November 27, 2013
(West Palm Beach, FL) – An outside expert brought in by West Palm Beach Mayor Jeri Muoio to take a critical look at staff issues at the city’s waste water treatment (ECR) plant says a “systematic culture change is necessary.”
The ECR plant is separate from the city’s facilities that supply drinking water to the city. The ECR plant only handles waste water treatment.
Following a series of staff-related issues at the plant, Mayor Muoio ordered a complete review of the situation, and brought in an outside expert who specializes in workplace employee relations. Mayor Muoio ordered a quick assessment of the problems for the purpose of creating and implementing a program to fix them.
As part of Mayor Muoio’s commitment to open government, and her ongoing “Open Access Campaign,” the city is making the summary available to the public for their review.
“I wanted to make sure we had an independent set of eyes take a look at what was happening at the plant,” said Muoio. “We have good, dedicated people working there but the events of the past have shed light on some issues demanding attention.”
According to an initial summary, “generally the staff members at ECR like/love their jobs, take pride in their work, and sincerely care about producing a quality end product. When it comes to the mechanics of the job, they work well together and are willing to go above and beyond to see that the job gets done and first-rate results are achieved.”
But the summary also found that previous events, “negative press and the upheaval in management have had an adverse impact on staff morale and an undesirable effect on the atmosphere at the plant.”
The preliminary summary is just the first step in the process. The next steps will be to work closely with the plant staff and management to creating exercises and training to address the existing issues. The entire process is expected to go into the new year.