2017 Year in Review
Communications and Public Information Office
Provides communication consultation, tools and resources that enhance the City’s engagement with residents and employees so that they can make informed decisions and actively participate in City government.
- Participated in Hurricane Harvey and Megashelter support and response:- Coordinated with other departments to streamline Public Information Officer staffing at the Emergency Operations Center, minimizing disruption to normal departmental operations.- Coordinated language access services among 25 City employee volunteers, seven Seton medical interpreter volunteers, and more than 2,000 bilingual community volunteers who offered support and committed to support future emergency interpretation/translation needs.
- Continued implementation of a Language Access Program, providing support and language access planning for 34 community engagement meetings and eight Austin Public Health screenings and job fairs.
- Supported City of Austin Combined Charities Campaign effort. City staff in October 2017 donated more than $533,000 to social service agencies through our annual City of Austin Combined Charities Campaign.
- Provided three internal workshops:- Facilitation training- How to organize a community meeting- How to engage multi-cultural communities
- Lone Star Emmy Award - Shop Zero Waste – Commercial Campaign
- National Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors (NATOA) - 1st Place Overall Station Excellence
Provides leadership, guidance, and insight on equity to improve the quality of life for all Austinites. Strives to build and sustain a culture of equity across the City so that it is embedded in everything it does. Creating a culture of equity will ensure that the City is engaged with residents, meet their needs effectively, and minimize the unintended consequences or bias in its decisions.
- Developed the City’s first Equity Assessment Tool through a co-creative process with more than 100 community members who collectively dedicated more than 800 hours of time to its creation.
- Piloted the City’s first prototype of the Equity Assessment Tool with eight City departments.
- Organized and trained the Equity Core Team, a group of City staff representing every City department who serve as change agents for the organization and help carry out equity work within their departments.
- Provided Support and Guidance to the Strategic Outcomes Teams throughout the development of the strategic plan.
- Provided consulting services to Ontario, Canada in the development of their equity assessment evaluation and assessment tools.
- Austin Community College Equity Champion Award - Brion Oaks & Kellee Coleman
Human Resources Department
Attracts, engages, develops, supports and retains the best workforce in the country to support our community.
- Reduced premiums for employees with dependents from 12.7% to 8.7% by introducing Tiered Network on medical plans.
- Procured a Workforce Management Solution, with Communications and Technology Management and the Controller’s office, to transition employees from paper timesheets to an electronic system.
- Reviewed 96 titles and 800 positions as part of a classification study for the City’s financial titles.
- Managed responses from the Listening to the Workforce survey, in which 38% percent of the workforce participated, making it the largest number of employees to participate in the history of the survey.
- Supported the City’s efforts during Hurricane Harvey, coordinating Shelter Managers in the City’s shelters and Mega Shelter.
- Forbes, America’s Best Employers, ranked number 9
- Healthiest Employer Award, Government and School Organizations, Mayor’s Health and Fitness Council
- SALGBA Challenge Award, Department Health Assessment Challenge
- Fit Friendly Award, American Heart Association
Help diverse and inclusive teams examine challenges and opportunities to surface better ideas and solutions that make a lasting impact.
- Transitioned 12 projects into permanent implementation with city departments, including ReVerse Pitch with Economic Development, SXSW Mayors Civic Tech pitch competition with the Mayor’s Office, Bloomfire knowledge management software with Communication & Technology Management, Homelessness Outreach Street Team (HOST) with EMS, as well as eight smaller projects from the City Manager’s employee Idea Accelerator program (Box Park in Eastern Crescent, Artists in Residence, User Centered Design Playbook, Light the Bike in the Lane, Show Us Your Austin, Virtual Reality as an Internal Support Service, Session Treatment Package for 9-1-1 Staff for Cumulative Trauma, Electronic Signatures for City Contracts).
- Expanded the Design, Technology, and Innovation Fellows Program and citywide capacity for user-centered design and iterative web development, with over 30 hires from over 800 applicants.
