City of Vancouver, Washington Reviews | Glassdoor

City of Vancouver, Washington Reviews

Updated November 25, 2017
11 reviews

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Timothy D. Leavitt
1 Rating

11 Employee Reviews

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  1. "Nice Place to work"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at City of Vancouver, Washington part-time

    Pros

    Great people and the work was always interesting

    Cons

    Not really many cons, besides things would get slow sometimes and you would have to make work.


  2. ""Temporary" Aquatics Staff"

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

    I worked at City of Vancouver, Washington part-time

    Pros

    Choose hours
    Laid back environment
    Clean facilities
    Good training
    Good for someone in school

    Cons

    Public sector union workers have a bad reputation, and I've seen why.
    Dead-end job unless someone dies or quits.
    Low pay for how much liability and training we're exposed to.
    Management just "exists." There are too many managers and they basically just show up and create their work 90% of the time. They can just do with two managers and a maintenance worker.
    Couldn't get a reference despite being their for years and being a good worker and never missing or being late to a shift.
    High turnover due to lack of advancements.

    Advice to Management

    It won't happen, but give more opportunities for temp. employees to move up. Also, most people who are working this job are in high school and college and have little to no work experience. It's insulting to refer a good worker to HR, give them a reference if they deserve it.

  3. "Employees and Management do not communicate"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Code Enforcement Officer in Vancouver, WA
    Former Employee - Code Enforcement Officer in Vancouver, WA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    It's a job. If you live locally, and there is nothing else hiring.. give it a go. But it's no place to make a career.

    Cons

    You have to pay $50-$100 a month just to Park your car in the parking lot owned by the city.

    Security lady is a joke. Doesn't do anything.
    -old outdated equipment

    Cares more about employees speeding and possibly stealing gas then properly training them.

    Health insurance is overpriced

    Hostile work environment - management notified, and did nothing.

    Management has a "don't care" attitude when it comes to employees. I traveled from South Florida for a job, and was thrown into a sink-or-swim environment, with old jaded employees who wanted to see me fail. Management offered no helpful feed back, only a "your doing great" whenever they saw me. Then they promptly let me go a week before I could have gotten any kind of unemployment benefits. I spent over $10k moving across the country for that Job, just to be treated like a worthless number by management.

    Advice to Management

    Bridge the gap between management and employees. Make training a priority, so people don't waste their hard earned time and money, traveling across the country for such a horribly rude awakening. THEY ALSO DO LAYOFFS! There are farrrrr better cities out there to work for.


  4. Helpful (1)

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

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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.


  5. Helpful (1)

    "Toxic Environment Lacking Ethics"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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.


  6. Helpful (1)

    "Lifeguard"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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.


  7. Helpful (2)

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

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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.

  8. "A great working atmosphere"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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


  9. Helpful (2)

    "Dismal"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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.


  10. Helpful (3)

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

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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.


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