The City of Fairborn has assets worth more than $65 million. But Fairborn’s most valuable assets are its 235 employees Fairborn employees that are key elements in the city being able to provide services and support to its citizens .
They are the ones on the front line and lead the charge.
They have sacrificed just like our citizens have had to. When the recession was at its peak, they went three years with no raises. Not only did they not get raises, but they made do with minimal equipment, supplies and other needed resources to do their job. When things got tight they looked for ways to stretch the dollar. When equipment broke beyond repair, they made it work anyhow. Many of them work in conditions that are very difficult and substandard. Fairborn’s employees are dedicated and focused.
In the dead of winter when the snow is blowing, ice is forming and no one should be on the streets, our employees are out there making the roads safe for all of us. They work long and hard hours, getting little sleep and catching a nap in an old building in a lounge chair that probably came from their home. Because our maintenance buildings are located all over the city, our employees must spend more time than they wish getting to the vehicles they need because many departments share equipment to enhance efficiencies.
Many employees work out of many different locations. The Public Administration Department alone works out of 12 different locations. Most of these facilities are well passed their useful life . Many are buildings that do not allow for the latest technologies due to building construction and have been repurposed from its original use. There are buildings in the flood plain, making the trip to the office difficult at best.
Our employees have agreed to reorganizations to make our processes run more smoothly. Most people don’t like change, but they stepped up. They also agreed to cross train into other departments that not only allowed for more efficiencies and coverage of services, but also provided employees opportunities they wouldn’t have had otherwise.
The finance office is no longer a green eyeshade and armband operation. There are 59 separate accounts (or checkbooks) with most having its own set of rules it must abide by. All these accounts require knowledge of city, county, state and federal rules, in addition to municipality accounting, which in no way compares to our keeping our personal checkbooks.
Running a city is no longer having a snow plow, police and fire departments and some trucks – it is a very integrated, complex set of operations that require horizontal and vertical integration of most departments almost on a daily basis. No department is a standalone organization. The six departments include the following:
- Public Administration
- Community Development and
- Economic Development
Fairborn’s staff is a highly trained, certified and professional group of people. Many employees have degrees and certificates above what is required for their employment. Below is a breakout of the amount of training, certifications, licenses and degrees required of employees and the amount of each actually held by employees:
- Degrees required: 25; Degrees held 29 – Five employees hold degrees above minimum requirements.
- Certifications required: 131; Certifications held: 312
- Licenses required: 24; Licenses held: 24
- Credentials required: 1; Credentials held 7
Our employees are well trained and always striving to become the most highly qualified.
Fairborn’s city employees are dedicated and stay with the city for long periods of time. Of the 235 employees the average length of service is 11 years. Eighty, or 34 percent, of the employees have over 15 years of service. Forty seven, 20 percent, of employees have over 20 years. What this means for the citizens of Fairborn is that low turnover of the city employees creates huge savings due to not needing to train new people all the time as well as having service providers that know what they are doing. They constantly look for new ways of doing business that creates better service for our citizens and almost always save the taxpayers money.
It seems obvious that our employees are the best. The feedback and compliments the city leadership receives from our citizens and others from the region confirms Fairborn has the best employees. Next time you see a Fairborn City employee offer them a big “thank you”. They are serving you well.
Marilyn McCauley is a Fairborn City Council member and guest columnist.