A couple years ago when Randy Keasling became the human resources director for the City of Great Bend, he wrote his own mission statement for the Human Resources Department.
“I haven’t varied from this too much,” he told the City Council Monday night, adding it really boils down to a simple premise. “It really is kind of a core belief for me that I am here to help our staff be successful. That’s kind of my starting point every day.”
It was Keasling’s turn Monday to offer the council an update on his department’s activities. Over the past three council meetings, various department heads have been asked by City Administrator Kendal Francis to give reports.
Keasling said they talk about this mission in staff meetings and he’s come to learn one thing – “It means different things for every department. From Administration to the Police and Fire departments to Public Lands to Public works, “every department has different challenges,” he said.
With that in mind, he ran through some numbers and accomplishments from this year.
• Police Department – three
• Fire Department – five
• Public Lands – one
• Public Works - 13
Average turnover rate for the city was 20 percent in 2019, he said. That ranged from no turnover in administrative personnel to a 69% rate in the Public Works Department (a challenge, but something that is starting to turn around).
• New hires - the city brought on 22 new full-time staff members.
• KU leadership training - in January, the city hosted a three-day leadership training through the KU Center for Public Management. The training will be held again in February.
• Employee handbook - approved by council in October, the city rolled out a new Employee Handbook.
• Staff recognition - the city celebrated service awards with staff members that had 515 years of combined experience.
• Certified Public Manager Training - Keasling, Police Chief David Bailey and Fire Chief Luke McCormick finished the yearlong Certified Public Manager Course.
In 2020, the city will send two more staff members: Property Maintenance Enforcement Manager Austin LaViolette and Assistant Fire Chief Brent Smith.
• Succession plan - Keasling will be working on a Succession Plan for the City.
• New positions - utility billing supervisor, and a service person for the Events Center.
• Emergency Operations Plan - McCormick, Bailey and Keasling will present their EOP to the council in February.