City council, department heads work way through employee handbook

By Bonnie Culverhouse

Keeping a personnel committee for employee grievances topped the list of changes under consideration as members of the Minden City Council and city department heads continue to slog their way through the employee handbook.

“I don’t have an agenda with this,” interim Mayor Tommy Davis said during the workshop Tuesday. “These are big decisions, and there is not an answer for everything.”

In the past, the city has functioned with a personnel committee appointed by the mayor. It has seven members, two of whom were councilpersons.

“The way it works, the grievance goes from the department head to HR to the mayor,” said Human Resources Director April Aguilar. “Investigation can take place … that’s what you’re doing when you’re pulling files, you’re looking at records.”

If it’s decided a terminating offense has been committed, the mayor can make that decision.

However, after much discussion, it was determined the personnel committee, which would no longer have councilpersons on it, would be used in the employee’s appeal process.

“Personnel committee is supposed to be made up of the employee’s peers,” Davis pointed out. “If there are council persons on the committee, they aren’t considered their peers. If the appeal goes to the council, it isn’t fair to the employee because the council person will already know how they are going to vote, and so will the employee.”

Afterward, Davis said he felt like the workshop was successful.

“I believe we will be able to get this on the December council meeting agenda,” he said. “They’ve been working on it four years. It’s time.”

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