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Recommendations of the Town Government Study Committee

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  1. Recommendations of theTown Government Study Committee 16 May 2013 Public Presentation Jerry McGovern, Chair Peter Marinelli Kevin Murphy Deb Torchia Liz Valerio Dan Vieira

  2. Agenda • Review Background to the Study • Introduce Four Primary Recommendations • Recap

  3. TGSC Charge & Preparation • Established by the Wrentham BOS in Spring 2012 to: • Evaluate the effectiveness of the town’s current organizational structure, management systems and processes • Make recommendations for improvements to • increase town government efficiency • createbetter alignment between departments, boards and committees, • prepare for the increasing complexity of local government •  TGSC Learning and Research Process • Met with other towns that have gone through the government study process • Met with state and local agencies to learn about TGSC best practices • Interviewed all Wrentham town departments, boards, committees and town employees to solicit their input (summer and fall, 2012) • In November 2012, surveyed 4503 residences for feedback on the quality of life in Wrentham as well as their satisfaction with town services, communication and government management (of that number, 414 responses were collected or 9.19%). BACKGROUND

  4. What is Working Well… • Current BOS working well together and with boards and committees • Some boards and committees with interrelated work activities are recognizing issues and, in some cases, starting to work together to address challenges • Majority say they are clear on their role and charge • Most appeared engaged during the data collection process and willing to look for ways to make improvements • 95% of Respondents* rate Wrentham as a good to excellent place to live BACKGROUND * Per Nov 2012 Wrentham Citizen Survey conducted by Clark University

  5. How Wrentham Operates Today… • Today Wrentham operates very similar to the way it did decades ago! • Wrentham needs to modernize specific operations to be as efficient and effective as possible to meet the current and future needs of our citizens • Examples • Most resources are managed with little to no integration across the municipality • Processes and workflows continue to be manual, paper-based • Information is stove piped and not easily accessible BACKGROUND

  6. How Wrentham Operates Today… • Wrentham’s government is extremely reliant on volunteers and volunteer committees to manage or approve of day to day operational requirements • Municipal operations are de-centralized and often lack cohesiveness • Most employees report to part time boards that meet semi monthlyor less • Wrentham needs full-time professional management to manage the increasing complexity of local government • Boards are operating in silos – cross- functional collaboration relies more on personality than process • Examples: • Municipal Employees = 21 FT, 26 PT; Volunteers = 90+ • Boards, Committees, Departments (B/C/Ds) too often contract for consultants and services individually rather than sharing common resources, resulting in overlaps and inconsistencies BACKGROUND

  7. Common Themes and Opportunities The data revealed that similar challenges were being experienced across most groups. Common themes are: • Communication • Collaboration • Process and Documentation • Leadership • Resources Sharing BACKGROUND

  8. Identified Needs • The Committee identified the need for: • Predictable “content-based” communication within Town Government and between Town Government and residents. • Departmental operations to have improved and formalized methods of collaborating - sharing knowledge and general resources - resulting in the efficient usage of existing tools, staffing and other resources across departments. • Establishing, updating and implementing common policies and procedures across Boards and Departments to significantly improve the efficiency of Town management systems. • More consistency in resourcing and personnel management issues BACKGROUND

  9. Identified Needs • The Committee identified the need: • To modernize the general structure of Wrentham’s town government consistent with other towns demographically similar to Wrentham, and as recommended by all governmental and non-governmental consultants with expertise in the area of town management. • For efficient management of all of the Town’s tangible assets, including but not limited to, facilities, purchasing, engineering, maintenance, IT and asset tracking. • To increase centralized management in critical areas in order to more effectively operate in an ever tightening fiscal environment. • To utilize Massachusetts Department of Revenue, Division of Local Services July 2012 Financial Management Report. (Specifics to follow.) BACKGROUND

  10. Town Government Study Committee Recommendations

  11. Recommendation #1:Modernize Municipal IT and Public Communications • The purpose of this recommendation is to: • Provide appropriate, maintained, consistentIT resources and sustainment throughout theTown’s Boards, Committees, and Departments (B/C/Ds) such that they provide more effective and efficient workflows, processes and asset management • Provide improved information sharing within Town Government • Provide improved information sharing between Town government and Town citizens RECOMMENDATIONS

  12. Recommendation #1:Implementation • Institute a “publish/subscribe” capability for information sharing • Early summer Pilot program using existing Nixle account for a publish/subscribe info capability with citizens • Use the pilot to establish requirements, policy, responsibilities, and funding needs for a full capability • Objective is to establish a funding request for FY 2015 • Institute an internal communication capability for Town B/C/D/E* to support functional and cross functional workflows, transactions, requests, notifications • Leverage People Forms • Establish training (especially for cross function information) • Identify metrics • Centralize and modernize the phone system • Town Hall, DPW, Library, Senior Center • Leverage Public Safety’s phone consultant RECOMMENDATIONS *B/C/D/E – Boards/Committees/Departments/Employees

