City eyes step toward more diverse workforce

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The city would take a step toward the goal of having a more diverse workforce under a revised budget plan that will come before the Common Council next week.

The new budget proposal would boost tax collections by 4.31 percent to $37.9 million and add four new staffers.

One of those staffers would be a human resources “generalist,” whose duties would include recruiting. “We’re trying to attract a more diverse workforce,” said City Manager Mark Rohloff.

City government has been wrestling with the issue of diversity for several years. The Common Council considered creating a “diversity coordinator” position in 2016. But it ultimately decided not to take this approach, which has been used by Appleton for two decades.

The new position, if it is funded, would not focus exclusively on diversity. A part of its responsibility would be dealing with the large number of retirements that are expected in coming years, both in retaining those workers who could leave city staff and attracting qualified replacements, said Council Member Lori Palmeri

“I suppose you could call it a compromise,” she said. “We had challenges previously with getting a diversity coordinator.” Five members of the council have signaled support for adding the position.

The other new Oshkosh employees would be one police officer, a firefighter and a fire lieutenant who would work as an instructor.

The preliminary city budget, released last month, would have boosted the tax levy by $1.4 million, or 3.9 percent, to $37.7 million.

The owner of a $100,000 house would see a tax increase of $18 under the revised budget proposal, city officials said.

Photo: City Hall as seen from Algoma Boulevard.

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Miles Maguire

Miles Maguire is the author of Advanced Reporting: Essential Skills for 21st Century Journalism. He was the founding editor of the Oshkosh Community News Network, a nonprofit online news organization whose work was cited as a notable innovation in journalism in the 2005 Knight-Batten Awards. Send questions, comments and suggestions to miles.maguire@yahoo.com.

1 Comment

  1. Individuals will not work for the City due to the fact he/she would get paid more money anywhere else. It’s not rocket science. Increasing staff will not solve this issue.

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