It looks like the City of Naperville will be postponing more projects that were scheduled for this year, because the city’s Transportation,Engineering, and Development department has several important job openings. According to Bill Novack, the department director, qualified candidates are in short supply, or maybe worse yet, nobody is interested. This seems a bit unusual for a city that prides itself in being a city of ‘destination’.
Open positions include two project engineers, a transportation team leader, a transportation project manager, a community block grant coordinator, and a partridge in a pear tree.
Things are so bad that Naperville’s Stormwater Team (not sure what softball league they play in) currently has close to 80 active requests, with more coming in every week. When residents contact the City of Naperville regarding water issues, they are told it will take between one and two months before someone from the city can address the issue. By that time, the water typically recedes, and the request is closed as ‘no problem’.
It works the same way with snow pile-up. By the time someone from the City of Naperville checks it out in June, the snow is just a memory and the issue is closed as resolved. That’s actually an effective strategy on the city’s part. Chances are, that the city’s ‘problem resolver’ included that solution on his or her annual review, and received a hefty salary increase.
Here’s the ‘rub’. Apparently the City of Naperville has had a rash of employee departures, possibly for a less ‘hostile work environment’, leaving the city short-staffed. To add insult to injury, Department Head Bill Novack, sees that as a good thing because he thinks that’s an indicator, that the economy is getting better and unemployment is at a good point. I’m guessing that Novack thinks that the Cubs being in last place is a great thing, because no team is trying to overtake them in the standings.
The bottom line is that the City of Naperville was again unprepared for staffing issues; being proactive in hiring opportunities apparently is not a core value with the city.
So where does the ‘buck stop’ with this situation. Where else but the city manager Doug Krieger’s office, and the HR Department. The very ‘two’ involved in recent allegations of doing things they shouldn’t be doing, which ultimately effects the residents of Naperville in a negative manner.
In addition to Naperville city manager Doug Krieger being required to complete the city’s harassment prevention and diversity awareness training, he may want to attend leadership training focusing on demonstrating accountability, managing performance and execution, and thinking critically.
Naperville residents should not be waiting for water to recede and snow to melt, while Krieger is telling offensive jokes at the office.