  13. Recommendation #1: Implementation • Establish implementation steps as specific charge from the BOS to the IT Committee • Include roles and relationship of the Town Administrator, WPS, WPD • With regard to WPS • Establish an MOU to support objectives • Focus on daily support, sustainment, refresh of HW and SW • Target Budget Planning Cycle for FY 2015 RECOMMENDATIONS

  14. Recommendation #1:Benefits • Provides a “Push vs Pull” information flow • Institute the ability to proactively push information to citizens regarding storm information, trash removal, school closures, etc • Provides a greater economy of scale for resourcing and maintaining technology • Employees won’t be reluctant to call outside support services due to cost and time • Better, more consistent budgeting to provide consistency of devices, service and refresh throughout the Town • Increased effectiveness and access for Town Hall operations • Improved support means less down time, less software latency, and freeze ups, less file conversions due to antiquated software • Improved phone service for Town Hall customers • Install a common phone system that includes voice mail, etc for departments Less transfers, dropped calls, frustration with finding numbers; better voicemail RECOMMENDATIONS

  15. Recommendation #2:Centralize the Town’s Facilities Management Responsibilities • The purpose of this recommendation is to: • Centralize the management of facilities maintenance in order provide greater economies/efficiencies of scale • Identify the true cost of facilities management - from a strategic to item-level view - in order to make better resource decisions for current and future year budgets • Identify and enact increased collaboration between Town and WPS resources, and in the near future with regional resources RECOMMENDATIONS

  16. Recommendation #2:Implementation • Continue the current initiative to centralize municipal budget requirements for facilities management. • Establish and maintain a centralized management system that will: • Provide a single, town wide system to input requests for facilities maintenance work • Provide the ability to authorize and monitor status of requests • Capture details to provide historical data • Charge the Permanent Building Committee to: • Develop a plan of action to integrate municipal FM with WPS FM • Develop a strategy to identify and execute regional collaboration opportunities RECOMMENDATIONS

  17. Recommendation #2: Benefits • Maintenance requirements are identified and attended to sooner • It’s cheaper to fix the little things before they become big things (i.e., boilers, roofs) • Relieve departments of having to make decisions about things that are not their core competency • Many of our facilities are starting to enter “the teenage years” requiring more attention and more focus of maintenance • Improved life span of capital items • Centralized management enables greater purchasing power and greater balancing of resources • Better, balanced, reasoned decision making across the breadth of Town assets • We need the ability to make maintenance and replacement decisions based on item life cycle costs and long term priorities • Less deferrals, less of everything coming due at once RECOMMENDATIONS

  18. Recommendation #3: Adopt a Town Charter • A Charter provides the means to institute structural changes to help meet the Town’s long-term goal of improved management and efficient operations. • A Charter provides a stronger foundationfor Town operations than By Laws alone. • To meet 21st century management needs for a town our size, Wrentham needs a Charter. RECOMMENDATIONS

  19. DLS Report “We recommend that Wrentham adopt a charter that clearly defines the government structure under which the town operates. It would document all positions, boards, and committees, establish the distribution of power and provide lines of authority.” “Wrentham has a decentralized form of government that is not conducive to an efficient and effective modern day operation. We believe the town administrator’s position should be strengthened to include managing all non-school departments. He should handle personnel administration such as appointments, supervision and evaluation of all staff. He should oversee the operating and capital budget planning processes.” RECOMMENDATIONS Massachusetts Department of Revenue, Division of Local Services July 2012 Financial Management Report. At the request of BOS’, DLS performs financial management reviews and provides other consultant type services related to municipal practices.

  20. Recommendation #3:Implementation • TGSC drafts a Town Charter to be voted on at November 2013 STM • Establish authority for the Town Administrator to appoint those specified positions responsible for the day to day municipal operations. • Specified positions to be identified by September • Boards and committees would still determine job descriptions and qualifications, and daily tasks, priorities, etc • Provide the Town Administrator specific responsibility to prepare and present an annual operating budget for the town and a proposed capital outlay program for the five fiscal years ensuing. • Stipulate that the Town Administrator is the agent for all collective bargaining except schools • Include as voting member of school committee negotiations per MGL 150E, Sect 1 • Establish the Police Chief as a “Strong Chief” (does not require Charter action, but does require TM vote) RECOMMENDATIONS 20

  21. Recommendation #3:Prime Examples for Recommendation • 1993 Education Reform Act Example • School Committee Appoints Superintendent • Superintendent appoints principals • Superintendent approves appointments made by principals (teachers and staff) • Budget Example • Current by laws do not require professional, centralized development of the Town’s $35M annual operating budget • Decentralized management leads to development and resourcing inconsistencies across departments • This process however has greatly improved over the past two years due to the Town Administrator being significantly more involved in the process • Public Safety Example • Wrentham Fire Chief is a “Strong Chief”, he hires Firemen • Wrentham Police Chief is “Weak Chief, the BOS hires Policemen RECOMMENDATIONS

