Wednesday, April 23, 2014 5:21 AM
Published on: Thursday, January 17, 2013
By Christa Puccio
By Christa Puccio
ROCKVILLE – The new city manager of Rockville plans to submit proposed updates to the city’s policies and procedures manual by March 1 and hire an executive search firm by early March for help hiring a new director of human resources.
“The recruitment process for the director of human resources position will get underway in January, with the issuance of a Request for Proposals for executive search firm services to assist the city manager with the hiring process,” assistant city manager Jenny Kimball said.
This, following the City of Rockville and Saul Ewing LLP entering into a contractual agreement on May 4, 2012, after five former employees of the city alleged to The Sentinel that the city management was guilty of discrimination, racism, tampering of employee personnel files and more.
At the conclusion of the investigation, Saul Ewing agreed to compile a confidential report summarizing its findings and offer recommendations to the city. The city refuses to release that report to the public.
“One of Saul Ewing's recommendations was that the city update its Personnel Policies and Procedure Manual,” Kimball said. “Matthews indicated that these revisions would be done in stages and that the first group of proposed changes would be submitted to the mayor and council by March 1.”
Eight days after Saul Ewing began its investigation, the chief of human resources for the city resigned; his last day was June 1. In addition, the city took 10 months to hire Barb Matthews, the new city manager, on Oct. 1, after the former city manager resigned in Dec. 2011.
Then, according to Kimball, Matthews “held off on initiating the recruitment process for a new Director of Human Resources pending receipt of the report from Saul Ewing, LLP. Saul Ewing's report was received by the City in late November .”
Now, Matthews plans on hiring an executive search firm by early March, according to Kimball, and then the firm will assist her in hiring a new director of human resources after that.
“The report recommendations have been helpful in identifying the priority issues that the new director of human resources will need to address and will provide a foundation for building the recruitment profile for the director of human resources position,” Matthews said. “In addition to my continuing review of the information provided by Saul Ewing, there are other aspects of the City's human resource function that I am continuing to familiarize myself with.”
Posted By: Jim Coyle On: 1/17/2013
It appears that new City Manager is handling this challenge appropriately. She will need some time to assess the issues in the HR Department and get the right person on board to implement the changes required.