MAYBE WE SHOULD FOCUS ON DIVERSITY CULTURE IN AB CITY HALL? (JULY 6, 2020)
In 2018 our tax dollars paid an outside firm to survey city employees on the workplace culture. The firm was guided by then new city commission. Findings attached (Climate Study). No follow-up actions to these survey findings are found on record. With current actions bringing national policing actions to our city, it would seem these issues would have been a priority.
When I found this 2018 survey results, sing my history creating/fostering highly successful diverse workplaces along with asking review/comments by several resident successful HR professionals, our combined thoughts are:
Survey of targeting identifiers (age, tenure, gender) reduce anonymity and creates fear of retaliation
Surveys given on city owned computers with physical oversight tend to suppress open and honest responses.
Failure of follow-up for areas of employee concern typically reduces future participation and enthusiasm.
A concerning survey response rate: 16% for 1:1 & 73% online. All agree a re-do is in order to gain full participation with a different and more anonymous format.
Trust and Fairness were consistent themes throughout the limited findings. Promotion, racial bias in promotion/hiring, favoritism to some employees and residents were a few. All agree this should have triggered immediate follow-up with a more focused query AND a full review of HR records relative to these subjects with findings/action plan forthcoming.
Report “positives” were curiously more on city commission who does not have direct management responsibilities instead of focus of workplace “culture of city employee relationship to their managers”.
When in the private sector, I did many surveys to ensure we were not he right track and not leaving anyone behind. A survey result like this one would have garnered the attention of the CEO with immediate action required. Now as a resident of Atlantic Beach who has gotten to know many of our great, hard-working city employees, it was my minimum expectation our city to be a workplace that is fair, diverse enriched, with opportunities and one enjoyable to work in. As I applaud the then new commission for pursing the initial study, failing to follow up when serious issues were raised further hurts the mission going forward. With the aforementioned items, coupled with several racial based lawsuits with a consistent theme, we recommend this to be a priority for city hall. We further recommend the city consider a model similar to Jacksonville with "Ethics Commission” made up of a volunteer resident panel of NON-POLITICAL HR/Executive/Faith Leaders that can develop/perform honest surveys/interviews, with authority to recommend changes for a better city to work. With such rich talent in our city, I expect no shortage of Residents without bias or local elected leader affiliation willing to assist.
All of us in Atlantic Beach that live and work here want it to be the best for all. A Mayor Ray who has forged for decades a workplace free of bias and of success with diverse backgrounds, cultures and ideals, can lead us there. Together, let's be better.
CITY FINANCIALS AND RESPONSE TO COVID-19 (June 16, 2020)
I encourage everyone to be engaged with our city's budgeting, spending and reporting. What our city looks like and how they serve us starts with the finances. On the agenda next week is May’s Financial Report (link attached). Comment below with your thoughts. My thoughts are I am again troubled with the lack of explanation for significant deviation from trends and excessive material movement, no new updated COVID-19 loss projections and trajectories in several categories are troublesome. Two months into a disaster without projections is not usual and customary for a $40 Million dollar budgeted enterprise. As someone who built a large company with my financial planning and reporting, as well as managed departments and projects ranging up to several hundred million dollars, I understand the importance of an organizations Financial Health and Responsiveness in order to sustain and flourish, despite adversity or disaster. And let's not forget we are operating to a $1.304million dollar deficit (shown).
I am running to be your Mayor to secure our best tomorrow, including our best financial footing!