11/30/2016 Community Comments – Accomplishments of the Park Board
Thank you for this opportunity to speak to address community concerns.
For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Jayne Miller and I am the Superintendent of the Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board. As superintendent, I am not a member of the Board, however, I work closely with the Board in service to all Minneapolis residents.
During the open time portion of our regular board meetings and during public hearings, this body (both the board and I) are instructed not to comment – because it is not our time to speak. It is your time. Because of this, some of you may think that we are not listening or that we don’t care, when in fact, the opposite is true. I am glad you are here because it says to me that you are just as passionate about our parks as I am. And, this is something I want to build on.
Concerns have been raised about our hiring practices. Tonight I am going to share information and clarity on our hiring practices.
The Park Board is a civil service agency, which means we use and follow the Civil Service process as outlined by the State of Minnesota to ensure that we are choosing from a highly qualified and diverse group of candidates. Since 2011, efforts to increase diversity have resulted in more people of color across job categories ranging from maintenance to administrators.
This year, our new Human Resources leader has been tasked with looking at all elements of our hiring processes to ensure equity along ethnic and racial lines. In addition to fairness along ethnic and racial lines, we also take great strides to ensure equity within our processes for other underrepresented groups including LGBTQ, the diversely abled, and our veterans.
Since August of this year, all hiring managers and oral examiners are receiving implicit bias training before they are engaged in the hiring process. This is just one of the many strides we are taking to live up to our commitment to be a truly inclusive organization. Finally, candidates who are not selected in the first round are not necessarily out of the game. They are typically added to a job eligibility list for 6 months. In some cases, that list is extended beyond the 6 month timeframe.
I, again, want to appeal to the community to work together with the Park Board to continue the progress started. I invite community members who want to work with us to come in, meet with me, and be part of our community collaboration efforts focused on solutions to continue moving this organization forward.