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Agenda & Minutes

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Mayor & Council (View All)

City Council Study Session Agenda & Minutes

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

6:00 PM
Medford Room
411 West Eighth Street, Medford, Oregon

1.     Strategic Planning - Human Resources & Fire Departments


The Medford City Council Study Session was called to order at 6:00 p.m. in the Medford Room of the Medford City Hall on the above date with the following members and staff present:
Mayor Gary Wheeler; Councilmembers Clay Bearnson, Daniel Bunn, Chris Corcoran, Dick Gordon*; Eli Matthews*, Kevin Stine, Michael Zarosinski
City Manager Pro Tem Bill Hoke; City Attorney Lori Cooper; City Recorder Karen Spoonts; Human Resources Director Mike Snyder; Human Resources Analyst Jill Auborn; Fire Chief Brian Fish; Police Chief Randy Sparacino; Firefighter Brian Baumgartner
Councilmember Tim Jackle was absent.
*Arrived and or left as noted.
Strategic Planning – Human Resources & Fire Department
Staff briefly discussed the City Manager recruitment and the current packet available in the City Manager's Office. City Manager Pro Tem Hoke noted the consultant has reduced the potential candidates to ten applicants. Mayor Wheeler would like those reviewing the applicants to do so this week.
Human Resources
Human Resources Director Michael Snyder presented a PowerPoint on the Human Resources Department. Councilmember Corcoran questioned whether Mr. Snyder had contacted a woman from the Oregon Health Coalition who spoke during the last Council meeting regarding transparency.  Mr. Snyder did speak with her, but she did not have a card or seem to be with the organization. However, Mr. Snyder noted there is validity in part of her conversation, but not the portion regarding transparency in our hiring practices. Our applicants expect confidentiality when applying for high-profile positions and releasing names to the public could potentially be a risk management issue. Mayor Wheeler noted he received a call from a person regarding the c­hief selection process.
New Processes
  • Develop employee handbook
  • Gather feedback from probationary employees
  • Create electronic requisition process
Various Items Discussed
  • Most of our lower positions are filled by locals; management tends to come from out of the area.
  • Based on positions, Human Resources may receive many calls with the job is announced
  • Police and Fire have additional hiring requirements
  • Possibility of minimum training for employees, including “Supervisory University”
*Councilmember Dick Gordon arrived at 6:42 p.m.
  • The increased minimum wage will impact some City departments
  • Contracts will be revised if we change insurance
What Council can do for Human Resources
  • Understand the complexity and diverse nature of employment issues
  • Support initiatives to bring the City into compliance
  • Support staffing to modernize the department
Mayor Wheeler declared a recess at 7:10 p.m.
*  *  *  *  *  *
Council reconvened the study session at 7:15 p.m. with the same persons present.
Mr. Fish provided the ten Fire Department 2016-17 Strategic Goals.  The following items were discussed.
  • Residential sprinklers are not mandated on new residential construction, but they are helpful.
  • Fire Marshall input on new development and the move towards statewide building association requested it being taken out of the hands of the fire department
  • Fire fighters may not be able to enter a building, due to the safety of the fire fighters.
  • Councilmember Corcoran would like to see the trust with Fire Station #2 rebuilt and to prevent duplication of services
  • The IGA's with Rogue Valley Fire Chief's Association as well and Jackson and Josephine County are signed by those agencies
*Councilmember Eli Matthews left at 7:34 p.m.
  • Service calls have increased, but staff has not
  • Fire receives floor plans for businesses and other buildings within Medford
  • Discussed the ISO rate; it was noted that the dispatch services, water system, resources, staffing, prevention, etc. all are incorporated into the rating of the department
  • The airport has just one staff person per shift; possibility of additional person if another airport strip is built
  • The number of medical calls is challenging, but Medford no longer responds to every medical call
  • Fire is not currently at full staff
  • Fire is working with the college on a variety of things, but there isn’t a place for an intern at this time
  • Volunteers could be integrated, but they would need to be certified and there may be challenges
*Councilmember Corcoran left and returned at 8:00 p.m.
  • Fire’s materials and services budget is adequate
  • Fire Department has the same staffing level as 27 years ago, creating a hole in staff training
  • Previous management requested a user fee increase
  • He noted the fire inspector and administrative staff member would be his first request
  • It's a progressive education campaign
  • Mr. Fish will request the ability to overfill employee positions, similar to the Police Department
  • The number of staff needed
*Councilmember Gordon left at 8:17 p.m.
  • Capital improvement was discussed
*Councilmember Gordon returned at 8:19 p.m.
Mr. Fish invited the City Council to a training day at the Fire Department. 
The meeting adjourned at 8:26 p.m.
Karen M. Spoonts, MMC
City Recorder

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