Annual report highlights accomplishments of city employees

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

The city of Jackson recently completed the Annual Accomplishments Report. The first report came out in 2001 and was initiated by Jim Roach in his first year as city administrator. His idea was that by putting a document in print, each department would take time to evaluate seriously the work accomplished in the previous year. The departments also were asked to state their goals for the upcoming year.

The first report consisted of 36 pages, and each department sent a memo to Jim Roach listing accomplishments and goals. Usually, these were listed on the same page, and there was no narrative to explain the items listed. The memos were from various department heads so the department name was not listed, they were not organized alphabetically, and there were no pictures.

We've come a long way since then. The reports now are organized alphabetically and put into a consistent format by Tiffany Meehan, our customer service representative in public works. This year's report consists of 147 pages, includes pictures, which are collected during the year, and a narrative for each department. This year Tiffany printed, collated and bound 35 copies of the report to be distributed to the members of the board of aldermen, members of the staff and each department.

If you are interested in viewing the Accomplishments Report, it is on our website, Click on the Current Info tab, go to city projects, then Accomplishments-Annual Report. Since the file for the report is large, it may take some time to download. There are suggestions that it be saved to a local file and downloaded from that file.

The report illustrates the work our employees accomplish throughout the year. I always am impressed by the number of times several departments cooperate and work together to complete a particular project.

Each year our police, fire, electric, street, water and sanitation departments work together to make Homecomers a successful event.

The Forest Acres Water Line Rehabilitation Project was another major accomplishment for 2012. To complete this project, staff engineer Erica Bogenpohl coordinated the work of the following departments: water distribution, street, fire, police, power and water plant, wastewater, sanitation and fleet maintenance. It is this kind of cooperation that helps our city run efficiently.

The words "attended training," "conducted training" or "completed certification" appear quite often in the report. The police and fire departments probably spend the most hours each year in training. As an example, the fire department completed 1,265 hours of training in 2001; they completed 8,246 hours of training in 2012. I would estimate that 75 percent to 80 percent of our employees participate in additional training related to their jobs each year. This ongoing training is a key factor in ensuring proficiency in the services we provide to our citizens.

Most of our staff are members of the professional organizations associated with their field of work. They attend related conferences and workshops, and most of them hold office in the professional organization. We are fortunate to have such committed, professional and loyal employees working together to make our city a better place.

Barbara Lohr is the mayor of Jackson.

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