Source: Sherman Publications

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New reviews for township

by Trevor Keiser

August 24, 2011

For the first time, Independence Township will have a performance review process for non-union employees.

Independence Township Board voted 5-0 to approve the plan drawn up by Human Resource Director Carol Gabris. Supervisor Dave Wagner and Trustee David Lohmeier were absent.

Evaluation will be once a year with ratings for exceptional, exceeds expectations, meets expectations, and needs improvement.

Trustee Neil Wallace had "a small quibble on the balance between ratings."

"It seems to be heavily weighted to 'everything is fine,'" he said. "I don't want to be in a situation under 'needs improvement' where we consistently fall short of performance standards and/or only meets them on occasion."

Wallace suggested a fifth rating between "meet expectations" and "needs improvement."

Clerk Barbra Pallotta wanted it to be weighted numerically.

Gabris said she was concerned because most non-union department heads report to Wagner, who currently is out on disability. The supervisor is supposed to establish goals jointly with employees.

"This is an extremely important part of the process as it requires consensus between employee and their supervisor as to what the employee will be accountable and evaluated on in the coming fiscal year," Gabris said.

Wallace suggested a way to start the review process would be "from the bottom up" with department heads who have non-union employees working for them. He said it would "also work out the kinks that there might be as part of the process."

Treasurer Curt Carson said he and Pallotta could do a pilot-type program with department heads with whom they work most closely.

"I certainly like the idea of the ones we can do and we can get the tweaks out," Carson said.

The board also voted 5-0 to establish goals and objectives for the HR director as a first step in her employee performance review.