Not ready for publication

After two years, village employee manual still work in progress
by Sandy Kaczmarski
ELBURN—After paying $5,000 to a consulting firm two years ago to come up with a workable employee manual, Elburn officials have decided it’s back to the drawing board.

“it’s not very well organized; there are, I think, some glaring errors, there’s some language that’s just not right, and I think there are some things that are missing,” Village President Dave Anderson said about the manual.

Anderson said he spent last weekend going over the notes and changes suggested by Village Administrator Erin Wilrett, who admitted she’s at her wits end with the manual that has been picked over since the project began in 2009.

“I’ve been working on it for over two years now, and I’ve been spinning my wheels,” Wilrett said. “Frankly, I need a new perspective.”

Anderson suggested the project be turned over to Village Attorney Bob Britz.

“It’s (the manual) not put together very well,” Anderson said. “There’s no ethics statement. I think all of us, the board and all employees, should be required to sign.”

Britz suggested a total scrap of the document and said he’d need a little time to come up with an estimate of how much it would cost for him and his firm to redo it. Britz said he’s worked on several others and had a few examples.

“I’m for more brevity in a personnel manual,” he said.

He said he’s seen some that are unnecessarily verbose, reiterating law and redundant. From a legal standpoint, he said, a personnel manual provides consistency and protects everyone on the payroll.

The village paid $5,000 up front to Aurora consulting firm Sikich in 2009 and have been working on revising the manual ever since. Anderson said the firm worked on a similar project for the village of South Elgin.

No mention was made as to where the money would come from, and the board is waiting to hear back from Britz on cost estimates to get the job done. In the meantime, copies of the edited version will be sent to the board members for review.

“We want to be precise, brief and to the point,” Anderson said.