Screengrab of DECD website

HARTFORD, CT — The Department of Economic and Community Development is looking to make the position of Community Development Assistant Administrator a permanent position in the agency.

It’s the second time in the past two months the department has moved to turn a politically appointed position into a permanent job within the agency. The latest job posting, which has an annual salary range of between $93,896 and $128,027, is only open to current employees of the agency.

The job, which is titled “Community Development Assistant Administrator,” is “accountable for supporting the administration of agency programs in the areas of Film & TV & Digital Media, International, and Outreach that will promote economic development.”

In a statement, the department defended the move arguing that it won’t impact the “overall headcount” and is open to all managers at the department.

“A reduction in the number of managers in our business development office (from 6 to 3 over the past 6 years) has necessitated several organizational and job duties changes — this position being one of them,” the department said. “The newly constructed job allows for a greater breadth of responsibilities, allowing us to make much-needed changes in our reporting structure that will ensure continuity of operations for 2018 and beyond. Once the position is filled, we will eliminate one outdated job classification.”

Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle, who were already concerned with the decision to create a Community Development Administrator with a salary range of $105,623 to $144,021, are not happy with the latest news. They said they will likely try to stop it from happening when they counter the governor’s budget proposal with their own.

House Speaker Joe Aresimowicz, D-Berlin, said “given the budget limitations that we have, now is not the time to be converting unclassified positions into classified ones.”

He said they need the flexibility to manage the state workforce.

He said he gets criticized all the time about the labor agreement and how there’s little flexibility to reduce the state workforce.

“The more people we’re letting into the pipeline, the less flexibility we have,” he said. “And it’s a big mistake and they need to stop.”

Aresimowicz, himself a union employee, said he’s expressed his his views on the issue with the administration.

Senate Republican President Len Fasano, R-North Haven, said this is “just another example of how Gov. Malloy’s administration is creating jobs to protect the people he appointed and that’s just fundamentally wrong.”

He said it’s “the worst part of politics.”