“City Government 101” is an ongoing series that debuted in April 2023 and highlights different aspects of municipal government as it pertains to Columbus, Nebraska, in hopes to provide information on how the City of Columbus operates.
Every City of Columbus department head was recently asked some questions in regard to their department, the current fiscal year budget and plans for their department in the upcoming fiscal year (Oct. 1, 2023-Sept. 30, 2024).
DEPARTMENT: Human Resources
DEPARTMENT HEAD: Tammy Orender
(Interview conducted in September 2023)
Q: How many people are in your department?
A: I am the only one in Human Resources.
Q: How long have you been head of your department?
A: Since I started, July 31, 2017.
Q: How do you think things went for your department in fiscal year 2022-2023?
A: It went very good. I do not have much on my budget for Human Resources.
Q: What were at least two of your department’s biggest accomplishments in the last fiscal year (why)?
A: Scanning in thousands of documents into our Laserfiche system. I did not want to have to move and store them in our new building. Completing the bidding process for the Cities Property Insurance and Workman’s Comp. After reviewing the proposals, it was decided to stay with our current carrier, LARM. The City will save approximately $195,516 per year.
Q: What are some of the problems your department faced in the last fiscal year and how did you overcome them?
A: It has been a struggle with hiring Police Officers and Communication Specialist. We have not overcome the issue yet.
Q: What are at least 3 major things you’re wanting your department to accomplish in fiscal year 2023-2024 and how is the new budget going to improve that?
A: Changing our Pharmacy Benefit Manger effective 1/1/24. It would have a cost savings of approximately $126,325.00. Having our random drug/alcohol testing done in house versus Occupational Health. Occupational Health will continue to administer the testing. The employees will be able to complete their random test right when scheduled and not have to sit and wait in the office at Occupational Health. This will give the employee more working time for the day.
Q: What can the public expect from your department in the next fiscal year?
A: To continue to fill any vacant position with good, quality employees.
To reach Tammy Orender, email her at Tammy.Orender@columbusne.us.
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