- Developed and tested a new technology platform for the next austintexas.gov website that allows for easy resident access to services across departments.
- Contributed to open government learning during our first year as local-level members of the international Open Government Partnership, with projects focusing on homelessness, equity, a citywide project tracker, public meetings, and the Open and Smart Advisory Committee.
- Assisted Austin Resource Recovery with city’s goal of Zero Waste by 2040 by researching recycling behaviors and designed new approaches to increase diversion rate of recyclable materials out of the waste stream.
- Designed an online tool for Development Services at PermittingATX.com to ease the process for the most common permits: sheds, interior remodels, and decks[BB1] .
- Researched and designed approaches for Emergency Medical Services to enhance employee recruitment and increase retention.
Intergovernmental Relations Office
Ensures that the City’s interests in providing for its residents’ safety, health and well-being are protected and enhanced through active involvement in the legislative process and strong intergovernmental relationships.
- Successfully preserved and defeated negative legislation aimed at preempting the City of Austin’s ordinances regarding short-term rentals, fair chance hiring, hands-free while driving, payday lending, plastic bags, and heritage trees.
- Conducted the first annual survey to poll department satisfaction of legislative services provided by the Intergovernmental Relations Office, such as testimony preparation and bill tracking. Two-thirds of the City’s departments replied to the survey and 96% of the responses rated the legislative services provided by the Intergovernmental Relations Office as satisfactory or above.
- Facilitated more than 200 meetings during the 2017 State legislative regular and special sessions with City Council members, City staff, House and Senate legislative members, and community organizations to discuss policy issues.
- Staffed the Liaison Officer position during Hurricane Harvey with 24-hour coverage to provide Mayor and Council and the City of Austin’s Federal and State delegations with up to date and regular information regarding shelter status, weather reports, resources and impact on City operations. The Liaison Officer also facilitated visits by elected officials to the Emergency Operations Center and shelters housing Hurricane Harvey evacuees.
- Facilitated the submission of comment letters on behalf of the City regarding support for or potential impact of Congressional or federal agency actions on City services.
Labor Relations Office
Negotiates, administers and ensures compliance of the labor contracts for the City with its Fire, Police, and Emergency Medical Services employee associations. Provides the ombudsperson and Municipal Civil Service Alternative Dispute Resolution process for employee/management issues.
- Successfully negotiated a contract amendment with the Austin Firefighters Association.
- Resolved numerous potential contract grievances for Austin Police Association, Austin Firefighters Association, and Austin Travis County Emergency Management Association.
- Continued to work with the EMS Department on interpretation of rules and procedures for EMS uniform employees under state civil service law.
- Oversaw the Ombudsperson process for the City of Austin.
- Worked with the Human Resources Department to finalize the Chapter B Policies for Police Fire and EMS employees.
Provides exemplary legal services to City leaders and employees so that they can govern lawfully with the highest level of integrity.
- Processed a total of 7,543 public information requests in Fiscal Year 2017, an increase of 1,000 more than the previous year.
- Implemented citywide processes to respond to public information requests in a more consistent and efficient manner.
- Created and distributed the City’s annual ethics training video which was viewed by 99% of City’s employees.
- Challenged Senate Bill 4, the state legislation that limits the discretion of local law enforcement agencies in matters related to the immigrant community.
- Improved documents used to secure housing affordability through the City’s incentive programs.
Office of the Police Monitor
- Participated in the Reagan Early College High School Criminal Justice program by teaching ethics classes to high school seniors.
- Developed new outreach program aimed at community groups, home owner associations, tenants and business owners to increase awareness about the Police Monitor office in response to the recommendation from the City of Austin Auditor Report.
- Distributed information cards and brochures detailing the complaint process in multiple languages in an effort to remove barriers and promote transparency in response to the recommendation from the City of Austin Auditor Report.
- Published police officer disciplinary memorandums on Police Monitor website to bring greater transparency to the discipline process.