Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Wednesday Round Up...

Just a couple short items today...

First, although I'd rather not wade into such murky waters, the most recent Columbia Association kerfuffle confuses me. The gist: Five board members are opposed to granting a three-year extension to CA president Maggie Brown's contract because they "are looking for a different style of management and a different direction." One of the five, Phil Marcus, explains more on his blog, saying he'd like to see CA "gently shaken" to bring about better quality assurance measures and more innovation.

I don't really feel like commenting much on this story myself, but I do have a couple questions I'll pose to you. First, what's your opinion of the now in vogue concept of performance measurement for individual employees? Dealing with performance measures for a non-profit on a daily basis has soured me (to an extent) on the practice.

And second, what do you think of five CA council members meeting as a "caucus?" Although they're just under the threshold for open meeting requirements, such collective action I think raise concerns about closed-door decision making, the same type of concerns that (ironically?) brought at least a few of the five involved in this caucus to power?


The second item came to me in an email from the county. File it in the Not Surprised folder. After getting sworn in this Monday night, the first piece of legislation on the new council's agenda is: "Council Resolution No. 145-2006 – By Calvin Ball – Calling for a task force to study the tax credit enacted by Council Bill 68-2006 and advise the County Council; calling for certain membership, officers, staff, duties, and lifespan."

That would be the senior tax cut, passed just days before the election by a lame duck council comprised mostly of people unwilling to be deemed "anti-senior" in last minute politicking.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

In moderation, there's nothing wrong with individual performance measures tied to a portion of a person's compensation and standing for advancement. It provides an individual some degree of control of their compensation, regardless of how good or bad the organization does as a whole, thereby providing discrete incentives for better performance, both individually and collaboratively.

Feedback loops are good. The more tuned (personal) the feedback, the better the output. Without such feedback, output becomes much less predictable.

As to the proposal to create a task force to study the tax credit - just typing that makes me think too many levels, task forces all too often strike me as politicians being too chicken to deal directly with the issues for which we elected them. Similar 'commissions' have been used by other legislative bodies to adjust compensation for those bodies upward repeatedly and appreciably while maintaining minimum wage constant.

Revisiting this tax cut, a cut many saw as providing some affordable housing relief for in-place residents on fixed incomes against the effect of recent years' housing appreciation and corresponding taxes, may be prudent, but don't be surprised if it turns out to be a third-rail issue. The reward for living in a community and participating in its flourishment shouldn't be to get taxed out of one's home upon reaching a fixed income.