Cheyenne Mayor Marian Orr on Wednesday announced two personnel changes in her administration.
Project Information Officer Scott Smith will be heading up communication duties for Cheyenne Fire and Rescue and Michael Skinner will be joining the administration as City Public Information Officer.
Smith has worked in different communication capacities for the City of Cheyenne as Project Information Officer for the past 9 years. In his new role, he will ensure that the Cheyenne Fire and Rescue Department better communicates with the public.
“One of the first things I identified after assuming the role of Chief was the need to increase our community involvement,” Chief Gregg Hoggatt said. “There are so many different communication tools now and we aren’t utilizing them to the best of our abilities. It’s not just about fighting fires, it’s about fire prevention and emergency medical and life safety services. But the community has to know what’s available and what we’re doing. This is the first step.”
“We’re thrilled to have someone with Scott Smith’s history, talent, and professional skills join our team,” Hoggatt said. “We couldn’t have anyone better.”
Mayor Orr said replacing Smith was no small task but felt confident that Skinner could aptly handle the responsibilities of City Public Information Officer.
“During my campaign, I vowed to make our city government more open and transparent especially through the use of technology,” Orr said. “We’ve made positive steps in social media and with live-streaming. Now is the time to up our efforts.”
Orr said she has directed Skinner to perform a social media audit and to investigate future opportunities to live-stream all public meetings.
“Social media was at the core of my campaign,” she said. “That’s because it is such a powerful communications medium. We should lead the country in using technology to better communicate, to bring citizens in, and to have a more interactive and responsive city government.”
Orr said at a recent mayor’s conference she attended, other attendees were impressed with her focus on social media as a valuable communications medium. She said other mayors looked to her for advice on how they could better use technology.
“Whatever is happening in our city, we have to communicate it better,” she said. I want more live video, more archived video, a stronger Facebook and Twitter presence. We’re here to serve our citizens and we do so with increased access and transparency.”
Concurrently, Orr said she would continue to cut expenses and streamline city government noting that the number of full-time employees has shrunk under her administration from 574 full-time positions to 562. The highest number of full-time city employees occurred in 2010 when there were 605.
Skinner, a Pine Bluffs native, recently moved back to Cheyenne after serving as Sports Information Director for Adams State University in Alamosa, Colorado. During that time he was responsible for public relations, writing press releases, video production, all social media accounts, and website maintenance.
“We continue to strive to provide a high level of service in a fiscally responsible way,” she said. Improving communication with the public is great responsibility, and I welcome Michael to the team.”
Skinner received his Bachelor’s degree in Speech Communication from Metropolitan State University of Denver and Master’s Degree from Cardinal Stritch University in Wisconsin. His salary is $49,000.00