Archive for Thursday, June 23, 2005

Employees deserve feedback

June 23, 2005

Recently, the city Parks and Recreation Director was told that his contract will not be renewed after two brief years.

For many of us who have interacted with him, this came as quite a surprise and a disappointment. I have participated in many of the recreation programs, and have found Bobby Arnold to be a devoted professional.

Astonishingly, Mr. Arnold has not been given specific reasons why his contract will not be renewed and a chance to explain his performance.

Most people must construct a good portion of their lives around their jobs. Mr. Arnold showed his dedication to our community by moving his family here after he was hired. Now he, his wife, and their three young children must move again to follow employment.

The same type of thing has happened in our schools. In each of the last three years, I have known a teacher whose contract was not renewed. In each case, the teacher did not receive a poor performance evaluation. The teacher was not given concrete examples of areas of desired improvements and specific steps needed to satisfy job requirements.

In my opinion, in these cases of city and school employees, the administrations should not have allowed the end of employment to be a surprise. If improvements are necessary, the employee should be given feedback.

Lives have been drastically impacted without giving the employee an opportunity to change performance.

Employee turnover is costly in many ways. The morale of current employees will be affected. Contract employees certainly cannot take comfort in their lack of negative feedback, since we have seen that it may only mean job termination is imminent.

I would also expect that if potential city or school employees knew of the administrations' track records, they would think twice about accepting a job here.

The final vote on Mr. Arnold's contract is scheduled for the July 11 City Council meeting at 7:30 p.m. at City Hall.

I believe Mr. Arnold has not been treated fairly, and that based upon his good performance, his contract should be renewed.

If you agree, please let your City Council know, either by a phone call, or in person at this meeting.

Elizabeth Dennis


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