action Teams, and Riverside Public Utilities.

Assistant City Manager Marianna Marysheva oversees the Administration group, which includes the Finance, Human Resources, General Services, and Innovation & Technology departments, as well as the Office of Organizational Performance and Accountability.

Assistant City Manager Alexander Nguyen has responsibility for the People group, which includes the Police, Fire, Library, and Museum departments, as well as the Community Police Review Commission and the new Office of Homeless Solutions.

Assistant City Manager Al Zelinka will oversee the Place group, which includes the Community and Economic Development; Parks, Recreation and Community Services; and Public Works departments, as well as the Office of Communications.

A noteworthy change is the creation of the Office of Homeless Solutions, which is under the People group and overseen by Nguyen. The new initiative includes staff members from several City departments and concentrates in one office all of the City’s efforts to reduce homelessness. The Office is creating a new website --- www.riversideca.gov/homelesssolutions -- to explain in a more comprehensive way efforts already underway to assist people who are trying to transition out of homelessness.

“I am encouraged by the show of commitment to reducing homelessness in our city through the creation of an Office of Homeless Solutions,” Mayor Rusty Bailey said. “I know that many people in City Hall, including the Office of the Mayor, are working very hard on this issue that confronts our community. Bringing all employees together under an Office of Homeless Solutions will make our efforts more fruitful moving forward.”

Other changes include:

  • moving the Arts and Cultural Affairs Division from the Museum Department to the Community and Economic Development Department, where the function of supporting arts groups and managing special events can be more closely aligned with existing economic development efforts that bring people and businesses to Riverside.
  • moving the Parks, Recreation and Community Services Department under the Place division that includes Community and Economic Development, as well as Public Works.
  • moving the Department of Innovation and Technology to the Administration area and creating an Innovation Division within the Department so it can better help drive change within city government.
  • renaming the Internal Audit Division to the Office of Organizational Performance and Accountability, which also will gain an analyst position from the Finance Department and focus on how Riverside can provide services in the most cost-effective manner.

The new Office of Organizational Performance and Accountability and the new Innovation Division of the Department of Innovation and Technology will work together to assist City departments in using technology to deliver services in a more cost-effective and efficient way. The two entities also will examine how technology can provide better customer service.

“The City Council applauds management’s decision to realign functions to strengthen the City’s commitment to getting the most of our tax dollars,” Mayor Pro Tem Jim Perry said. “We look forward to working together in our continuous pursuit to be cost-effective and responsive to the needs of our residents.”