The City of Milton Common Council in three separate actions approved changes to the Employee Handbook and Policy Manual, job descriptions for employees at city hall, and made updates to the city’s code of ethics ordinance. Approvals came during a meeting held June 4.
City Administrator Al Hulick described the three actions as related, saying: “(handbook) section 7.20, job descriptions, is tied directly to item No. 15 on your agenda. Item No. 16, code of ethics, is also reflected in the policy changes.”
Employee handbook update
Administrative Services Director Inga Cushman said the purpose of proposed changes was “updating current practices and procedures that we have in place, and some of the other ones are adding in additional language where we were lacking in some areas.”
Thirty-five suggested revisions were enumerated in a memo to council from Cushman.
They ranged from adjusting the table of contents to “better categorize policies,” to changes in open records policy, which read as follows: “This policy was updated based on the model policy received from CVMIC (Cities and Villages Mutual Insurance Company, a liability and risk management firm). The model policy adds many sections that our current policy is lacking. The policy was reviewed by City Attorney Mark Schroeder.”
Further changes revolved around employee benefit programs and insurances, jury duty service, compensation for volunteer firefighters, business travel expenses, and military leave, among others.
Changes also include a new section (7.1) in the city’s code of conduct, which will replace “Section 10 Ethics and Conflicts of Interest and 14.01 General Policy Manual. Provisions in Section 10 are addressed in the Code of Conduct policy and the Ethics ordinance (Sec. 2-1 through 2-12 of the Code of Ordinances). The Code of Conduct policy is based off exiting language and a sample from CVMIC,” the memo stated.
Cushman noted a need to update the handbook on an annual or semiannual basis. A schedule for reviewing policies was included within the revisions, she said.
Staff was involved in the process and received electronic versions of the updated handbook, Hulick said.
Hardcopy is also available at city hall and the public library, Cushman said.
Job description updates
“We’ve seen some changes at city hall from an organizational standpoint … there is one less (full-time) employee at city hall than there was two years ago, so job duties have shape-changed, shifted,” Hulick said.
A part-time employee was also added, he said.
“Since the reorganization of city hall, we have kind of settled into our regular job duties so it makes sense to try and put everything on paper again,” Cushman said.
Code of ethics
“This ordinance really updates or provides some clarification within the ethics ordinance. It doesn’t substantively change any of the items that were previously in there,” Hulick said describing changes proposed for the city’s code of ethics ordinance.
As an example of changes made, he said, when the ordinance was originally adopted, the position of city administrator was not listed as one bound by the ordinance.
“Mark (Schroeder) reviewed it, and added some changes as well. We wanted to make sure this was updated to address really what the intent of the ordinance was, and how it’s been carried out since the time of its adoption,” Hulick said.
Said Schroeder: “Basically, it’s a cleanup of the ordinance as the city has had experience administering it, which is quite normal with an ordinance of this size and scope.
“Substantively,” he said, “it’s the same.”