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County adopts new pay-for-performance policy

St. Croix County's non-union employees will be evaluated under a pay-for-performance policy following action by the board of supervisors the morning of Tuesday, Aug. 7.

The board passed a resolution adopting the new policy for compensation for about a third of its work force.

The resolution calls for an employee compensation system that recognizes varying levels of performance and awards those who exceed set goals.

Each county department will establish, "operation goals for each of its units and employees that are specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely," the resolution said.

The policy is in accordance with the county's five-year strategic plan. "It's tied to the strategic plan. We are all in this together, said Administrator Pat Thompson.

"We have to tie compensation (salary and wages) to evaluation," said Thompson. "It (compensation) is not the sole motivator, but a key component."

Each department will determine the standards for evaluation rated on a 0 to 5.0 scale, the resolution said.

Thompson will recommend an appropriate funding level available for pay for performance increases as part of the overall budget.

Supervisor Travis Schachtner had a fundamental problem with the evaluation system. "We are not moving forward smartly," he said.

Looking at evaluations, employees could achieve every goal and won't get the compensation they deserve, he said.

He suggested that the leaders and employees get familiar with doing the evaluation process first.

Supervisor Fred Yoerg wondered about an appeals process.

"If an employee disagrees (with the evaluation), is there an appeals process?" he asked.

HR director Tammy Funk said, "We just started working on it."

Supervisor Fred Horne also voiced concern. "I'm struggling with telling employees they met our expectations, but didn't exceed so (they get) no compensation."

Board Chair Daryl Standafer said he was familiar with a similar policy in the private sector and the "reward is you get to keep your job."

"The bar is set high. The goal is to award performance over and above expectations," said Thompson.

Supervisor David Peterson said, "We will have to make some modifications down the road. Keep in mind there are adjustments to be made."

"Our job as supervisors will not be over," said Supervisor Buck Malick. He cautioned the board it will have to appropriate an amount in the budget to pay for performance and refrain from a tradition of years past to shorten the training budget.

The measure passed by a 15-3 margin with supervisors Schachtner, Horne and Richard Ostness voting against.

County Board Notes:

  • Administrator Pat Thompson said the 2013 budget process has begun and he would start soon to meet with department heads to review budget requests. He said preliminary notification from the state department of revenue indicated the county would be looking at a 6 percent decrease in valuation. He expected to have the budget to the board for its Nov. 5 meeting.
  • Thompson called for a Nov. 5 board meeting in place of the regular date because Nov. 6 is the general election.
  • Pastor Tim Sackett of Transport for Christ gave the invocation.
  • The next regular meeting of the board was set for Sept. 4 at 9 a.m.
  • Eighteen board members were in attendance, Supervisor Tom Hawksford was absent due to a business trip.
  • Coalition for the St. Croix River Crossing was recognized for a public policy achievement for bringing a new bridge at Stillwater. Contractors have started drilling tests to establish the bedrock for specifications
  • The Sheriff's Department K-9 officers were acknowledged by the board for an outstanding performance. Deputies Josh Stenseth, with K-9 partner Dex, and Jason Sykora and his K-9 partner Doc were honored. Sheriff John Shilts said the K-9 program is not funded by tax dollars but donations.
  • The board recognized Liza Gibson for her exemplary work with St. Croix County Aging and Disability Resource Center as an Elderly Benefits Specialist.
  • A proposed resolution to set the library services funding rate resolution for 2013 and 2014 was taken off the agenda due to recent information from the state said Chair Daryl Standafer. It will return on the Sept. 4 agenda.
  • The board approved a resolution repealing a 1985 ordinance regarding animal waste management and other related measures so they could be updated by an 18-0 vote.
  • The board passed an ordinance correcting the code of ordinances rezoning amendments and correcting a legal description for a parcel by an 18-0 margin.