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Oct 23

Pay Study Updates, Annual Pumpkin Carving Contest & More

Posted on October 23, 2015 at 4:12 PM by Mary Bunting

Dear City Employees,

With the arrival of cooler temperatures and beautiful autumn weather, I write with an update on a few items. First, however, I would like to thank all of you for the incredible response to my recent message about supporting Medic FireFighter Gomez and his family. You have once again proven that we have a remarkably caring organization!

Pay Study

We continue to move closer to the next phase of the compensation and classification study: Implementation of new salary ranges effective January 1, 2016.  As I’ve shared with you previously, any permanent full-time (PFT), permanent part-time (PPT) or WAE employee with a salary below the new minimums for the range will be brought to the new minimum. Any PFT, PPT or WAE employee with a salary within the new range will not receive an increase January 1st. This will make compression worse in the short-term, but we will address compression in July. We will look at several options, including a flat dollar amount based on years of service which we’ve done in the past and the state has done more recently. The goal of compression adjustments will be to move employees throughout the range as opposed to having them bunched at the beginning. We cannot fix compression until we fix ranges, which is why we have this two stage implementation process. 

Once MAG presents their recommendations to City Council (in November or December), departments will receive specific information on the new ranges for their employees. We’ll also have several employee information sessions to explain the information and any policy changes associated with the implementation.  

I will continue to keep you posted as we move further along in the process. 

Pumpkin Carving Contest

As you may have already heard, this year’s pumpkin carving contest will take place next week.  This is always a fantastic contest that highlights our employees many artistic talents. This year we will allow all employees to vote on their favorites. For more details, please see the employee connection at including details about prizes.  The following are key dates for the contest:

Monday, 10/26: All pumpkins due by 4:30pm

Tuesday, 10/27through Wednesday, 10/28: Online voting

Thursday, 10/29L Winners Contacted

Friday, 10/30: Announcement of winners

Adding to the fun, I want to announce a themed casual dress day for that same 
Friday, October 30th. While we may be too old to trick-or-treat with our youngsters in the evening, we can still have fun celebrating the change of season. I encourage all who can - sorry to our uniformed personnel, I'll try to find another fun event for you in the near future - to dress with a fall theme next Friday. Masks, scary costumes and inappropriate attire are not allowed. We must remember our customers and maintain professionalism while having fun. However, fall colors or symbols and family friendly costuming is welcome. Be sure to take pictures and send them to me and/or Marketing so we can showcase our creative side to one another.

 Enhancing “Fun” in our Community

I am proud of recent staff efforts to enhance fun in Hampton.  The final Sunday in the food truck series, “Sunday Fundays at Hampton Carousel Park” is this weekend from noon to 4PM.  The special events team in Parks and Recreation (P & R) is organizing this event.  This new partnership with Eat the Streets 757 provides a different spin on the food truck experience.  Check it out and enjoy the food, DJ and games for kids! 

 Also, this weekend is the first Battle of Hampton Reenactment in Downtown.  This is a first-time event being led by the team at the Hampton History Museum with significant help from the P & R special events team.  The Hampton History Walk will also be unveiled this weekend.  The sidewalk in front of the History History museum is a good location to embark on this walk which will highlight history facts and downtown attractions.  As part of this program, a chalk artist will be recreating an image from the history collection in front of the Crowne Plaza hotel from 11AM to 4PM!

 The recently installed porch swings at Mill Point Park and Buckroe Beach have been a hit with our citizens.  This week’s Choose statement features a downtown resident and her dog enjoying the swing at Mill Point Park. The team in Parks and Recreation is evaluating more locations to add swings in the future.

 Finally, from a policy perspective, at their meeting next week the City Council is considering action to change our laws to make the special events process easier to navigate.  This project was a joint effort between the Community Development Department and the City Attorney’s Office.  This project is meaningful to me because sometimes the rules and laws in city government can get in the way of the results we want to achieve.  My intent with this project was to remove “road blocks to fun” to facilitate more special events (big and small and in between!) via a more streamlined and dynamic process.

The Travel Channel

I am excited that Hampton and the Blackbeard Pirate Festival were featured during the first 3 1/2 minutes of the Travel Channel’s Expedition Unknown last night! The show aired twice (9PM ESTand 12AM EST).

To view the clip, visit here: 9:03:12 PM&Term=Blackbeard Festival&PlayClip=TRUE

 We are also featured on the trailer at:

 The show will air at least four more times this year: October 24 11AMOctober 28 8PMOctober 29 3AM and November 1 11AM.  The team at the Convention and Visitor Bureau worked with the television crew throughout their stay in Hampton.

As you can see, there is a lot going on to create an even more fun and vibrant Hampton. I hope you are noticing the excitement and choose to participate in as many events as you can. I also welcome ideas from any of you as we seek to broaden those who actively contribute to Hampton's vibrancy. 

Have a great weekend!



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