April 2021

It’s our pleasure to be a resource answering questions that come to us. What I’ve found is that often the questions asked are similar so it led to this idea to share the questions and answers here as they might be relevant to what you’re going through now, too. Check this one out from a City Administrator in Missouri and if you have a question, email it to info@peopleservice.com. If selected for this e-newsletter, we will send you a cup of poo, ok, it’s not really poo but a coffee mug and poo emoji.

QuestionI am dealing with staff turnover and it is becoming cumbersome for me. I want to look at contract management for our water and wastewater, but my city council does not want to discuss because they feel the city will lose control over our water and wastewater. What advice can you give me that I can go back to the council with to at least get them to entertain discussing contract management?

AnswerThank you for the great question. This is probably the number one challenge we deal with. Even current clients still wrestle with the perception of losing control, the root cause is staffing. If the staff is not on the City’s payroll and does not report to the city administration, there is that perception of not having control. A few points to ponder:

  • Do you really have ‘control’ of your staff?
  • If there are performance-related issues, is it easy to make a change?
  • If the employee is the only one that knows water/wastewater, who is holding him/her accountable? And to what standards?
  • Do you really know what they do and are doing?
  • If you need to replace equipment, are you certain the cause is legitimate and not because of the lack of maintenance or that it is even needed?
  • Are you really compliant or is it just ‘pencil whipping’?

If you don’t have the answer to one or more of these questions, then read on to discover how to find them.