Letter: Do not micromanage Willmar
I also applaud Doug Reese's comments and the Tribune's editorial on the concerns of the city's leadership and some recent decisions that cause me to write publicly.
Voting down the organizational assessment was a big mistake. I have seen recently from a commissioner seat at the Willmar Municipal Utilities the large number of retirements closing in fast, and the need for a solid road map. Springsted's honest look at how we do business was a great investment and how we look to fill these upcoming retirements. The city has the same issues and I encourage the council to relook at this.
When I read recently that three job positions were open and the city administrator looked to the council to fill these positions -- and these are specialized positions -- that it appeared a "knee-jerk" reaction to only hire one or two. I caution this especially when you turn away outside organizational assessments that may show opportunities to combine jobs internally or share with the county or Willmar Municipal Utilities, etc. It appears arrogant when you want to cut but won't look at assessments or listen to your dedicated department heads.
What I learned firsthand over the past several months is how truly talented and dedicated our city and Willmar Municipal Utilities workforce is, and planning the next five years of turnover is vital to our growth and cost containment.
Everyone wants less government, but the elected officials should focus on setting policy and budgets and let the staff manage the day-to-day decisions and hold the employees accountable to your policies.
We can't run Willmar like a small town any longer, and visioning by leaders and not micro-managers is what will be best for our amazing community. We have a talented mayor and council. I hope they listen to the right people when making policy.
Dave Baker, Willmar