THE BACKGROUND For the past few months, the Town of Smyrna Personnel Committee has been working on putting together a format to promote town employees and a better way to do performance reviews.

The project started back in early summer after the lack of performance reviews was mentioned at a council meeting. At the time, Councilwoman Joanne Masten — who is the Personnel Committee chair — said the committee had a lot of work to do including finding samples of other evaluations. Town Manager Dave Hugg added that the evaluation improvements were part of a bigger process of fixing Smyrna's outdated job descriptions. He said creating a new evaluation would need to include taking updated job descriptions into consideration and creating a system for employees to be rewarded.

WHAT'S NEW The Personnel Committee has continued working on this project in time to make a recommendation for the 2013 budget.

The committee asked Hugg to put together an organization chart to see what his needs are to meet the future growth of the town, classifications of individuals to make sure they're classified correctly, and career ladders to individuals.

Masten explained to council members at their Sept. 17 meeting that it's important to do this so the town can retain talent, but in some cases the town isn't doing this: "You have to have some sort of career path for them."

Hugg was also asked to make sure all managers have a succession plan so there's someone in place if a manager leaves. Masten said at the Sept. 17 council meeting that Hugg did a fantastic job of putting together a comprehensive review chart of the current organization and what'd it look like if the town had certain people in the right places and title changes.

The committee held a special meeting on Sept. 24 to prioritize the wants versus needs regarding the chart, and to see what the preliminary costs would be for the new/reclassified positions.

"We reduced the list substantially to what is needed," Masten said. "He [Hugg] did a really nice job of what he thought his staff needs really were."

The recommendation includes reclassification of an existing municipal worker to a fleet mechanic, and a promotional upgrade of an existing employee to a water and sewer operator upon completion of an apprenticeship. The list also features two new jobs: a warehouse clerk and an assistant to the town manager.

Masten said Hugg did his research prior to bringing this information to the Personnel Committee by comparing Smyrna with other towns in the state.

"These are the critical positions that need to be addressed," Masten said.

WHAT'S NEXT The recommendation from the Personnel Committee will now go to the Finance Committee to be discussed at their Wednesday, Oct. 10 meeting.

Mayor Pat Stombaugh, who is the chairman of the Finance Committee, said it's good for the Personnel Committee to be doing this work so it can be included in the 2013 budget.

"You have to look at the whole picture to make an informed decision," Stombaugh said. "We need to look at the vacancies and consider the needs."

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