Q: Does anyone have any policies or procedures in place that they would be willing to share on how to handle citizen complaints about town employees?
Upton ~ We don’t have a policy, per say, for this type of situation, but we ask anyone wanting to complain “officially” about anything to fill out and sign an official complaint form. We make a copy for them to keep and pass the complaint on to appropriate Commissioner or Department Head. The act of actually putting the complaint on paper and signing it sometimes deters the habitual complainers, while allowing legitimate complaints to be seen and heard. I have attached our form if it helps. (see below)
Bairoil ~ We do not have a policy or procedure for this. Any complaints are passed on to the Mayor & if found to be legitimate is handled with the employee by the Mayor. Not all complaints we get are justified so we are cautious.
Medicine Bow ~ The Town of Medicine Bow doesn't have a formal procedure, but anyone with a complaint about a town employee has to talk to the Mayor.
Rolling Hills ~ We have a complaint form available for residents to use regarding any town issue, including employees. The form is given directly to the Town Clerk and the Clerk presents it to Council and the Town Attorney at the next governing body meeting. If the complaint is about an employee, the issue most probably will be discussed in executive session. The complainant is always asked to attend and meet with Council in person, regardless if the issue is discussed during an open meeting or executive session. Also, keep in mind that possible litigation can be discussed in executive session so, depending on the severity of the complaint, the issue may be discussed in exec session based on the potential for litigation and the complainant, therefore, might not be asked to attend.
Because we are small, we only have one board – the Zoning Committee. If the complaint deals with a zoning issue, it may go first to the zoning committee, and then that committee would try to resolve the issue and make any needed recommendations to Council. I know this is off-topic from an employee complaint, but thought it would be useful if you have any committees or boards that deal specifically with employees. Another avenue may be to create a committee with the mayor, one council member, a supervisor, and possibly the town attorney to deal with the complaint.