Council scrutinizes employee training

Greensboro City Councilman Vince Lewis asked Water and Sewer Department Supervisor Freddie Evans about employee training and documentation in his department.

Mark Engel



You could see the frustration on both of their faces. Greensboro City Councilman Vince Lewis was quizzing Freddie Evans, supervisor of the city’s water and sewer department, about what type of training is provided for his five employees.


“Is there any mandatory training for your personnel?” asked Lewis.


“No,” Evans responded, “Not mandatory by the City of Greensboro.”


“How about safety programs for your department?” asked Lewis.


“They’ve had three safety courses,” responded Evans.


“So, what about OJT (on the job) training?” asked Lewis, “we’ve got to have OJT training.”


“On the job training,” Evans said, “is done by the senior members, the people who have been here…”


“Do we document that that individual has been trained on that piece of equipment or that particular job?”


“No, we don’t.”


Evans said he’s willing to do anything the council wants him to but there are several related personnel issues. He says the department offers training opportunities but some employees refuse to go. Also, some who do go have problems passing the exams and there are others who take the classes and then leave the city for higher paying jobs.



“We harp on training a great deal,” Lewis responded, adding that employees are reminded that training can lead to pay increases.


“I think the council is basically concerned,” Mayor Glenn Wright told Evans, “about the situation that you’re operating under and is it sufficient enough for tomorrow…do we have this in place, do we have that in place because, if not, let’s look at how we can put it in place.”


City Manager Larry Postell said that there is money in the budget for some training. He adds that the gas department documents training but not the water or street departments.



“The people who need state certification and training, we make sure they get it,” added Postell.


Prior to the discussion on training, Evans outlined the new automatic meter reading system the city will be purchasing. It will eliminate the need for water meter readers, ease the billing process and allow customers to see their daily water usage. The cost is unknown but Postell says the city will use SPLOST money to pay for it.


In other actions at Monday night’s meeting:


  • Councilmembers agreed to receive a $300,000 CHIP grant which will be used to help lower income homeowners make necessary repairs.


  • So-called “Jake Braking,” a method of stopping large trucks that saves wear on brakes but causes very loud noises downtown, was added to the list of violations under the city’s noise ordinance.


  • Heard a report from City Building Official Rick Zeier about three homes that the city will have to condemn if the owner won’t make the necessary repairs.






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