Resort Council Favors Frequent Employee Evaluations

OCEAN CITY — Resort employees could see more frequent performance evaluations if the Mayor and Council get their way.

In the opening salvo of departmental budget presentations this week, Human Resources Director Katie Callan was one of the first one deck. Once the budget is introduced, the various departments come before the Mayor and Council and outline what their department’s responsibilities are and what specific budgetary needs they might have beyond what is already included in the town’s spending plan.

Callan was among the first to present this week and outlined the vast number of responsibilities her department has. She presented data on the average age and length of service of the town’s employees, including a vast number of veterans who are inching closer to retirement. She explained many of those positions would have be refilled in the near future, which prompted Councilman Mark Paddack to ask if there was a plan in place for that eventuality.

“What’s the succession plan?” he said. “Are we grooming people for those positions? We’re looking at maybe 100 retirements in the next five to seven years.”

Callan explained many would be refilled from within, while some would require outside hires. Council Secretary Tony DeLuca said there should probably be a healthy combination of both.

“Most Fortune 500 companies have a balance of around 50-50 with internal hires,” he said. “You don’t want to go to far in one direction or the other.”

Callan said part of her department’s responsibilities was employee evaluations. DeLuca said he was hoping all of the town’s employees would be evaluated at some point.

“You told me 55% have had evaluations,” he said. “I think it’s important to get closer to 100%. I really think it’s important to have employee evaluations. You sit down with them and say you’re great at these three things, but you need to grow on these other three things.”

Callan said she is working through that process. She said a challenge is tying performance evaluations to compensation.

“It will take some time,” she said. “There are some systemic changes we’re working through. We’re working toward performance evaluations. There has to be something tangible to base performance compensation on. There has to be some criteria.”

DeLuca urged the department to expedite the process.

“I would like to see you work to get closer to that,” he said.

Paddack drew from his decades with the town’s police department on the evaluation issue.

“In my 30 years with the department, I had at least one evaluation a year, and in probably 28 of them, I was evaluated twice a year,” he said. “It’s critical for development and succession planning. We had to stay on top of it constantly.”

About The Author: Shawn Soper

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Shawn Soper has been with The Dispatch since 2000. He began as a staff writer covering various local government beats and general stories. His current positions include managing editor and sports editor. Growing up in Baltimore before moving to Ocean City full time three decades ago, Soper graduated from Loch Raven High School in 1981 and from Towson University in 1985 with degrees in mass communications with a journalism concentration and history.