City discusses goals

Published 11:54 pm 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.”

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“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