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Revised employee handbook presented to Dixon City Council

City will work on policies-and-practices manual next

Published: Tuesday, July 22, 2014 1:15 a.m. CDT

DIXON – The City Council could approve a completely new employee handbook in August.

A copy of the employee handbook – or personnel policy – was placed on file during the regular council meeting Monday night. It will be on the agenda for approval during the Aug. 4 meeting. 

It's the first major revision to the employee handbook in years and took about 6 months of meetings with city staff, city commissioners, City Administrator David Nord and Paul Greufe, a human resources consultant, to be completed.

"It will be a living document," Greufe said during his presentation to the council. "So I would be surprised if it doesn't change or it's not updated in the next year or so."

Once the handbook is approved and put in place, changes in the the future can be made if policies are brought into question, or if policies to address issues need to be added.

Nord and the city will now work on a policies-and-practices manual, which will address more substantive issues, such as how much department heads are permitted to spend, and who can take city vehicles home.

Nord said he hopes to have the policies-and-practices manual completed by the end of the year.

The handbook is worded in a way that makes it applicable to union and non-union employees, Greufe said, adding that if there's conflicting language between the city's handbook and a union contract, the union contract prevails.

Among the parts of the handbook the council might consider changing is the benefits package, which Greufe called generous.

Reducing sick leave benefits or vacation benefits would lead to savings for the city.

However, it would also make city jobs less attractive for potential employees and raise a question of how to fairly make changes for current employees, Greufe said.

Commissioner Colleen Brechon raised the quesion of grandfathering in some employees and making changes for future employees, which is something Greufe said is possible.

In other action

The council approved an ordinance vacating the alley behind behind 1712 Factory St. to Phillip MacRunnels, of Dixon, who wants to remove a garage and other buildings on his property there, according to the city.

A petition to vacate the alley was previously approved by the Dixon Plan Commission.

Next meeting

The Dixon City Council next meets at 5:30 p.m. Aug. 4 at City Hall, 121 W. Second St., on the second floor in the Council Chambers.

Go to www.DiscoverDixon.org or call City Hall at 815-288-1485 for an agenda or more information.

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