Council sets policy for interacting with staff

Shawn Hardy

Greencastle Borough Council adopted a policy for how its members interact with staff during this month's meeting.

The resolution establishes "clear lines of communication and a chain of command," according to Steve Miller, council president, who added many municipalities have similar policies.

A lot of employees' time was being taken up by questions that not were pertinent or that had already been addressed, according to Matt Smith, who chairs the personnel committee.

"In order to be able to provide effective and efficient services to Borough residents, Borough staff must not be subject to undue influence or distraction from individual Borough Council members, the Mayor, or other appointed Board, Authority, Commission, or Committee members during Borough business hours, nor must the supervisory authority of the Borough Manager be undermined," says the resolution.

It continues, "Individual elected or appointed officials shall not call or visit Borough staff during normal business hours unless such interaction has been previously approved or scheduled through the Borough Manager in writing."

Borough Manager Lorraine Hohl is in charge of all employees, except police, so all questions, comments and concerns should be directed to her and not other members of borough staff, under the policy.

Exceptions include the council president or the personnel committee chair if the interaction is part of their duties or when interaction was authorized by council, such as when one council member has been assigned to work with the borough manager on a specific project.

The policy was approved on a 5-2 vote, with Joel Amsley, Larry Faight and Wade Burkholder, as well as Miller and Smith voting "yes," and Duane Kinzer and Jeremy Layman opposed.