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Sparks City Council Meeting 7/27/2020 2:00:00 PM

Meeting Link: https://zoom.us/j/97760575235
Meeting Dial-in #: 1-669-900-6833 Meeting ID: 977 6057 5235

General Business: 9.1

Title: Presentation, discussion and possible direction to the City Manager concerning establishment of a Diversity Commission for the City of Sparks.
Petitioner/Presenter: Neil C. Krutz, ICMA-CM/City Manager/Mindy Falk/ Human Resources Director
Recommendation: That the City Council direct the City Manager to evaluate models and prepare a recommendation concerning the establishment and operation of a Diversity Commission for the City of Sparks.
Financial Impact: none
Business Impact (Per NRS 237):
    
A Business Impact Statement is not required because this is not a rule.
Agenda Item Brief:

In September 2006 and January 2007, two agenda items were approved by the City Council concerning establishment a Diversity Commission for the City of Sparks.  Due to unknown circumstances, the Diversity Commission was never established. Because of the passage of time, the City Manager is returning to City Council to seek updated policy direction regarding creation of a Diversity Commission. The City Manager requests an opportunity to evaluate models and prepare a formal recommendation to the City Council at a future meeting regarding the establishment and operation of a Diversity Commission for the City of Sparks. 



Background:

In September 2006 and January 2007, City Management brought an initiative to City Council to establish a taskforce to assist in the development and implementation of a City Diversity Plan. Included in the plan was a goal to establish a Diversity Commission. At the time, the creation of a Diversity Commission would have allowed designated participants from both the employee complement and the community to have input and provide guidance on the topic of the organization's diversity. the City Manager recommended then that the Diversity Commission work directly with the City Manager and the Human Resources Manager. The intention was for two City employees to sit on the Diversity Commission, as well as seven additional appointees. The initiative was approved at both City Council meetings.   



Analysis:

The City Council approved creation of a Diversity Commission on January 22, 2007 but unfortunately the Commission was never established. After much searching, the City Manager must regretfully report the following: the management staff who led this project are no longer with City and current staff cannot provide a definitive report as to why the former employees did not follow-through and establish the Diversity Commission. There is no specific documentation available to answer this question.  Given the timeframe, the most likely explanation is that the Great Recession, with its enormous and perilous impact on the City, diverted staff resources to a massive and urgent economic response and restructuring, which reverberated throughout the entire organization and had deleterious effects on many valuable endeavors.

In the current climate, it is obvious that the need for the Diversity Commission has not abated. In fact, it is as great or greater than ever.  Therefore, the current City Manager returns to City Council on this matter to seek guidance and  specifically recommends renewed commitment to establish the Diversity Commission without further delay. The City Manger supports an inclusive work environment that reflects the needs of the community first and foremost. That is the heart of the initiative and is why it is so imperative to re-engage in this discussion. Fresh, renewed and diverse perspective on this topic is vital to the future of the organization.



Alternatives:
  1.  Council may direct the City Manager to evaluate options concerning establishment and operation of a Diversity Commission and return with a formal recommendation.
  2. Council may direct the City Manager to suspend work on the issue of a Diversity Commission.


Recommended Motion:

I move to direct the City Manager to to evaluate models and prepare a recommendation concerning the establishment and operation of a Diversity Commission for the City of Sparks.




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