ONLY ON 3: City manager addresses low morale at WPD


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Submitted: Fri, 03/21/2014 - 3:33am
Updated: Fri, 03/21/2014 - 12:10pm
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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — A Wilmington Police survey shows many employees are not happy with their job.

So today we took those concerns to the city’s top administrator.

Nearly 85 percent of those who took the survey said morale was low or very low. The reasons: pay and benefits, fairness and communication.

“I don’t call them problems, I call them opportunities of areas we need to focus on,” City Manager Sterling Cheatham said.

Among the biggest complaints from WPD staff were issues with the command staff. Cheatham says Chief Ralph Evangelous is doing a great job despite the negative survey results, but he did have one suggestion for the leader of the police department

“I think one of the things that I wish he would be is a little bit more patient with me and with others,” Cheatham says.

An area Cheatham says is number one as work starts on next year’s budget is pay.

“As a citizen of the community and as an employee I understand how sensitive and important pay is,” he said.

But Cheatham says better pay means cuts have to be made somewhere.

“We’re looking at every program and every service we offer to evaluate their relative importance going into the budget this year,” Cheatham said. “We’re going to have to make some tough choices. It’s a matter of decision making. You have to make tough choices.”

We asked Cheatham if he would be willing to make some sacrifices of his own to improve pay, like giving up some of his own salary.

“If we could fix the problem by the waving of a wand that magical, I certainly would be interested in doing it,” he said. “But the problem is a lot more involved than that.”

Cheatham says he also hopes to increase pay to keep up with other cities. It’s something he says he will recommend when he presents next year’s budget.

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27 Comments on "ONLY ON 3: City manager addresses low morale at WPD"


ChefnSurf
2015 years 8 months ago

- “I don’t call them problems, I call them opportunities” … (So what if everyone else calls them problems, I don’t have to, so there!)

– “Evangelous is doing a great job despite the negative survey results” … (Why start paying attention to those silly surveys now? We never have before, regardless of what they show.)

– “I wish he would be is a little bit more patient with me” … (Yea, like until he retires or resigns or whatever.)

– “as an employee I understand how sensitive and important pay is,” … (I know how important my own salary is but City Council’s got my back on this one just like I cover their behinds on other stuff. The rest of you fools are on your own!)

– “better pay means cuts have to be made somewhere” … (Not that that’s going to effect me, suckers!)

– “We’re going to have to make some tough choices. It’s a matter of decision making.” … (Yea right, tough choices like blowing almost a half a million dollars over the last few years on surveys so we didn’t have to make any decisions ourselves if we didn’t feel like it.)

– “if he would be willing to make some sacrifices of his own to improve pay, like giving up some of his own salary” … (OK, OK, just respond with something that’s totally nonsensical on this one, and for God’s sake, try not to laugh!)

City Council, Sterling Cheatham and yes, Chief Evangelous too: I don’t call them problems, I call them opportunities of areas we need to focus on. What I do call a problem is voter apathy.

9743
2015 years 8 months ago

I don’t see what firemen and cops are whining about, they, just like teachers knew what the pay rate/scale was before they accepted the job so don’t blame Mr. Cheatham. Why take the job and complain later?

Guest7969
2015 years 8 months ago

sounds like answers STRAIGHT from a politician! Basically, I know what the report says…but IDGAF

PublicAvenger
2015 years 8 months ago

Nearly 85 percent of those who took the survey said morale was low or very low………….

What about the ones who didn’t respond ? If 50% did not respond, one would assume they are mostly satisfied. And I would like to see a copy of the questions.

retardoyoung
2015 years 8 months ago

I am friends with many officers. They have made it clear that they intend on making their feelings known at the April council meeting prior to the Azealea Festival.

They also plan on calling in sick the morning of the parade, to publicly ensure pure chaos. Good for them!

I support the WFD and WPD with their plight.