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Island Eye News Inadvertently Changes Political Ad

In this weeks edition of the Island Eye News, the newspaper representing the islands east of the cooper, made some changes to the political ad that our campaign had submitted. In doing so, the final changes that were made by them totally misrepresents the intended message that our campaign was trying to convey to the voters.

This is the original ad: This is what went to print:

2nd island eye ad-page-001 Error ad

Please help us get the word out about this mistake made by the local newspaper. Lets make sure that the voters of the Isle of Palms know the truth, not what some want them to believe.

This November 5th, don’t forget to vote for a common sense leader, vote Ryan Buckhannon for Mayor

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Employee turnover debate

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The administration and some department heads express that pay equality compared to other municipalities is the problem for employee turnover.  I have tried to explain that there is a morale problem within some departments. 
The following article forwarded by Councilman Micheal Loftus hits the nail on the head.

Advice and How-Tos
8 Questions You Need to Ask to Turn Around Employee Turnover
by Ira Wolfe
Oct 15, 2013, 6:45 am ET

Some of you like turnover, I realize: after all, you’re recruiters. But others on this site are in-house recruiters who’d like to keep who they’ve recruited. It doesn’t seem to matter if you are a small company or multi-national, selling food, clothes, or technology, or servicing patients or homeowners. Employee turnover is affecting every organization in every industry from New York to California, from Canada to Japan. Even India and China are beginning to experience high rates of turnover.

That begs the question: Why do employees leave?

A quick Google search reveals nearly a million reasons, far too many to mention here. Unfortunately even the least-discriminating person can see that most are anecdotal and rhetoric. The culprit? Few managers, HR included) rarely if ever collects data, other than going through the exercise of an obligatory exit interview. Even fewer mine the data after the fact. The solution becomes pass the buck or hit-or-miss tactics.

Finding a solution(s) that works lies in asking the right questions, aggregating data, and then continuously analyzing it. Once a company takes a deep dark look into the data it has buried in employee files and spreadsheets, reducing employee turnover generally boils down to one of several common sources.

Topping nearly every list for employee turnover is poor supervisory fit or poor supervision. Research has proven time and again that employees don’t quit companies, they leave supervisors.

If your organization is experiencing turnover, first place to look is the supervisor. I am taking a humongous leap of faith in assuming that the company is doing a good job at screening out high-risk employees and selecting the right ones.  To be fair, there might be other causes and supervisors can’t be the scapegoat. But before you find yourself running down rabbit holes and blaming your own recruiters and HR professionals, it is realistic to consider the supervisors’ role.

Poor supervisory fit has several faces.

The most popular and undeniable cause of turnover is an interpersonal conflict between supervisor and employee — something in each person’s make-up just rubs the other person the wrong way. It could be attitude, or communication style. It could be different approaches to work. Often times neither party is wrong or right, good or bad, their styles just don’t work together … and the employee leaves voluntarily or involuntarily.

Interpersonal conflict is not always the cause.  Often it’s just mismanagement. Research consistently confirms that more than half of front-line supervisors fail due to poor management skills, often the result of little or no people-management training. Many front-line supervisors are hired based on past technical accomplishments but lack adequate experience or training managing teams and motivating other employees to complete projects. Internally, many workers are promoted to management as a reward for tenure and loyalty.  Both strategies are recipes for higher turnover and lower productivity.

To eliminate supervisors as a cause of turnover, you need to ask:

Has he or she received adequate training?
Does one supervisor have more or less turnover than another?
Is turnover high on one shift or in one location but good in another?
Does the supervisor have performance goals that include retention, turnover, and employee engagement?
To evaluate other potential causes of turnover, ask:

Are employees leaving after three to five years or during their first 12 months?
Are you providing millennials enough opportunities to learn?
Are you providing generation X enough opportunities to advance?
Are your wages and benefits competitive … and do they meet the needs of a multi-generation workforce?
Higher turnover is a trend that will be more common in the near- and long-term future. It is increasing in many organizations from a shrinking labor pool, even among those companies who have not experienced turnover in the past. HR and managers feel compelled to fill open positions quickly with less-qualified people. (Qualified includes job fit, team fit, and cultural fit, not just education/experience.)

