City of Vancouver, Washington Reviews | Glassdoor

City of Vancouver, Washington Reviews

Updated April 5, 2017
10 reviews

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2.7
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Timothy D. Leavitt
1 Rating

Employee Reviews

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  1. "A great working atmosphere"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Lifeguard in Vancouver, WA
    Former Employee - Lifeguard in Vancouver, WA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at City of Vancouver, Washington part-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Choose your own hours
    Not too stressful of a job

    Cons

    Was a temporarily job
    Pay was at minimum wage

    Advice to Management

    The supervisor and mangers work great to work with


  2. Helpful (1)

    "Toxic Environment Lacking Ethics"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Vancouver, WA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Vancouver, WA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at City of Vancouver, Washington full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    There are a few really great staff members throughout the City, one or two wonderful managers. PTO bank instead of sick and vacation.

    Cons

    Negative staff bashing culture despite attempts for exec management to implement specified leadership skills. Discrimination and harassment runs rampant in exec leadership. City Manager a consensus builder and no one makes decisions. Fear post layoffs in 2008 still deeply felt in organization. Flexible schedules and wellness not supported by exec management. Toxic.

    Advice to Management

    Stand up and do whats right for your city and staff.


  3. Helpful (1)

    "Lifeguard"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Lifeguard/Swim Instructor in Vancouver, WA
    Former Employee - Lifeguard/Swim Instructor in Vancouver, WA
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook

    I worked at City of Vancouver, Washington (Less than a year)

    Pros

    flexible hours, nice co-workers, good training, several opportunities, several locations

    Cons

    can get quite boring, very repetitive, constant testing and training, some of the supervisors can be a pain, different levels of expectation, close to minimum wage

    Advice to Management

    needs a clearer goals, expectations. Layout clearly what is required to get a promotion. Give people a reason to stick around.


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  5. "Internship"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Intern - Educator Intern in Vancouver, WA
    Current Intern - Educator Intern in Vancouver, WA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at City of Vancouver, Washington as an intern (Less than a year)

    Pros

    I have developed many skills while being an intern with the city. My boss was very helpful and great.

    Cons

    With all jobs, there are time where the work load is so much. It can get very stressful.

    Advice to Management

    N/A


  6. Helpful (2)

    "Dismal"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Police Sergeant in Vancouver, WA
    Current Employee - Police Sergeant in Vancouver, WA
    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Pay, benefits and exciting work.

    Cons

    Horribly ineffective management, distrust and low morale.

    Advice to Management

    Hold yourselves as accountable as you do your line personnel. Stop promoting yes men and women and those who only support chiefs vision. Promote strong warriors and proven leaders from the streets.


  7. Helpful (3)

    "Great benefits in an atmosphere of perpetual crisis and weak leadership"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Vancouver, WA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Vancouver, WA

    Pros

    Great benefits package, one of the best around. Most employees are dedicated, hard working, even passionate about what they do. Check your "government worker" stereotypes at the door. The city works hard to have a diverse workforce. For the most part people here all seem to work towards the same goals, there is not a lot of internal strife or bickering. They have good programs to let employees support and recognize each other. Vancouver is a pretty nice place to live, with good schools and a lower cost of living than on the Oregon side of the river.

    Cons

    Salaries for many positions are below market. You will never see a bonus, incentive pay, or other perks again. Raises are cost of living only, no matter how good your performance, except for the elected council and the city managers, who don't seem to have a problem giving themselves more money. It's always in some kind of budget crisis, just sometimes it's a severe crisis and other times it's a mild crisis. Citizens are generally ungrateful and view city employees as leeches who don't do anything but suck up taxpayer money. Workload between different city employees seems very uneven. Some people are buried in work and others seem to have lots of spare time. Lots of times the leadership talks about stuff that never to translates into action. Such as, right now everybody talks about green initiatives, and so is the city management, but they don't take any of the actions you might see in other places. If being politically correct bothers you, you might not like it here.
    Vancouver is too spread out (urban sprawl) with lots of strip malls etc. and too few little walkable neighborhoods like you find in Portland. (But the city is working on that.) City offices are all over the place, which cuts down on the efficiency of getting work done. The community is pretty conservative compared to Portland, but is slowly becoming more progressive. But it seems to have more than its share of stuck in the past conservative naysayers, who are very loud and outspoken and get all the attention from the media and government. If more progressive people would become more involved and speak out more, it would be better.

    Advice to Management

    I can't figure out why the city council always gives the city manager such high marks and pay raises. The city manager seems to waffle a lot on issues. He will change his mind based on who the last person he talked to was. He has a lot of experts managing or working in the departments but he doesn't seem to trust most of them. Part of the problem is that he apparently can't stand criticism and wants everybody to like him, so he tries to be nice to everyone. That sort of sifts down thru the organization and nobody holds anybody accountable for anything. At the same time I have heard stories about his tantrums in meetings, but I haven't ever seen that. Internal communication is good up to a point. The top managers will put out some information to employees, but sometimes that gets stuck around the middle management level and never makes it to the workforce.


  8. "Great Place to Work"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Contractor - Anonymous Contractor
    Current Contractor - Anonymous Contractor
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I have been working at City of Vancouver, Washington as a contractor

    Pros

    Very laid back environment; close-knit community; great directors; very accommodating to your needs

    Cons

    Daily routines that you don't stray away from very much; balancing work and life is difficult; can be high stress at times

    Advice to Management

    My management is awesome; don't need to change a thing! The HR department is excellent.


  9. Helpful (1)

    "In relation to similar positions at other companies, not good."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    On the plus side, the pay is above average for the industry in this geographic location. If that is what's important to you.

    Cons

    These people have lost their passion for the trade. Once admitted by the supervisor, that this career was never planned but ultimately settled for. The culture here was robotic, as everyone just seemed to be going through the motions. There was a lack of personality and a lack of comradarrie, and that eerie feeling that nobody was satisfied with their status. Furthermore, there is a time lock here. If you are under 35 you will be treated like an intern. The city is set in their ways and those ways are stuck in the 80's. The demographics are 95%+ caucasian. While I was there the city manager talked about incorporating a more diverse workforce, all the while the department I was in, spoke as if it was burden to embrace change. There is hypocrisy in communication between employees and management. This place needs to evolve. If people are going to spend their entire life working here at least try to enjoy it.

    Advice to Management

    Evolve.


  10. Helpful (2)

    "Excellent vacation benefits for much needed escape from autocratic manager."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at City of Vancouver, Washington full-time

    Pros

    There are some really wonderful people working for the city.

    Cons

    Some senior staff are thoroughly uncompassionate and even wildly disrespectful to their staff. Ask smart questions of your hiring manager to make sure they're the kind of person you feel good about working with.


  11. Helpful (2)

    "City of Vancouver is a great place to learn the ropes and then move on."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Safety Coordinator
    Current Employee - Safety Coordinator
    Recommends

    Pros

    Great Benefits, able to do your job and provide customer service in a timely basis

    Cons

    Low pay raised, budget tied to collecting taxes, Need to do more with less, Citizens want all the services but not neccessary pay for them

    Advice to Management

    Increase communication concerning personnel