Performance-Review Missteps Show Need For County Reform

LETTER TO THE EDITOR

Performance-Review Missteps

Show Need For County Reform

Editor’s Note:  The letter was inadvertently not published in this week’s edition of Hometown Oneonta and The Freeman’s Journal.  Letters to the Editor for publication in the newspapers may be send to info@allotsego.com

To the Editor:

I am writing to continue the discussion about future of Otsego County government operations and achieving success for taxpayers.

I have outlined the many challenges we face with our current county government operation.  The status quo is not working, and there is consensus that change must occur, but there is disagreement about the path forward.

I am optimistic that there is commitment to moving forward with examining Otsego County’s government and leadership structure.  In fact, at our most recent Strategic Planning Implementation Committee, there was full support for a recommendation of that committee being charged to address this issue.  Whether the action is through a committee-led study or engaging a consultant, there is clearly a glimmer of hope.

This discussion comes at a critical time as the county faces continual operating challenges.  Take for example the recent disconnect that arose in carrying out evaluations for three department heads (also known as Management & Confidential or M&C).

The county system involves evaluations for department heads every other year.  The idea of an every-other-year approach is that the first year a committee is gauging how things are going and working on goals and the relationship.  The second year is when the evaluation occurs.  Another factor is capacity and the real difficulty in being able to evaluate annually.

The overall evaluation process is coordinated by the Performance Review & Goal Setting (PRGS) Committee.  The PRGS Committee collects a self-evaluation from the department head, any evaluations from subordinates, and finally an evaluation completed by the home committee supervising the Department Head.

This information is used to facilitate the evaluation discussion with the Department Head at a PRGS Committee meeting also attended by the chair of the home committee and any other committee members who want to participate.

These meetings are scheduled in advance to best coordinate the multiple parties involved.  Yet relying on part-time legislators to carry out an evaluation process is extremely limited and has clear shortfalls.

This issue became more than apparent with the most recently scheduled evaluation meeting for three department heads when their evaluations were not submitted and the chair of the home committee could not attend the meeting.  Thus, multiple county reps and department heads lost work time and now will need to dedicate more time for a rescheduled evaluation meeting.

Overall, the value of only being evaluated every other year is problematic enough, but being evaluated by two committees (PRGS and the home committee) trying to coordinate the schedules of their part-time members is even more of an issue.  And although this is the system that has been used in the past and maybe is what can best be supported now, the impact and value are highly questionable.

Why continue to implement a system that doesn’t work?  Now is the time for change.  We need to improve our government operations to build a better future for Otsego County.

ANDREW MARIETTA

County Representative

Cooperstown/Town of Otsego

Performance-Review Missteps

Show Need For County Reform

To the Editor:

I am writing to continue the discussion about future of Otsego County government operations and achieving success for taxpayers.

I have outlined the many challenges we face with our current county government operation.  The status quo is not working, and there is consensus that change must occur, but there is disagreement about the path forward.

I am optimistic that there is commitment to moving forward with examining Otsego County’s government and leadership structure.  In fact, at our most recent Strategic Planning Implementation Committee, there was full support for a recommendation of that committee being charged to address this issue.  Whether the action is through a committee-led study or engaging a consultant, there is clearly a glimmer of hope.

This discussion comes at a critical time as the county faces continual operating challenges.  Take for example the recent disconnect that arose in carrying out evaluations for three department heads (also known as Management & Confidential or M&C).

The county system involves evaluations for department heads every other year.  The idea of an every-other-year approach is that the first year a committee is gauging how things are going and working on goals and the relationship.  The second year is when the evaluation occurs.  Another factor is capacity and the real difficulty in being able to evaluate annually.

The overall evaluation process is coordinated by the Performance Review & Goal Setting (PRGS) Committee.  The PRGS Committee collects a self-evaluation from the department head, any evaluations from subordinates, and finally an evaluation completed by the home committee supervising the Department Head.

This information is used to facilitate the evaluation discussion with the Department Head at a PRGS Committee meeting also attended by the chair of the home committee and any other committee members who want to participate.

These meetings are scheduled in advance to best coordinate the multiple parties involved.  Yet relying on part-time legislators to carry out an evaluation process is extremely limited and has clear shortfalls.

This issue became more than apparent with the most recently scheduled evaluation meeting for three department heads when their evaluations were not submitted and the chair of the home committee could not attend the meeting.  Thus, multiple county reps and department heads lost work time and now will need to dedicate more time for a rescheduled evaluation meeting.

Overall, the value of only being evaluated every other year is problematic enough, but being evaluated by two committees (PRGS and the home committee) trying to coordinate the schedules of their part-time members is even more of an issue.  And although this is the system that has been used in the past and maybe is what can best be supported now, the impact and value are highly questionable.

Why continue to implement a system that doesn’t work?  Now is the time for change.  We need to improve our government operations to build a better future for Otsego County.

ANDREW MARIETTA

County Representative

Cooperstown/Town of Otsego

SHARE: News of Cooperstown, Oneonta, and Otsego County, NY.Share on Facebook0Share on Google+0Tweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedIn0

Tell Us What You Think