Becoming and remaining an organization of excellence are goals that the Town of Marana works toward every day. With the completion of an extensive classification-compensation study, we have taken an important step in the right direction.

The plan, which includes a compensation philosophy, job analysis and classification review, job evaluations, a compensation survey, market comparisons and new classification/compensation plans, was nearly a year in the making. To complete the study, the town partnered with Waters Consulting Group, a national firm that specializes in the human resources field.

Waters representatives made several trips to Marana from the state of Texas to work with our human resources department and employee groups. Multiple town leadership teams were organized to help guide the process, and staff worked to ensure the collection of important data. It was an awesome example of our organization’s can-do spirit.

Waters presented the study last month to our town council, which enthusiastically supported the results. The study was based on information compiled from two dozen municipalities, colleges, universities and fire districts, and showed that we have a number of positions that are paid appropriately as proven by the market analysis generated. We also discovered that we have positions that are compensated below market.

We’re already doing something about those hard-working employees by rolling out an action plan that brings those positions and the salary ranges in line with our peers. Salary adjustments take effect in January.

About half of the employees who will receive market adjustments are sworn personnel in our police department. These brave men and women protect our community every day and the town pledges to ensure that their salaries are in line with comparable agencies.

The modifications made to the town’s compensation system are intended to be simple and straightforward. The plan is designed to grow with the town and receive periodic updates. As always, we must keep in mind that we are stewards of taxpayer resources and we must invest those dollars in the most responsible ways possible.

While this plan improves our market position, it does not solve every compensation challenge we face. We recognize additional modifications will need to be performed in future fiscal years dependent upon the town’s ability to fund it.

Like many others across the country working during the recession, our employees made sacrifices to ensure that the town continues to provide core services. This study is reflective of a healthier economy that we hope keeps improving.

Included in the town’s strategic plan is the importance of maintaining a structurally balanced budget and paying competitive wages to our current and future employees. With the conclusion of this class-comp study, I’m happy to say we’ve accomplished both goals.

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