City moves forward with compensation study
The Merrill Personnel and Finance Committee voted unanimously Tuesday to move forward in issuing Requests for Proposals (RFP) for an outside firm to conduct a Compensation Study on city job positions and descriptions.
The study came about as a result of a string of re-classification requests from city employees this past fall.
The Common Council approved the committee’s recommendation to delay consideration of any position reclassifications during its meeting on Jan. 13. Instead, the council approved proposing a formal, independent study.
City administrator Dave Johnson estimates the study to cost between $18-20,000.
“I think we need to focus on companies who do this for a living, not just one part of services they offer,” Johnson said on Tuesday. “I know of one firm in particular who does these types of studies which is located in Middleton. There are others in Detroit and Eagan, Minn. I feel we are better off focusing on a Wisconsin company rather than a company out of state. Out of state companies may have information pertinent to their respective areas, but not necessarily pertinent to Northern Wisconsin.”
Although Johnson did not give a time frame, the committee indicated a desire to get the process moving as soon as possible.
In other matters on Tuesday, the committee considered an amendment to the city’s Administrative Procedure Manual to place public comment periods after roll call at the beginning of city meetings, rather than at the end as is the current format. Alderman Tim Meehean motioned to pass the amendment, seconded by John Burgener.
“It seems to me this would be cutting off the public’s chance to comment,” said alderman Dave Sukow who was in attendance as an bystander. “If we have a lot of people to speak, limit them to two minutes, that’s fine with me. But I don’t want to cut out the public comment period at the end. As an alderman I feel public comment is important. I feel we should have public comment before and after meetings. That way if someone has to leave early they can still speak and if they come late they can speak.”
Alderwoman Kandy Peterson, who was also in attendance as a bystander, agreed.
“I agree Dave, but I feel we should limit people to only speaking once. I have seen it in the past where the same person stands to speak three or four times. That’s just unnecessary.”
The committee moved to pass the amendment, and the item now must garner council approval at the February Common Council meeting.