Board Member Kurtz: I have a lot of concerns regarding the meetings that the Chairman has been having with employees. My understanding is, it is happening on company time, so it is costing us something. How many people have attended this?
HR Administrator Chukwu: We did 3 this year, last year we did 9. And they are meeting with employees and talking about the employee survey and getting their input on efficiencies, and talking about programs that will be in development as a result of their comments.
Kurtz: And how many employees would you say have attended?
Chukwu: When we were at the DOT the room was probably, 50.
Kurtz: So maybe 50 each time?
Chukwu: No the others might have been 20 apiece.
Kurtz: So here’s my point committee. I have heard from various employees that there has been divisive comments made, that have been disparaging about various county board members. Now I don’t know that’s true.
Board Member Jung: By who, the employees?
Kurtz: By the employees, have said that they have heard disparaging comments made. I will just leave it at that.
So here’s my point. Let’s eliminate that kind of possible accusation occurring. And let’s not restrict anyone from coming to these meetings, and by the way, it should be joint. It shouldn’t be the Chairman is going to talk to employees, and managers can’t come, and county board members can’t come. That’s not healthy.
Anyone should come, if you want to schedule these meetings, I think it’s important that any and all county board members come, any and all Elected Officials come. And we don’t limit it to one person.
And specifically, the Chairman is not the hiring manager, he is not the boss of our employees, and I think it was a mistake for us to say no problem. I have done my best to give the Chairman the benefit of the doubt, and allow various things to happen. But my sense is this is not appropriate, and so I think we need to put a stop to this from the standpoint of one Elected Official is allowed in the room and everyone else is not.
I think we want to make it open, transparent and we want to let anyone be involved with the idea that we all want to be a positive difference. We all want to make this a better workplace for our employees. And we all need to be responsible for it. And so to have one person has the authority to do this, we’re not giving ourselves credit, and we’re not holding ourselves accountable. And we’re also setting up a divisive situation and maybe not even intending to do so.
So I want to share that with the committee. I would welcome any other conversations, but I would be very disappointed to hear if these meetings continued.
Maybe the Chairman should come to the committee and talk to why he wants to do this, so maybe we can bridge the gap and come up with a joint approach, but this single chairman approach, I don’t think it’s healthy or appropriate.