WM HR director stepping down

Douglas taking job back home in Jonesboro

By John Rech news@theeveningtimes.com

The Human Resources Department for the city of West Memphis has a lot on its plate. With the help of HR, the new bi-weekly pay periods roll out this month. A comprehensive benchmark wage analysis comparing pay, position-by-position with other similar municipalities, is yet to be finished. Any raises coming from that recommendation will be slated along with the remaining 11/12 of the city budget and heard Jan. 21 during the West Memphis City Council meeting. With all that in flux, Director of Human Resources for the City of West Memphis DeWayne Douglas announced his resignation to the full City Council on Jan. 7. Douglas isn’t running away from work. In fact, he announced a homecoming of sorts, having taken a similar position for the city of Jonesboro. “In my resignation letter to the mayor, I wrote that this has been the highlight of my career, and it has,” Douglas told the council. “I’ve been treated as nothing but the best by West Memphis, from you and the employees alike. It has been a blessing.” Mayor Bill Johnson acknowledged Douglas at the meeting. “He brought needed changes here,” said Johnson. “The change in the payroll system — he worked countless hours on it. You leave us in very good standing.” Douglas produced some milestone achievements in his nearly four-year tenure heading the city’s HR department. Since March 2012, Douglas engineered online access customized for the city’s HR needs. “We automated our processes to benefit those in the city,” said Douglas. “We automated the payroll piece, that is part of it. An automated time-clock system will probably be the next step in that. We updated things in the employee manual. We now have the westmemphishr.com. It has job postings, benefit information access for employees and communications — it’s more open. It has been a good learning experience for me and I’ve enjoyed it.” After the public announcement, Budget Committee members huddled with Douglas to make sure details in the benchmark wage and salary study would be set before his departure in two weeks. Chairman Tracy Catt said he received assurances that all the loose ends would be tied up by then.

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