Long-term employees (especially Baby Boomers) who are retiring or leave the organization are replaced by younger employees who tend to change jobs frequently. It is not uncommon for a 20- or 30-year employee to be replaced with a millennial who tends to change jobs every two to three years. Even Generation X hops more jobs compared to baby boomers and veteran/traditionalist generations.

Solving employee turnover has a lot of chicken-or–the-egg thinking in it. The right solution requires a good hiring process and effective leadership development. It means placing the right employees on the right teams with the right managers. Likewise, equipping supervisors and managers with the right people management skills and resources is no longer optional and a just “nice-to-have” but essential for improving productivity and sustained business growth.

Budgeting 101

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My father taught me a valuable lesson long ago, “Don’t spend more than you have” and “You don’t get something for nothing.”  As a child growing up this was ingrained in my psyche most times without my knowledge.  There always seemed to be an exchange for services.  Mow the grass = money for movies, clean the pool = new skate board wheels, pick up my room = nothing, that was part of living at home.

Point being, if you wanted something, you better find a way to earn it or budget well enough to save up for its purchase.  Same thing goes for government, or at least it does now on the Isle of Palms.

While I was Chair of the Recreation Committee years ago, I started putting money aside annually for the replacement of the ball field lights, knowing that they were aging and would need to be replaced.  So when it came time to replace the lights, we already had the resources available to do so without a significant impact to the City’s budget or having to go out and finance the purchase.  In the end we actually saved more than we needed as was able to put those funds to replace the ball field fencing as well.

I have always been an advocate for setting aside reserves for large ticket items that are used throughout the city and are on a replacement cycle, instead of financing the purchase and paying additional expenses in interest that could be avoided. FINALLY……the city agrees.

This years budget is the first to utilize, what I call the Dave Ramsey school of thought, reserves for large purchases.  Like anything new, it will take some adjustment for the staff to pull this off.  But in the end, it will ultimately save tens of thousands of dollars annually for the city.  In the past the city would secure a lease that would normally be paid off over time with interest to financial institutions.

I look forward to utilizing this new policy initiative this year and future budgets.  Our first purchase in this years budget was a new garbage truck for the city.  No small purchase, $182,805 to be exact.  This single purchase will save the city nearly $20,000 in interest over the term of the lease.  Any time we can save the city unnecessary expenses it translates into tax savings for the residents.

Feel free to contact me if you have any questions about the budget or city happenings.

Ways & Means update July 16th, 2013

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The following agenda is from our most recent Ways & Means meeting; or click on the Ways & Means link below.

Ways & Means
5:45 p.m., Tuesday, July 16, 2013
AGENDA

1. Call to Order and acknowledgement that the press and public had been duly notified of the meeting in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act.

2. Approval of Previous Meeting’s Minutes – June 18, 2013

3. Citizens’ Comments

4. Financial Statement – Treasurer Debbie Suggs
A. Financial Statement
B. Tourism Schedules
C. Projects Status

5. Old Business

6. New Business
A. Award of a Contract to Jones Ford in the amount of $24,934.00, state contract pricing, for a budgeted 2014 Ford Explorer
B. Award of a Contract to Safe Industries in the amount of $27,161.53 for 5 air packs with accessories, included in the FY14 budget
C. Award of a Contract to T2 Systems for 3 Casio IT-9000E Handheld Ticket Writers in the amount of $12,822.00, included in the FY14 budget
D. Authorization for up to $3,700 for Additional Services from Stantec to Provide Technical Assistance for Battery2Beach Signage
E. Discussion related to Residential Business Licenses

7. Miscellaneous Business
Discussion of Election Process
Next Meeting Date: 5:45 p.m., Tuesday, August 20, 2013.

8. Executive Session, if needed

9. Adjourn

Item 6D was deferred until more information could be gathered. The idea of inviting more bicycle traffic to to island without the appropriate infrastructure for them to ride safely did not set right with me. This would have been only engineering costs and not the actual cost of the signs or installation. While I like the idea of the program, it is an organization that would ultimately be subsidized by a government agency through its General Fund and I believe that sets a poor precedent and opens the door for other organizations to do the same. We will see what comes of this in upcoming meetings.

