Carlisle’s Personnel Board cares about town employees

by Ginny Lamere

Carlisle’s Personnel Board includes (left to right) Jo-Ann Driscoll, Mark Hersey and Diane Makovsky. Not pictured is Sandy Savage. (Photo by Jane Hamilton)

The Personnel Board is an advisory board with an important role in town government. The board makes recommendations to the Board of Selectmen on compensation and personnel policies covering non-union town employees, including the many people who work in Town Hall, Gleason Library and the DPW. It is a five-member board, but there is currently one opening.  Members are appointed by the Selectmen for three-year terms.

Chair Diane Makovsky explained the board’s responsibilities in reviewing personnel policies. They can rewrite job descriptions and may recommend an upgrade of a particular position, such as adding hours or increasing the list of skills needed for that job. Also, the board compares the compensation of employees of surrounding towns to make sure the Carlisle town employees are getting fair wages and a reasonable working environment. Member Mark Hersey said being on the board “allows me to have input into the processes of compensation adjustment which has a direct impact on people’s lives. The board clarifies policy. It’s important.”

Makovsky and member Sandra Savage have strong backgrounds in human resources. Hersey and Jo-Ann Driscoll have experience managing people. These are good skill sets for the Personnel Board. Driscoll added, “People on this board should care about town employees, their working conditions and environment.” The board focuses on fairness in the workplace.

Three of the four members, Makovsky, Hersey and Savage, are new to the board, having joined in 2010. Only Driscoll is a veteran, having served since the mid-1990s.

There is a feeling of satisfaction by all board members. “It is a very congenial board. People get along, enjoy each other’s company and what we do,” said Driscoll. She finds being on the board fulfilling and she is glad to contribute in an area in which she has experience. “It’s important to give back to the town,” she notes. “You are providing a service to the town and to town employees.”

By being on the board, Hersey says, “I feel connected to the community. I get to know what’s going on in town.” Savage too, feels a need to give back. Her positive interactions with town employees such as Council on Aging Reach-out Coordinator Angela Smith and Town Clerk Charlene Hinton led her to join the board.

Town Administrator Tim Goddard is also the town’s personnel administrator and regularly attends Personnel Board meetings, though he is not a voting member of the board. Hersey values his knowledge of town government and said Goddard has eased the transition of new members.

Meetings are on the third Thursday of the month. If interested in joining the board, contact the Board of Selectmen, or town administrator, or feel free to attend a Personnel Board meeting. ∆