Langley Inside and Out
All about the City of Langley from The Record and other sources
The Ad Hoc Committee on City of Langley Personnel Policies and Procedures has completed its research and has held its final public meeting.
The following (as I submitted it to the Council and the Mayor during the Council session of October 3) is a draft introduction to what will be the committee’s final report:
“First I would like to thank the citizen volunteers who gave of their time, effort and intellect to help formulate suggestions for an updated set of personnel policies and practices.
They are: Rich Bacigalupi, John Norby, Mary-Elizabeth Rosenberg, and Kathryn Stevens.
The Committee was formed to study matters of immediate and long-term import to the effective, efficient, fair and lawful functioning of the City’s workforce, promoting a positive work environment, and ensuring a clear understanding of local policies and practices. The Committee finds that the matters we identified in our research would best be approached by the full Council in three stages:
1) Items of concern that can/should be dealt with expeditiously.
2) Items that require detailed policy discussion.
3) Writing of a new policy and procedures manual incorporating the short and long-term issues.
1) The Committee suggests the following for action in the short-term (some specifics of which have already been brought to attention).
Right to Report Improper Governmental Action (Whistleblower) Policy: The City’s policy and practices are generally in conformity with State law and standard practice. A number of points where improvement is required include (but are not limited to):
Those enumerated in RCW 42.41.030 — especially (2), (3) & (4).
Job Titles and Performance Programs: All employees and volunteers should have specific job titles and written job descriptions that fully indicate the extent and limitations of their duties and authorities. All employees should have written performance programs by which their work effort and outcomes are evaluated on a periodic basis. Such programs should be formed with the participation of supervisors and employees.
Layoffs: The Committee suggests that it be made clear that layoffs are to be conducted by job-title after the City (see below) determines what functions are most crucial to the proper operation of our municipality. Within job titles, temporary, part-time or probationary employees (in that order) should be subject to layoff first; followed by fulltime permanent employees. Within those various levels of status when there are multiple employees, documented job performance should be the determining factor for retention or layoff.
2) The Committee suggests that the following items be included in detailed policy discussion by the Council:
Filling of all positions in the City’s workforce should be accomplished through a system that ensures that the most qualified available individual is selected from a reasonably broad field of qualified candidates.
Is the decision to conduct a layoff (as a budgetary decision) to be made by the Mayor or by the Council?
Should the filing of a whistleblower complaint be brought to the attention of the Council on a timely basis after it is received (while respecting the confidentiality of the complainant)?
3) The Committee suggests that members of the Council, the Mayor and members of the City staff work together to write a new Policy and Procedures manual.
Additional details and background materials will follow.”
The Langley Garden Project and Langley Main Street have partnered to plant bulbs for next spring. Here’s the information for those of you who would like to donate to this effort and/or help out at the October work parties. A big thank you for the leadership of these two groups in this volunteer effort!
LANGLEY: WHERE THE GARDEN PROJECT MEETS MAIN STREET
The Langley Garden Project has joined with Langley Main Street in planning a big beautiful spring for our town. Starting with ribbons of gold daffodils and exploding into a colorful riot of tulips, we are determined not to notice the gray skies! The plan is for purchasing 5,000 bulbs, and all we need is for 25 people to donate $20 each to reach our goal. Each $20 buys 90 bulbs!
Donations can be made at Whidbey Island Bank – in cash or a check made out to “Langley Main Street.” You may also give your donation to Kay Lagerquist or Cathy Waymire Rooks if you see them about town. If you are reading this and are not around, you may send you check to Langley Main Street at PO Box 123, Langley WA 98260.
OCTOBER WORK PARTIES:
We are having two work parties in October, Saturday the 15th and Saturday the 22nd. Meet at City Hall at 10:00 a.m. with your gloves, tools if you have them, and smiling faces. We will have hot apple cider and will be accepting cookie donations for the crew. See you there!
Langley will welcome its newest member of city government at the council meeting tonight.
The council will pick a new councilman tonight to replace Robert Gilman, who resigned his Position 5 seat in August.
Two residents — Bruce Allen and Doug Allderdice — have offered to fill out Gilman’s term, which runs until December 2013.
Allen is a political newcomer and is currently a candidate in the November race for Position 4 on the council, facing off against Thomas Gill.
Allderdice, a retired physician, served on the city council from 2000 to 2006.
The council will interview the two candidates in an open public session, then retreat to a closed-door executive session upstairs at city hall to talk about the qualifications of the volunteers for the post.
The council will then return to a public session in council chambers to vote to appoint the new council member, who will take the oath of office and join the council for the remainder of the meeting.
The meeting starts at 5:30 p.m. at city hall.
School has started! Please slow down in 20 mph school zones!
Acting Police Chief Randy Heston reminds everyone that the beginning of school is a time when children are at increased risk of transportation related injuries. There are more children on the road, and shorter daylight hours, making it especially difficult to see young pedestrians and bicyclists.
Watch for children walking in the street and gathering near bus stops. When backing out of a driveway or leaving a garage, watch for children walking or biking to school.
Always stop for a school bus that has stopped to load or unload passengers. Red flashing lights and an extended stop arm tell you the school bus is stopped to load or unload children.
The start of school means it is time for everyone to improve their traffic safety practices.
City Council workshops and public hearings have been set for the development of next year’s budget. The Mayor’s initial proposed budget will be presented on September 19, 2011 at a 3:00 PM Council Workshop.
The 2012 Preliminary Budget and the first public hearing is scheduled for Monday, November 7, 2011 at 5:30 PM. The final approval of the 2012 Budget is scheduled for the Monday, December 5, 2011 council meeting.
Marc Esterly has been named the new executive director of the Langley Chamber of Commerce.
Esterly replaces outgoing director Sherry Jennings, who will serve as a communications consultant, according to chamber officials. Esterly will handle the administrative responsibilities of the chamber and manage operations of the visitor information center, while Jennings will oversee communications for the chamber and the organization’s key events.
The chamber announced the changeover in a letter to its members Friday.
The Langley Library will present a series of gardening programs at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday evenings this fall, funded by the Sno-Isle Libraries Foundation and Puget Sound Energy.
Fran Abel will kick off the series with “Designing Your Garden” on Tuesday, Sept. 20.
Participants are invited to envision their dream garden. The class will feature a little hands-on design work, so bring several 8 1/2 x 11 magazine clippings of gardens you like, plus photos of the front or back of your home, along with shots of the land as seen from inside looking through key view windows.
Abel will also present “Beyond Rain Gardens” on Tuesday, Oct. 4.
Working with roof and site water, see how you can turn your garden, small or large, into a paradise providing pleasure for both you and wildlife.
“Composting 101” will be offered by Janet Hall on Tuesday, Sept. 27, where you can learn everything you need to know to begin or improve a compost system in your yard.
On Tuesday, Oct. 11, Craig Weiner will present the final program of the series, “Community Gardening,” where he will talk about the growing phenomenon of community gardening and share stories from the Langley Community Garden.
For further information, call the library at 221-4383.
The Council ad hoc committee on personnel policies will meet in City Hall at 1:30 PM Sunday September 11, 2011.
Members of the public are encouraged to attend.
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