A basic feature of effective and efficient organizations is the use of written performance plans. Now that our community has ‘hired’ a person to serve as town supervisor for the next two years, we can begin to consider what activities we expect that individual to engage in and what outcomes we expect them to achieve.
While tasks and activities such as attending and participating in meetings are a normal part of the job, most successful organizations communicate clearly to their senior employees that outcomes and achievements are what count. Talking is not the same as doing. Promising and hoping are not the same as bringing about an observable, measurable outcome by an agreed upon deadline.
Since we all contribute to the salary of the town supervisor, we all have a right and a responsibility to help this elected official get off to a good start in the new year. Town Board meetings provide an excellent opportunity for us to communicate to the supervisor what we expect in terms of performance and how we will be measuring the outcomes and achievements of the board. Regular attendance or, alternatively, watching the video recordings of the meetings will allow us to monitor performance and provide feedback in the coming 24 months.
I urge our newly elected supervisor to do what senior employees in many high-performing organizations do, which is to initiate the performance planning and measurement process by creating a ‘draft performance plan’ and sharing it with the stakeholders who rely on that individual to perform well in their elected position.
I wish our supervisor all the best for the future and, as a member of this community, will do my best to contribute to the performance planning and feedback process.
I first met Youko Yamamoto and her husband Kazuma Oshita when they came before the town Planning Board several years ago seeking approval for a new Japanese noodle shop by the name of Gomen Kudasai. Unfortunately, that location did not work out. But during a number of delightful conversations since that time, I’ve learned that the couple had investigated opening or actually opened a restaurant in no fewer than eight locations before finally coming ‘home’ to the peaceful ambience they have created at their present location on the west side of the Rite-Aid Plaza.
When I entered Gomen Kudasai, I was immediately struck by the simple elegance of the interior design crafted by Youko and the amazing pieces of metal sculpture hammered out by Kazuma. When I say peaceful, I do mean peaceful. Indeed Youko has achieved her goal of recreating the look and feel of the home in which she grew up in Japan. Youko and Kazuma have created an environment in which anyone can feel comfortable, from a businessperson entertaining clients to a young family enjoying a change from the routine of preparing a meal at home.
The MSG-free menu, based on locally sourced and chemical-free ingredients, is a hallmark of the Gomen Kudasai menu, which you can view at www.GKNoodles.com. My current favorite is the salmon dinner set and I’m looking forward to sampling the many other choices, especially on Thursdays when Japanese movies (with English subtitles) are shown and on Saturdays when local bands perform. We are fortunate to have this gentle, talented and creative couple in our community. I’m sure you will enjoy getting to know them.