News

City of Sequim hires human resources director

The City of Sequim recently hired Susanne Connelly as its new human resources director.

She has 20 years of experience in human resources among the cities of Kirkland, Port Angeles and Puyallup and at Westport Shipyard. She left her most recent position with Peninsula Light Company in Gig Harbor as human resources director, where she?s worked since 2007.

"Susanne will play an important role in helping us develop a productive organization that provides excellent city services and that is a great place for employees to work," City Manager Steve Burkett said.

"Based on the comments of those who have worked with her in the past, I know our employees will enjoy her positive attitude and optimistic problem-solving approach."

Burkett said Connelly's most important priority is developing new personnel policies for the city; the current policies were developed in 1990.

Other tasks include further developing a performance appraisal system because some employees haven't been reviewed for years; following up on employees' surveys to find areas to improve; continuing communication training for staff and helping implement a 360-degree performance system so more staff can provide feedback on employees? performances.

"I look forward to helping the City of Sequim continue to be a great place to work for our employees, which makes the employees better able to serve our citizens," Connelly said.

Her position was created in this year's budget after eliminating the human resources manager position held by Kathy Brown, who no longer works with the city.

Connelly's salary is $82,000 per year.

Burkett said human resources' function is critically important and that's why he elevated the position and added responsibilities.

He said the city's primary cost is budgeted to 72 employees' salaries and benefits and that creating an effective, productive environment was important but keeping the manager position wasn't financially viable for the city. Burkett said Brown's background and strength were in information and technology but she hadn't worked with any cities before.

"It's possible we could contract with her for information technology projects in the future," he said.

The City of Sequim, 152 W. Cedar St., can be reached at 683-4139.

Reach Matthew Nash at mnash@sequimgazette.com.

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