100 Days | Culture of Excellence
Note: This is one in a series of updates on my progress toward my 100 Days Plan. You can read the full plan on my web site.
FOSTERING A CULTURE OF EXCELLENCE WITHIN CITY HALL
As I stated in my 100 days plan, I’ve heard from many residents and businesses that they’ve had challenges dealing with city hall. At the same time, I don’t believe that our city employees are being supported, encouraged or empowered to do their very best. I vowed that I would work in the first 100 days toward instituting long-ignored employee performance review processes for positions that report to the Council, and work with employees to prioritize customer service for both residents and businesses.
Three positions within the City report directly to the City Council: The City Manager, the City Attorney, and the City Clerk. It is the Council’s responsibility to conduct regular evaluations of these personnel. Up until this point, the Council has not had any clear evaluation procedures or criteria for these positions. It is essential that we establish these procedures and criteria in order to make fair and thoughtful personnel decisions. Therefore, I have initiated a process for creating these evaluation guidelines. We have hired an independent evaluator to assist in developing a process based on guidelines prepared by the ICMA (International City Management Association). With the Council’s cooperation, I expect to have this process fully implemented within the coming year. This will take time, but the outcome will be a durable framework for evaluating these positions for years to come.
We have also initiated the establishment of a customer service feedback system for City Hall services. In February, I met with the City Manager to request the development of this system. Initially, visitors to City Hall will be invited to complete customer feedback cards about their experience. These will be compiled and evaluated to determine areas of excellence as well as areas of improvement. I expect this to be in place in the next few weeks. The long-term plan is to allow for customer service feedback online or through the City’s mobile applications.
Finally, in an effort to provide the community with a better understanding of the relationship between program funding and results, we are exploring the use of performance budgeting. This new approach to budget analysis will allow us to measure the effectiveness of funding decisions in terms of their ability to accomplish program objectives. This spring I have arranged for students from Cal Poly Pomona’s Public Administration program to pilot a performance budgeting approach on a portion of the City’s budget, to assess its effectiveness as a tool for improving the delivery of municipal services. These insights will aide greatly in fostering a culture of excellence within city hall.
Mayor, City of Pomona
Next time: Building a Collaborative Culture Amongst the City Council