Citizens For A Better Norwood

Monday, December 04, 2006

Our 8/27/06 blog: “Performance Audit suggests city prohibit nepotism”

While the city is instituting some of the audit’s suggestions, like mandatory tax filings, purchasing new tracking software for the Treasurer’s office, contracts more favorable to the city’s finances, etc., thus far it has ignored the audit’s advice to formalize a nepotism policy as part of a personnel manual, as evidenced by the recent hiring of the Safety/Service Director’s son in public works. (See “A New Poll…” blog below.) Page 3-23 of the audit clearly recommends this: “Norwood should consider adding a policy to its personnel manual that addresses the issue of nepotism.”

According to the February, ‘06 audit, “…many of the (personnel manual) policies remained in draft form while the Administration sought to consult various peers (peer cities) and other management sources for samples of effective policies which would best fit the needs of the City. Some of the draft policies grant the authority to interpret the policy to the Safety/Service Director. To reduce issues which could potentially arise out of misinterpretation and to avoid potential inconsistent application to employees, the City should carefully craft personnel policies which are comprehensive and detailed, similar to those peers such as Trotwood. Norwood should consider adding a policy…that addresses the issue of nepotism.”

It goes on to say on Page 3-24, “The City’s Safety and HR Committees should be responsible for ensuring the review and overseeing the required revisions using current resources. The City should not incur additional cost for this activity.” In other words, it would cost the City nothing to define nepotism once and for all and prohibit the practice. The return on this investment would be positively staggering in terms of restoring public confidence that our public officials will avoid nepotism or even the appearance of it. In fact, we’re hoping this latest employment episode will spark some discussion at the next council meeting on 12/12...but we’re not holding our breath.