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LMC Minutes of 3-13-2019
ETTI AND CBO LABOR – MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE
MARCH 13, 2019
Present: Nancy Springer, Adrian Johnson, Tom Mrizek, Donovan Doyen, Mark Stephan, Johnny Mangum, Dee Contreras
- Preface – Tom introduced the Board and stated he wants to meet quarterly to discuss issues as they arise rather than becoming more complicated.
- Budget Review/ 71J Utilization Reports/ Retired Annuitants
Tom expressed interest in the budget and updates and requested to review it in June, October and February. Nancy indicated that the preliminary department budget was submitted and Tom requested a copy of it. He requested copies of the 71J utilization reports and retired annuitant use for the department in January and July for the prior 6 months. Tom indicated he heard that there will be 5 BIs and 1 ET in the new year and Nancy confirmed that is likely correct.
- Manpower/ Training/ Certifications
Tom expressed concern over the lack of training for staff reviewing plans, working the counter an in the field. There used to be a designated trainer and no one was alone at the counter for 2 weeks. Now training is intermittent and there is no cohesive plan or consistent direction. Staff also indicated the poor training leads to more work and corrections and lack of knowledge on the County processes. Nancy indicated that the Code overrules procedures but there is a need to update the MQs and the job specification. She was told that could take a year at Human Resources. Adrian will check with Mindy Scates-Gonzales on getting it done. Tom also explained the delay in certificate pay for employees as his was. Nancy explained that she approved it and that delays are not new with the failure falling between the supervisor and Human Resources.
- Supervision Structure
Tom indicated that things are better but the lack of a consistent single supervisor in Plan Review is a problem and bogs things down. Nancy agreed this does need work and the 2 supervisors in Plan Review are to get information easily without contacting all staff.
- Rolled Calls/ Residential Stops
Tom asked what Nancy’s workload target is in residential inspections for quality versus quantity. Nancy replied to tell the guys to do what they can and roll the rest. Tom asked if there is a maximum per day and she replied that there is no established average. It is hard to give a number as it depends on location, complexity, etc. Tom requested guidelines to let staff know what is realistic and define the priorities.
- Red Dots versus Political Plans/ Pre-Construction Costs/ Facilitation
Tom recommended a pre-construction meeting with Economic Development and Nancy agreed for it to be in-house. Tom explained that it used to be done on fire-life prior to submission and Nancy asked why it changed. Tom said it was due to the facilitation fee. It was helpful with ED in the process on the complexity of plans and timeframe on development.
- Training costs/ Certificate Reimbursement/ BI Certificates/ CASP Certificates
Tom said there is a CASP sign off issue with retirements and Nancy replied that it is not required on all plans and they can use CASP certificate third-parties.
- Maximum Duration of Open Permits/ Code Cycle
Tom explained that some permits are very old and people rig the system by taking action on 179th day. Nancy explained that it is a year now and she had not heard of this problem. Tom stated he has a violation from 8 years ago and everyone asked what to do with that. Tom replied he expired it as there was no change on the 4th plan review. Tom explained that there are lots of plans in the oversize bins and time being spent on them with no completion and no additional fees received. Nancy said they pay the fees at the beginning but Tom added that only covers 2 reviews. He recommended charging for the additional review to recover the work costs. Nancy requested facts and asked about the frequency of these delays and needs more data to make a decision. Tom indicated they can track that and she stated there needs to be enough of them to make the changes. Tom asked about cold versus warm shells and Nancy indicated it would require Board of Supervisors action to changes fees and she is reviewing them.
- Sr Engineer Technician Positions
Tom explained that the County is a training ground for other agencies and there is no real career ladder so good people leave. Nancy replied she is looking at this. Mark explained we had more seniors in the past but not since 2008. They have done backup for plan review and fire-life safety. Nancy reiterated she will look at that.
- Service Centers
Mark explained that the service centers were a loss leader but are mostly used by professionals and not mom-and-pop users. They have few hours and few contacts. Nancy agreed that the majority of applications are filed online.
- John D’ Antonio Dismissal and Arbitration/ Anonymous Complaints
Tom expressed concern about a termination prompted by an anonymous letter. He tied the employee’s failings to the service centers and lack of supervisor and oversight there. Nancy stated Tom may not have all of the facts and she cannot discuss the case.
- Succession Planning
Tom expressed hope that she is looking at succession planning and Nancy indicated that she is 100% in agreement on that. She has worked on this her entire career and wants to make up for what was not done. She is working on training and career flow charts to allow employees to chart a path. She believes in diversified training and sees the potential in rotating assignments to enhance skills. Tom explained that he is training and inspector on plan review so that he can check their plans and Nancy agreed with that. She does not want a Nancy Plan but one that supervisors and staff are engaged with.
- Issues With Verbal Commands and Decisions
Tom explained that she is the 10th BO in his 14 years with the County. He asked that policies and answers be put in writing for staff to follow and for consistency. He requested a statement of the rule, how to implement and why it is changing to eliminate misunderstanding by staff. Nancy replied that resolution of individual issues would be verbal as unique to each case. Tom indicated that employees will follow the written policy/procedure until it is changed in writing.
Prepared by Dee Contreras