August 21, 2014 at 1:02 AM
Lansdale Borough residents who cross paths with borough employees daily may know each by name, but one resident wants to know – What's in a name?
Resident Rege McKenzie recently approached borough Communications Manager Tracy Flynn and proposed a “Day in the Life” series on staff members that work for the borough, to be shared on the borough website and other media.
“Rege wanted to acknowledge the staff members that work for the borough. You see them all the time, they are doing work … Do you know who they are?” Flynn reported to the Economic Development Committee and Communication Commission Monday night. “He came up with the idea of a ‘Day in the Life’: These are your public works crew, these are your electric crew, these are the guys that work at the wastewater treatment plant.”
Flynn said McKenzie, who was unable to attend Monday’s meeting, thought the “Day in the Life” could be for each individual department staff member.
Flynn expected a more fleshed-out proposal next month, when McKenzie is expected to attend and address the committees.
“We need to go through the pieces: Do we do it departmentally? Do we do it at the staff level? How do we go about it?” Flynn said.
Communication Commission Chairman Denton Burnell thought it was a great idea.
“I think the thing we should remember is it’s just as important to remember the ‘who,’ but also ‘what.’ Certainly, the feeling for what these guys and ladies do every day will be just as important as the ‘who,’ in terms of communicating what the borough does on a day-to-day basis,” Burnell said.
Burnell said it’s nice to have an idea, but the commission must make sure there is someone to champion it.
“It’s fine to do it as a committee and nominate someone, but we’ll have to figure that out before we take it forward,” he said.
Borough Manager Timi Kirchner said the idea needs to be discussed internally.
“It’s a great idea, and nobody more than me would love to feature our staff, but we have to be sensitive to the fact that they can be anonymous in doing their jobs, and they’re not necessarily people that seek the spotlight,” she said. “I’d like to have an opportunity to have a discussion internally, just for some thoughts and ideas of how we might organize this.”
Kirchner said McKenzie is expressing his gratitude for the way borough staff came through for him last year after a snowstorm, when he was injured tending to fallen trees on his property.
“A lot of our staff prefer to quietly go about doing their job and prefer not to be front and center,” she said. “Some may be fine with that.”
Communication Commission member Denise Pitts, director of marking and public affairs at Abington Health-Lansdale Hospital, suggested a plan be in place on how to disseminate and where the post the information.
“Then, you always have the unfortunate incident of someone no longer being in the organization,” she said. “There can be extenuating circumstances.”
Economic Development Committee Chairman Ray Liberto said, to avoid such circumstances, you don’t focus on the individual, you focus on the job.
Burnell said it would be cool if someone was willing to put a face to the job.
“It’s up to them if they want to be recognized in that way,” he said.