By Melanie Petrucci, Senior Community Reporter
Shrewsbury – At the Shrewsbury Board of Selectmen’s May 28 meeting, Town Manager Kevin Mizikar reviewed his goals for FY2019. Overall, the board was very pleased with Mizikar’s progress on an ambitious plan of work. Many goals have been achieved and significant progress has been made on others.
His goals included assembling a cross-departmental team to assess revenue opportunities and trends and provide a report to the Board of Selectmen. While not accomplished as written, Mizikar said that it morphed into the first revenue manual used to kick off the budget process for FY2020. Additionally, Enterprise Funds were created to better fiscally manage utilities.
Regarding a move to monthly billing for the Water Department, the decision was made to hold off due to ongoing water quality issues and to minimize the effect on customers.
“I think we are meeting the spirit of the goal which was to make sure we have better data on a monthly basis, so we decided not bill residents on a monthly basis because it would have required another procedure as it relates to setting the rate,” Mizikar said. “We are able to fulfill our goal by being able to read meter data on a monthly basis which has actually proved to be very insightful.”
In terms of information technology, the town manager’s goal is to conduct a review of enterprise and departmental systems to enable systems planning.
“An analysis of the 47 software applications and seven system platforms has been completed,” he noted in a memo to the board. “A policy will be established in Fiscal Year 2020 establishing the approval process for software and systems which will vary depending on the scope of the software or system.”
In Human Resources Management, the goal was to lead and implement organizational changes recommended by the March 2018 Organizational Assessment. Mizikar also noted the accomplishment of establishing a Department of Public Works.
In addition, the assistant town manager is working with the Planning Department to establish a feedback process and document the developer/contractor/trades suggestions to improve the town’s regulatory and permitting processes.
The Town Manager’s office is also close to completing plans, documents and formulating a marketing tool for the Route 20 corridor as well as continued advocacy of development opportunities in the town center.
Shrewsbury was recently designated as a Green Community and received a $183,000 grant for projects that will reduce energy consumption.
Town Meeting recently adopted a General Capital Improvement Plan which included the provision for a police station and municipal campus feasibility study.
“Overall, I think there are a lot of wins in here and things that got done within the time put in,” stated Selectman Beth Casavant. “I think it’s really important that when a goal isn’t working that you are willing to say ‘hold on’ and let’s go back and figure out what needs to be done…”
She also indicated that she would like to add communication with the community, which came up at Town Meeting, as a goal for FY2020.
The board discussed the process that they use for evaluating the Town Manager as well as reviewing and tweaking the evaluation itself. It was decided to stay on course and review and act on the Town Manager Evaluation at their June 11 meeting, then in July review the evaluation process further.