Posted By RichC on May 3, 2015
Brenda and I knew the good news when we were on vacation last week that Taylor received an offer from Clermont County, Ohio … although Taylor didn’t yet returned to Williston North Dakota to submit his resignation properly (therefore no public blog post). On Friday, Taylor submitted his letter and verbal resignation to his superiors who were probably not surprised (it would have been difficult not to see the mood change in recent months).
He has made good friends and enjoyed those he worked with for the past couple of years. The experience and opportunity to be in involved in “so much fast-paced growth” has been more than most first jobs could offer. I also know working for three different kinds of managers has given Taylor insight as to how he will eventually manage a department and treat those working under him (more below).
A Dad’s reflections on Taylor’s time in Williston, ND:
Taylor was particularly fond of Ray Pacheco, the Planning Director. He was the manager who hired him and stretch his untested abilities. He shouldered Taylor with more responsibility, offered light-handed oversight an advice and had an open door “light on criticism” management style. Taylor respected his knowledge and “father like” guidance eventually remain professional friends when Ray left (just wrote Ray a letter of reference for graduate school!). Ray exhibited professionalism that Taylor respected; unfortunately the standards at a level that it ended up not being politically acceptable to county commissioners living between elections (a clique: Good ol’ boy network) … to that point Ray moved on to a new position that was more receptive to his ambition. Thanks Ray.
Taylor’s interim boss Mike, already saddled with other departments, understood the politics of the Williams County government a bit better and knew how to balance the future planning goals and the pace of change necessary to keeping land owners, developers, voters, commissioners and constituents moderately happy. Mike was relatively hands off boss and expected the department to run without much direct supervision. He expected those in the department to carry on and work together without a person in charge… which they did … but were leaderless knowing a new one was being hired. I believe Taylor, with less than 2 years as a planner, got a taste for managing people and projects during this interim period. Again, a terrific learning experience for a young planner. Thanks Mike.
Taylor’s final “new” manager Simone (an architect), brought in yet another perspective … “the micro manager.” He demanded all email go through him before they were sent, he sat in, listened and critiqued phone conversations with constituents while he dictated work to subordinates far beneath their positions. An example: each planner and long term staff employee in the department was often asked to fetch files for Simone and then given them back to re-file … treating college educated professionals as if they were his personal assistant. Taylor was sent to clean the county truck so Simone could use it without getting dirty. Perhaps it is a generational or cultural thing in the way he treats people. Simone is African and grew up in Algeria; he was part of the educated upper ruling class? Nevertheless, it didn’t go over well in the planning office as so much of the respect and independence was taken away from each employee. Morale was/is low. Disgruntled employees became the rule and going to work in the morning became a chore. The mood was sour … so yes, it was time for Taylor to leave. (I suspect unless there is change, the new manager will not make it very much longer?)
So for now, Taylor will tie up his projects and hand them to others in the office. His last day is May 15, 2015 and that gives him a little time to move back to Ohio, find and apartment and even take a trip to London to visit with his friend Kara and Simon. Life looks good for a great son!