City discusses goals

Published 11:54pm Friday, October 4, 2013

All city employees soon will be asked in their annual evaluations to demonstrate how their work fits into a set of city goals and objectives.

City Council members discussed the list of six targets and a number of specific ways to achieve them on the second day of their annual retreat Friday.

Human Resources Director Nancy Olivo said the purpose of the goals is to get everyone “rowing in the same direction.”

“They’re not just random projects,” she said, using the example of recent repaving on city streets. “It’s to accomplish these goals.”

The goals include providing effective and efficient programs and services, promoting a safe, healthy and diverse community, diversifying and increasing the tax base, providing safe and quality transportation options, promoting citizen engagement and enhancing quality of life.

City staff developed the list of goals and objectives after meetings with City Council, Olivo said. After incorporating suggestions from City Council, the document will be disseminated to city staff. The employee performance evaluation process will be revised, and a new form will link individual performance to goals and objectives.

The goals indicate the city’s most important outcomes during the next three to five years, and the objectives are specific ways those goals can be met, Olivo said.

During the discussion, Councilman Mike Duman suggested creating a position for someone who focuses solely on customer service, believing it would free up higher-skilled workers in individual departments to focus on their work rather than answering routine questions.

“I think something like that being implemented would save a lot of man-hours,” he said. “Not only do we need to be business-friendly, we need to be citizen-friendly.”

But City Manager Selena Cuffee-Glenn was not receptive to the idea, saying the city was not looking to create additional positions.

“We’re trying to make sure every employee understands they need to be customer-focused,” she said.

Vice Mayor Charles Brown applauded the concept of tying employee evaluations to the goals.

“It makes a difference when we make it part of their performance,” he said.

The proposed goals and objectives are as follows:

Provide Effective and Efficient Programs and Services that are Accountable and Customer Focused

  • Promote strong financial management as demonstrated by a AAA bond rating
  • Improve customer service
  • Design and implement a new E911/Municipal Center
  • Ensure a well-trained and engaged workforce now and in the future
  • Enhance efficiency and effectiveness of programs and services

Promote a Safe, Healthy and Diverse Community in which to Live, Work and Play

  • Reduce blight within targeted neighborhoods
  • Promote investment and renewal opportunities for commercial and residential properties
  • Implement community events and create opportunities designed to instill community pride and citizen engagement
  • Implement programs and services designed to improve the health and economic and social well-being of individuals and families
  • Maintain or improve public safety
  • Provide a mix of housing options

Diversify and Increase the Tax Base

  • Develop a 55-acre site in North Suffolk
  • Grow a vibrant downtown and Main Street corridor
  • Increase the knowledge and skills of Suffolk’s citizens to prepare them for current and future employment opportunities
  • Increase employment opportunities

Provide Safe and Quality Transportation Options

  • Explore options for funding transportation priorities
  • Improve safety and efficiency on the roadways
  • Increase capacity and connectivity of our major roadways

Promote Citizen Engagement

  • Increase opportunities to receive feedback from citizens regarding program/service needs, as well as input on Suffolk’s vision

Enhance Quality of Life

  • Increase number and diversity of cultural, entertainment and recreational opportunities
  • Enhance lifelong learning opportunities
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  • 4ever cynical

    We’re “led” by the inept and corrupt. It is assured that whatever they decide to do will raise our taxes, not benefit our citizens and most assuredly, it will be a total failure.

    Here’s an idea: enact term limits on your offices, Pass that up to your friends in DC too!

    Suggest Removal

  • Roger Leonard

    Blah, blah, blah… More hype and little substance.

    We need them to focus on basic and open government, not being our nannies. Good government is simple and open government and we do not have either.

    Suggest Removal

  • Pops

    The main idea is to plan on how they will waste our tax money.

    Suggest Removal

  • jhuxster

    You know sometimes things would be funny if they weren’t so pathetic–which describes these “goals” by the city. I find it odd, that the director of human resources apparently developed these goals–isn’t that what we pay our city queen’s office to do? Or better yet, isn’t that what city council should do and then direct the city employees to meet them? Consider the goals–better customer service. That one shouldn’t be too difficult to meet since good customer service is virtually non-existent. I’ve had too many dealings with city workers to believe they are ever taught to view citizens as anything other than someone they are forced to deal with. Improve efficiency? They could start by removing the truck that follows the garbage pick up on Holland Road. They could eliminate the practice of sending workers out in individual vehicles to do the same job. They could park and get rid of the police RV–but that will never happen. The only thing this city government is efficient at is raising taxes and fees to fund their poorly conceived projects [i.e. cultural center, Hilton, the gazebo (sorry mayor I meant pavilion),visitor's center, Whaleyville white elephant [I mean community center], etc). But the one that takes the case is improved communication. Right–like they are really going to do that. I have a councilman who has NEVER been in my neighborhood. I doubt he could find it without a map. When people disagreed with giving the queen and her high ranking court ridiculous raises, he called them racists. They’ve set things up so that when you write your councilman, you go through an official spokeswomen for the city. I’m still waiting on my councilman to answer a question I directly asked him more than a year ago. I guess they are just too important to deal with us minions. The city is notorious for its refusal to follow FOIA–any question you ask about city workings is almost always classified as working papers. If they agree to release something, they typically charge such exorbitant fees you can’t afford to get the information. City council, by an admission of a member, met informally and secretly to plot when to give the city queen her raise against the expressed loud and vocal objections of city residents. They want an educated workforce, but they pad their wallets at the expense of the schools. Anyone who follows my rantings know I don’t think money is the only answer, but it’s clear this council doesn’t care about the school system. They could simplify city goals very succinctly–ignore the citizens and hike taxes until we’re like New York City. Again, I would suggest the good people who pay the bills better get ready to hold on to their wallets–city council is coming.

    Suggest Removal

    • chief601

      “I find it odd, that the director of human resources apparently developed these goals–isn’t that what we pay our city queen’s office to do? Or better yet, isn’t that what city council should do and then direct the city employees to meet them?”

      The HRO Director is a glorified social worker. As such, they should be able to write goals they believe the dumbed down school trained citizens are too dumb to understand but that sound great. I’d like to see how the city manager is being held to these goals. Also the ITT Director. Again, a waste of our time with these morons. Vote ‘em out!

      Suggest Removal

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