My comments to the CCSD Board and the community at the continued session on June 2nd.
Michael Calderwood, Cambria
Good afternoon Madame President, Board, and members of the community.
As I was thinking about whether I wanted to speak today, the following popped up on my Twitter feed – it’s from the great American Playwright John Patrick Shanley who said: “Some days I wake up bold. On these days I pray for the strength to be silent. Other days I wake up meek, and hope for the courage to speak.”
Maybe I should have gone back to bed!
I’d like to make three quick observations and suggestions as we all move through the current issue of the General Manager’s proposed employment contract.
First – I support Mr. Gruber and think the proposed contract is not unreasonable. I base this on my analysis of the proposal, the roles and responsibilities of the job, the inter-connectedness of those responsibilities, the complexities of managing those responsibilities, and the forces in play that make those responsibilities increasingly difficult to successfully execute against. I factor in his experience, education, certifications and domain expertise in the key issues we face, – water, wastewater and infrastructure. If we are to be fair, we need to take each responsibility, break it down into it’s main components, match required skills and experience to them, set sensible goals, define performance metrics, and use them to measure relative success. Then we would take all of these factors, map them against each other, find the intersections, and find a methodology to measure the difficulties and assign values to them. And that is just to get to the mechanics of designing fair compensation.
That’s a simplified view of the situation, and I’m sure I missed about a dozen other factors that could be used.
I assume there is some version of these criteria that exists, and a set of metrics that you use to assess Mr. Gruber’s performance and determine a fair comp plan that has value to everyone.
I would suggest that the board and the community would be well served by sharing those objectives and measures. As of now everyone is guessing – myself included – and basing many of our positions on what we think rather than what we know. I think this might be a good proactive example of “TRANSPARENCY” – the rally cry of the moment.
To the issue of TRANSPARENCY, I’d argue that the community demanding it should up their game, and begin by defining exactly what they want. I suggest taking an issue or three, sitting down and having a real, thoughtful discussion, come up with a consensus and present it to the board, or even the larger community – whoever you feel needs to be involved. The current method of expression feels hollow and ineffective if change is what is desired. How can anyone be expected to be “Transparent” if the specifics are undefined? What value is there in playing the dreaded “gotcha” game?
Transparency is a two-way street. This Board is elected by all the citizens, and when elected are responsible for representing all of us – the vocal and the quiet.
Thank you for your time.