Mayor Wants the Best for the City and Its Employees
When I became Mayor, I began an initiative to ensure that all employees are treated fairly and with respect. Employees are now given the opportunity for benefits rather than watching benefits go to persons who have less time and service than themselves. I have insisted that employees are treated fairly and with consistency whenever compared to previous, similar situations.
Everyone is accountable for his or her actions, either good or bad. Standards have been established to let the employees know what is expected of them. Evaluations are now being used to measure employee performance while explaining performance expectations.
I put in place a standardized process to be followed during the selection of new employees or future leaders. The application form has been updated and appropriate questions are now being asked. Each individual is given equal opportunity to apply for jobs and attempts are made to hire from within. I created a competitive procedure to ensure the best candidate is selected. The focus is to use a fair process that considers experience, education, past performance and the ability to provide the best service possible for this community.
Three positions within City government require Council approval: City Clerk, Police Chief and Fire Chief. Another requirement is that only the Mayor may recommend a candidate for consideration. Once approved by the Council, these employees report to and work at the pleasure of the Mayor.
During the past several weeks a new Fire Chief was selected. The above-described process was utilized and the results were tabulated and recorded. The application process required a resume, a cover letter and an application. If either item was missing, the application was considered incomplete. The education, years of experience and career accomplishments of each candidate were reviewed and credited. Administrative tasks were assigned, evaluated and recorded.
The first round of interviews consisted of eleven candidates who were evaluated by a seven-member panel, which included three city managers, a county fire department officer and three City Council members. They scored the candidates individually. The second round of interviews was conducted by three different city managers. The top six candidates from the first interview were assessed individually. The third round of interviews consisted of four candidates selected from the previous interviews. The City Attorney and the Mayor evaluated them. The top candidate was recommended and approved by the City Council.
It’s natural to react to life’s experiences by making the choice that is least painful at the time. The easy decision may be the wrong decision. The decision that fixes “right now,” is the wrong decision without consideration of future needs.
I believe that doing the right thing can be challenging. In fact, doing the right thing usually requires much more effort. Yet, when we understand the positive advantages that doing the right thing provides us, it proves to be more rewarding than taking the easy way out.