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 Kansas.
Our water/wastewater operator of 25 years is retiring.
We posted the position and have not had any qualified applicants. I suggested to my council that we look at contract management, but the mayor is concerned about losing employees and being able to tell the outsourced company what to do. Have you dealt with this and if so, how did you handle it?
Thank you for your question, your coffee mug is on the way!
This is a great question and something I experienced with a mayor recently. I understand elected officials want, and need, to create jobs, however, the perception of losing control is misguided and here’s why:
First, consider that water/wastewater operators are clearly specialists – as are your city engineer, city attorney, city administrator/manager and police officers. These are specialized positions that all have education requirements or certification processes. Our operators have a depth of experience and in many cases, we hold them to a higher standard. For example, we have found that communities don’t have residency requirements for city employees. Many municipalities allow their employees to live up to an hour away. At PeopleService, we require our employees to be within 30 minutes of the facilities they operate. It’s just one way in which communities gain a level of control. There are so many more.
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