Employees report on Woodard and Curran contract
CARLINVILLE (Aug. 31, 2017) – It’s been a month since the Carlinville’s public works contract with management company Woodard and Curran began.
The contract meant a shift to a different employer for many city employees. While there was a lot of work to be done with regard to the transition, according to Woodard and Curran Area Manager Marc Thomas, the effort has gone smoothly. “We were able to knock out a significant amount of the on-boarding prior to the start date,” he said, adding, “The focus is always on the employees. They’re our business and if we can take care of them and get that portion [completed], that’s probably the main thing.”
Billing Specialist Karen Etter had this to say. “Everybody is nice, very helpful. If we need to ask questions, they’re an email away, a phone call away. They’ve been coming down weekly.”
Etter acknowledged that it’s still early in the agreement and it may be too soon to tell but, so far, she reports no red flags. “I think, in the long run, it’s going to be a good thing.”
Water Plant Manager Jim Knight also has no complaints. “I’m happy with the change. There’s a lot of resources available to me that I can, at the drop of a hat, just call somebody on the phone.”
While Knight admits he could always call other area water plants for ideas, Woodard and Curran is “dedicated” to what he’s doing.
“Woodard and Curran is going to make sure I’ve got the assets available to do my job and make sure I’m making a good product,” said Knight.
Lonnie Hyman, another long-time public works employee, is pleased at how things are going so far. “I think it’s going great. We’re getting things done. When something goes down or breaks, we can get it done without having to wait two weeks for the council to figure out what they’re doing.”
Hyman says he’s confident in how the employees are being handled. “All the bad rumors and stuff that I heard before were, basically, just rumors. They’ve not showed me anything or any reasons that they’re going to get rid of me. That’s what the rumors were.”
“They’ve made my job easier, because now I can concentrate on what I need to do because I’m not worried about what they’re going to do,” explained Hyman. “We’re working together. That’s the first time I’ve ever done this and I’ve been here 24 years.”
Public Works Director Tim Hasara, who is also now an employee of Woodard and Curran, is also pleased with the transition period so far. “I think it’s going great. A lot of new things are happening.”
Hasara explained how the first couple of months will be a lot for employees with physicals and safety training. “I suspect after 90 days, it will be back to a normal daily process.”
Hasara noted how there will be a lot more tracking, reporting and recording. “It’s just a little different process than it was two months ago, but it’s going smoothly.”
Jim Miller and Dakota Bates work to repair a water main break on South Broad Aug. 29. Both men are now employed by Woodard and Curran.