Wednesday, February 9, 2011

BUDGET QUESTION OF THE MONTH: February 2011

How do you feel the County can be more transparent with its budget process and budget materials?

13 comments:

  1. Chuckles McFunnyboneFebruary 9, 2011 at 3:46 PM

    This comment is in reference to the last Blogger Question, where you are asking people to put a name.

    First, people should know they can put any name they want, as I have done here.

    Second, I actually think it's best for you all to enable comments (even if moderated) since the comment will be attached to the original post.

    Lastly, you know you like my name!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Dear Hillsborough,

    I don't really have a comment about the current question, but I am curious about a previous posting from someone trying to get answers to two other posts that never got a response. Could you please reply to the following questions?

    These are the postings that I'm referring to:

    Anonymous said...
    They should definitely focus on the number of managers to low level employees county wide. All of the excess management is costing the county a lot of money. There are departments that have managers with only 3 people under them. That's the stupidest thing I've ever heard of.

    January 6, 2011 4:08 PM

    Anonymous said...
    I think if the county is going to freeze all employee's salaries regardless of their extra duties, then that should go for ALL Hillsborough County employees. Why are some employees getting promoted with raises and everyone else is supposed to do any extra work they are asked to do without compensation because these are difficult times for the county. What makes them so special?

    January 6, 2011 8:06 PM

    Thank you,
    Concerned Citizen of Hillsborough County
    January 10, 2011 6:00 PM


    Thank you.
    Signed,
    Another Concerned Citizen

    ReplyDelete
  3. Dear Another Concerned, we tried to answer these questions in a follow up post:

    PAST ANSWER ISSUE 1) "Dear Anonymous, the organizational structure of Hillsborough County government continues to evolve, and many of these span of control issues are being addressed."

    FOLLOW UP ISSUE 1) At 11 a.m. today (Feb. 16) during today's Board meeting, County Administrator Mike Merrill's proposed reorganization is to be discussed and voted on. The span of control issues are to be addressed as this reorg plan takes shape.

    PAST ANSWER ISSUE 2) "To follow up on the third issue about freezing salaries and yet promotions, it seems you have a specific case for your question. We are not able to discuss specific personnel actions on this forum."

    FOLLOW UP ISSUE 2) The second questions seem very specific to something you have intimate knowledge of. But as we stated, this isn't the right forum to discuss specific personnel actions and goes against the rules outlined in our Disclaimer. We are using this forum to get public input to help us identify and solve the County services vs community needs issues we continue to face. And with this new question, collect input and ideas on how to be more transparent with our budget process and budget materials.

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  4. Dear Hillsborough FL,

    In reference to the following response you wrote,

    "FOLLOW UP ISSUE 2) The second questions seem very specific to something you have intimate knowledge of."

    I don't have knowledge of any particular issue, because I did not post this in the 1st place. I was just curious to the answer of how the County government is dealing with this issue.

    Could you please tell me if employees at this time, are expected to work outside of their job description without any additional compensation due to the hard times the County is facing? I think this is an important enough issue to be questioning.

    Thank you,
    Another Concerned Citizen

    ReplyDelete
  5. This is the epitomy of answering in vagueries!

    Start bettering transparency by JUST ANSWERING THE QUESTION ...

    My goodness, how would you know that Another Concerned Citizen is referring to a "specific case" or has "intimate knowledge"? That's quite presumptuous on behalf of Hillsborough County ....

    Just provide a link to the org chart to show who manages who (and how many they manage). Also, just provide a list of who has received promotions or reclassifications in the past year or so. It's that simple! What are you hiding? Everyone knows that government plays those manipulative games to get around the rules. Case in point -- look what the previous county administrator did with her top level staff. $20,000 raise while everyone else had pay freezes or were getting layed off ... There's your "intimate knowledge."

    So to answer your question, improve transparency by just answering the question.

    Another Concerned Citizen 2

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  6. What happened? Where are all of the previous questions? Why would you erase them? Are you hiding something? This is definitely the way to make Hillsborough County more transparent!

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  7. Anonymous - first, let me say Welcome Back to our blog and for noticing the post change.

    All the prior questions and answers were set to draft status as they focused on previous budget year efforts. It became clear that having them visible distracted attention from those interested in helping develop our FY 12-13 budget.

    If you want to see past questions and answers, contact the Hillsborough County Communications Department - www.hillsboroughcounty.org/media/ - and we can make arrangements.

    If you have other ideas on how we can make our budget process more transparent, please let us know.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Another Concerned Citizen,
    You have asked that we provide a link to the org chart to show who manages who, and how many. Org charts are primarily prepared by Department, so there would actually be quite a few to post.
    As you may know, the entire County organization is going through a transformation. This reorganization is changing the structure (org charts). Here's the latest from the Administrator's level as proposed for Board action: http://docs-new.hillsboroughcounty.org/cache/00003/036/C-1.PDF

    The Departments are still undergoing changes that will not be complete for some time. The number of employees per manager is also being reviewed.
    Hope this information is helpful to you.
    Lori Hudson
    Communications Director

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  9. Dear Another Concerned:
    In an organization with about 5,000 employees who perform widely ranging duties, it is difficult to generally answer the question of anyone working outside of class. While this shouldn’t be the case, there may be isolated instances where it could happen.

    If any employee feels they are working outside of class, they can talk with their supervisors, or request a review of their position through Civil Service.

    That being said, the organization as a whole is undergoing a transformation and responsibilities are shifting in some cases. There is some discussion that a market study for positions will occur in the next year of two.

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  10. Dear Another Concerned 2:
    In an organization with about 5,000 employees, and one that has undergone many steps to restructure to be more customer service oriented and cost efficient in the past year, it is difficult to easily and specifically answer these types of questions. The current adopted org chart is listed on the County Administrator’s Web page - www.hillsboroughcounty.org/administrator/resources/publications/OrgChartrevisedfor100620changes.pdf . Also take a look at the Administrative Orders AO 10-01 through AO 10-08 for other organizations changes adopted by the Board of County Commissioners - www.hillsboroughcounty.org/policies-plans/administrator/adminorders/home.cfm

    The new org chart structure is to go before the Board of County Commissioners again on Mar. 2 (see Attachment A of this document (www.hillsboroughcounty.org/administrator/resources/publications/020711CountyAdminReorg.pdf ).

    There is no master document that lists all promotions and reclassifications. Many of these personnel actions would have been done through Civil Service. You can review all the Civil Service agendas and minutes from as far back as Jan 2008 on the Web at www.hillsboroughcounty.org/cs/csbmeetings/.

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  11. Hello,

    I've just came across this Blog and find it very interesting. Thank you Hillsborough County for offering a place for those who have comments or concerns for the county.

    I've been to the web page where the civil service board meeting minutes are and read them. What are my options if I have a question about something that was approved or mentioned in one of those meetings? Who could I ask about it?

    Thanks,
    Jill

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  12. Dear Jill, glad you find this forum of benefit.

    You will have to contact Civil Service directly for any questions you have. You can find them on the Web at www.hccsb.org/, and am not sure who specifically you would have to ask for.

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  13. Jill, and note that Hillsborough County stated that "many" personnel actions went through Civil Service. Who knows what this means. Does "many" mean most? More than one? How were the other personnel actions approved?

    If you have something to say about the Civil Service meetings, you should attend the next meeting. This is the only way to guarantee your comments go on the record and get heard by the current members of the board. Otherwise, I'm sure your questions will end up in some abyss and just receive general answers (i.e. "many")

    Good luck navigating through this red tape.

    Another Concerned Citizen 2

    ReplyDelete