The City of Boulder lost three key and talented staff members from its Public Works Department in the last year due to resignations. Why so many resignations in the last year? Check out this piece in the Daily Camera: Boulder planning, public works staffers unsettled by city leadership; transformations necessary. Here is an excerpt:
Many Boulder city employees are unsettled by their current work environments, a newly completed city-commissioned report shows.
Specifically, Boulder Public Works and Planning and Development Services staffers this year raised serious qualms with how they are managed by top department officials and city council, according to the report. Those employees comprise about 25% of the city’s total staff.
At least one city councilmember has acknowledged city council’s role in contributing to some of the issues raised.. . .
Mayor Suzanne Jones acknowledged the report shows evidence of council being too harsh and confusing staff.
“I think we hire the best and brightest staff and clearly we need to do more to set them up for success,” Jones said. “I think the turnover in senior staff creates a good opportunity to look afresh at the organizational structure at these departments and to be more responsive to the concerns staff are raising and create a structure that is more efficient and has more clarity.”. . .
“The buck stops with the city council,” Jones said. “It’s up to us to take ownership for the decisions that we make and take the heat for them, rather than having staff bear the brunt of the polarized public discourse on tough issues. Especially around growth and development. We should take the heat, not have staff shield us.”
When you fail to keep committed, longtime employees, you lose institutional memory. This is especially problematic in departments like Planning and Public Works where people work on projects like South Boulder Creek flood mitigation that take years to complete. To change the culture on Council please vote for candidates who support good governance and staff retention. Click through to read the whole Daily Camera article.