  22. Appointing Authority Change Recommendations Current Professionals having Appointing Authority: Proposed Professionals having Appointing Authority: WPS Superintendent Fire Chief Town Administrator Police Chief • WPS Superintendent • Fire Chief RECOMMENDATIONS

  23. Recommendation #3: Benefits • Provides for professional management on a day to day basis in Town Hall • Enable Boards and Committees to focus more on policy and strategy and less on administration and logistics • Management decisions canbe made where they are affected • Shorten decision/authorization cycle time • Provide the Town 21st century resource management • Enable centralized, consistent, performance management across all municipal departments • Address recommendations made by DLS Financial Management Review of July 2012 RECOMMENDATIONS

  24. Recommendation #3:Implementation Timeline • BOS endorsement to develop a Charter and expand Town Administrator's and Police Chief’s authorities and responsibilities • Extend the charge for the TGSC to draft and present a charter to Town Meeting (Current Charge expires 30 June 2013) • Target November STM for Town Meeting vote • Draft Charter by beginning of Sep • Communication Campaign Sep-Nov • Work with State Senator and Rep to identify timing of legislative action • Target April 2014 for ballot vote • Target July 2014 for enactment RECOMMENDATIONS

  25. Recommendation #4:Improve Collaboration for Community Development & Land Use Management • The purpose of this recommendation is to: • Provide improved collaboration processes for community development and land use management among eight separate boards/committees/departments that all have a stake in community development and land use management. • Support improved collaboration with regard to workflow, communication, information sharing and responsiveness while maintaining individual authorities and responsibilities. • Instill clearer understanding of roles, status, intents and strategic direction related to community management and land use development for the Town of Wrentham amongst the stakeholders and the community.  RECOMMENDATIONS • Stakeholders: Board of Health, Planning Board, Board of Appeals, • Conservation Commission, Economic Development Commission, • Historical Commission, Department of Public Works, Inspector

  26. Recommendation #4:Implementation • Update and strengthen the Technical Review Committee By Law to identify beneficial collaboration actions and ensure they become a common practice. • By Law should establish collaborative actions whenever more than one deliberative body must approve a permit application • Update and improve the Development Handbook. Make it more process oriented and have it define the relationships among the stakeholders. Make its purpose, use and maintenance part of the Technical Review Committee by law. • Implement a permit software system such as the Municipal Permit Tracking System (MPTS) or self –designed via People Forms . • Establish a central/shared engineering service. • Establish appropriate positions/staffing and office orientation to provide full coordination and collaboration for daily operations. RECOMMENDATIONS

  27. Land Use ManagementTown Hall Hours Open Simultaneously: Planning Board of Health Conservation Commission ZBA Inspector Monday Tuesday RECOMMENDATIONS 2 Hours, Tuesday Wednesday 4 Hours, Wednesday Thursday = 6 Hours Friday

  28. Recommendation #4:Benefits • Greatly improved customer service due to : • Improved information sharing among the stakeholders • Better ability to know the status of applications without having to go to multiple offices on the day they are open • Increased awareness and improved preparation time for decision making by Town officials • Better ability to measure progress; and to identify bottlenecks and common issues • Minimizes inconsistencies, frustrations, and conflicts • Provides administrative, logistical and budgeting relief for volunteer officials RECOMMENDATIONS

  29. “Low Hanging Fruit” • Provide improved signage and office directory within Town Hall • Institute PeopleForms throughout Town Hall (with an emphasis on cross-department info sharing) • Institute a Performance Management Program (PMP) and provide PMP Training • Establish an automated shared system for inputting, authorizing and tracking Purchasing and Contracting Requests • Develop a Human Resources Handbook • Provide specific written, goal-oriented charges to all ad hoc committees (and provide to Town Clerk for swearing in) RECOMMENDATIONS

  30. What Stays the Same, What Changes • Stays the Same: • Open Town Meeting • Town Meeting votes on all spending authorizations • Elected Boards stay elected • Boards’ and Committees’ Responsibilities • Current General By Laws (unless specifically noted) • Zoning By Laws • What Would Change • Wrentham would be governed by a Charter • Town Administrator gains Appointing Authority, Police Chief becomes a “Strong Chief” • Centralization of IT, Facilities Mgmt, HR to provide administrative and logistical relief to departments RECAP

  31. Moving Forward • Wrentham moves towards being a more professionally managed Town to meet 21st century services by: • Increasing Town Government efficiency • Creating better alignment between boards, committees and departments • Preparing for the increasing complexity of local government • Next Steps • Recommendations #1 and #2 to be be done by BOS • Recommendations #3, and #4 require Town votes and cross-departmental cooperation RECAP