Item 7 was interesting in the fact that it was added to this agenda. Trying to change the election process or fast tracking a change less than 3 weeks before filing doesn’t leave a good taste. It got voted down 6-3. I’m sure that more will come from this. Stay tuned.

New report spotlights coast’s value in jobs, trade and tourism

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Ken or Kate Gooderham, ASBPA executive directors — (239) 489-2616
Harry Simmons, ASBPA president — (910) 200-7867

New report spotlights coast’s value in jobs, trade and tourism

Many understand that beaches are business generators, an attractor for visitors and residents (and the businesses that follow them). But a major player in our trade balance? A stalwart source of U.S. jobs that can’t be sent overseas? A key to our country’s international competitiveness in tourism?

Yes, our coast is all that and more, according to an article in the newly published issue of “Shore & Beach.” Author James Houston, director emeritus of the Corps of Engineers’ Engineer Research and Development Center, has looked into the economic value of America’s beaches in the past, but this latest update of his research delves deeper into the international aspects of that economic energy.

His view is positive: “Few Americans are aware that the travel and tourism (T&T) industry is among America’s largest industries, employers and earners of foreign exchange – and beaches are its leading tourist destination.
“In an era where the availability of jobs is a major issue and their offshoring a significant concern, the T&T industry is the largest employer in the U.S. and its jobs are difficult to offshore. U.S. economic competitiveness is of concern, since it runs large trade deficits, but its largest trade surplus is in T&T, where it runs a multi-billion-dollar surplus even with China.”

After giving us the good news, Houston follows with the kicker: Our coastal economic engine won’t continue to run as strong if our coast is not maintained. “Survey after survey finds that beaches are the leading U.S. vacation destination. However, beach erosion is a major concern for many beaches. As beaches … decrease in width tourists head to other destinations, including foreign beaches.

“Beach nourishment has been shown to increase tourist numbers and provide a good return on investment, in particular to the federal government through taxes. However, the U.S. lags much of the world in the growth of tourism infrastructure investment including restoration of beaches. As a result, the growth of U.S. tourism is projected to lag much of the rest of the world.

“Renewed U.S. investment in tourism infrastructure is important to grow the economy and number of jobs and to reduce the U.S. trade imbalance.”

Houston concludes with this sobering note: “Without a paradigm shift in attitudes toward the economic significance of travel and tourism and necessary infrastructure investment to maintain and restore beaches, the U.S. will continue to relinquish a dominant worldwide lead in its most important industry.”

“Shore & Beach” is a peer-reviewed technical journal published quarterly by the American Shore & Beach Preservation Association. Issues are sent to members (including libraries) only, but an index of past issues is online at www.asbpa.org.

Video

Isle of Palms Recycling Cart Ordinance

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http://db.tt/nKd3JtcO

This is a video taken the day after recycling was picked up. The day before the streets were lined with blue recycling bins from residents using this volunteer program through the County. The use of recycling has decreased the amount of garbage, that the city has to pay for, by about 637 tons since 2006 and the volume of garbage continues to drop annually by tons. If there is an epidemic of carts being left by the road, I do not see it.

Grading America’s Governors on Fiscal Policy, How did Governor Nikki Haley fair?

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Cato.org issues SC Gov. a grade of B
Nikki Haley is a former accountant and businesswoman. As governor, she has vetoed dozens of spending items in budget bills, approved reforms to state pensions, and moderately trimmed state government employment. But despite some reforms, the state’s general fund budget is expected to be more than 11 percent higher in fiscal 2013 than it was in fiscal 2011.Governor Haley scores much better on taxes. She has proposed major corporate tax re-forms. She wants to initially cut the corporate tax rate from 5.0 to 3.75 percent, and then fully phase out the tax over four years. She also wants to simplify the individual income tax. Her plan would reduce the number of tax brackets from six to three and provide a substantial overall tax reduction. The proposed reform, however, wouldn’t drop the state’s top income tax rate of 7 percent.So far, the Republican legislature has blocked these individual and corporate tax reforms.However, Haley did sign into law a tax rate cut for small business income from 5 to 3 per-cent. This reform will benefit about 60,000 businesses in the state.

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