Nine years ago, Ottawa City Council members named a Public Works Director to coordinate the work of the Streets, Water, Sewer, and Parks departments. One reason was that it didn’t make sense to some at City Hall that one department would rent or buy equipment of the kind another department already owned but wasn’t using every day. Mayor Bob Eschbach wants to hire some consultants at Northern Illinois University to see if the departments can share their resources even better.
The mayor didn’t want to give any specific examples of things that could be done better. He says having outside consultants look things over isn’t an indictment of Public Works Director Gary Scott’s performance, and Scott says it was his idea.