Basalt put employee evaluation process in place |

Basalt put employee evaluation process in place

Scott Condon
The Aspen Times

Basalt has adopted an employee evaluation system that will help it avoid the turmoil that fractured the police department and led to the departure of the police chief in 2012.

Town Manager Mike Scanlon is establishing work and job standards for each of the 32 year-round positions in the town government. All employees will be reviewed once per year based on those standards.

The criteria for the annual reviews will be customer service, quality of work, teamwork, accountability and initiative, Scanlon said.

The town used an independent party last year to compare its pay to employees of similar municipalities. That will be used with the annual evaluation to set salaries and wages starting in 2015.

“People should know if they are doing a good job or not.”
Town Manager Mike Scanlon

“People should know if they are doing a good job or not,” he said. In addition to determining if a person deserves a raise, the review will help workers polish their professional skills, according to Scanlon.

Department heads will evaluate their employees each year. Scanlon will review the department heads. The Town Council will review Scanlon’s performance.

Scanlon said the town government is breaking new ground in its employee evaluation process. “We really didn’t have one,” he said.

He believes the lack of a personnel review system contributed to a situation where former Police Chief Roderick O’Connor and members of his department could no longer work together.

“Had we had a performance system in place and followed it, some of the issues we had could have been reviewed,” he said.

There was no annual evaluation of police officers and administration by the police chief at that time, he said. There also was no review of the police chief by the town manager, according to Scanlon. O’Connor and the town parted ways.

The town government earlier made a move to alter another part of its personnel evaluation process. It asked voters in November to give the town manager greater discretion in disciplining or firing top executives in the government — the police chief, town clerk and finance officer. The town’s Home Rule Charter gave those executives the ability to appeal manager’s decisions on personnel issues affecting them to the Town Council. Voters approved the alteration by a 62-to-38 percent vote.