An employee’s approach to fixing Trenton

by guest writer  – Brian Hill

So I was thinking about what I do for a living, and that I am a municipal public employee… and how I see so much waste everywhere. I also really dislike the perception that we are all just lazy bastards. So how do we really change the City of Trenton employee image and while we are at it, how can we change the image of Trenton? Us, how can we do it as well???  I did some research and wrote this up…

It’s just a few days away now — Election Day. Regardless of who is elected Mayor on June 15, the City of Trenton will close one chapter of its history and begin a new one.
Hopefully the new administration will bring new ideas to the challenges we face as Trentonians: challenges that are economic, challenges that are sometimes uncomfortable, and even though in some cases we will flat out disagree with policy, we hope that the greater good is served.

It has always been a mantra of mine that we are a service-driven industry but, what does that really mean? Those of us that work for the City of Trenton probably feel that we know our job, our role and the responsibilities that come with it. But maybe it might be a good idea to have a refresher course and take the lead from some great groups. At the Disney Company, they recognize that a key element in creating the best environment for engaged employees is great leadership. Leaders take responsibility for creating a vibrant employee experience, understanding that their own behavior and vision drives the creation of a work environment in which employees can be fully engaged. This is needed in the City of Trenton, from all employees.

We also need to take a look at what some folks believe is a sound business plan for public service employees:

  • Improved effectiveness – more oriented to identifying and producing results.
  • Greater service orientation – developing a culture in which the delivery of an outstanding service to the public is accepted as the norm.
  • Improved accountability – performance must be effectively managed, measured, and failure to meet standards should be recognized and dealt with
  • Improved financial accountability – the competent management of resources according to a strong “value for money” ethos as a hallmark of the public service. The public needs to see their money is not wasted
  • Improved flexibility – a greater ability to work in teams across traditional departmental lines. Especially now with little funds and shrinking departments.

These are just a few things we can do as employees and hopefully  be part of an engaged municipal government. We will all be part of the team that works on behalf of Trenton, from paying our taxes on time, the upkeep of our home or business, to sweeping the street in front of our home – and it is up to all of us to work with the new leadership to tackle those challenges.

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