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Manager review expected Monday

By Staff | Jul 23, 2011

City Manager Gary King is expected to have his performance thus far evaluated on Monday by city council, which was tasked with filling out paperwork that assigned a ranking system to different aspects of King’s job.
Council members were expected to rank King on a scale of 4 through 1, with 4 representing “Outstanding”, 3 for “High Performing”, 2 for “Satisfactory”, 1 for “Needs Improvement and 0 for “Unsatisfactory”.
Council also had the options of giving King a “N/A” ranking, meaning they abstain from the particular question.
King was ranked on areas including Customer Focus, Communication, Dependability and Fiscal Management, among others.
Council also had the opportunity to provide comment after assigning a numerical ranking for the particular category.
Councilmember Chris Chulakes-Leetz gave King “Satisfactory” rankings across the board, with the exception of two categories, “Professional Development” and “Supervision and Employee Development,” where he abstained from giving rank.
Chulakes-Leetz said the ranking system itself was very general, as were other systems used by past councils, and none of them proved right for the situation.
Chulakes-Leetz added that he’d like to see King have more independence to address the concerns of the “less represented” members of the city’s population.
Distractions created by some of the population have caused King to by sidetracked, he said, and led the city manager to unnecessary media exposure and distraction.
Compared to previous city management, which Chulakes-Leetz dubbed some of the “worst” in the city’s history, King is doing a good job, he said.
“There’s been a significant improvement,” he added. “Twelve months versus the past decade … you can’t fix things overnight but we’re on the right path.”
Chulakes-Leetz added that he has yet to endorse the incentive portion of the city manager’s contract, which could put an additional $20,000 in his pocket by meeting criteria separate from the terms of his contract.
“The incentives are separate items the city manager needs to validate. I expect each of those 11 items to be defined with success or an inability to deal with them,” Chulakes-Leetz said.
Councilmember Kevin McGrail could not be reached for comment. But McGrail’s review of King’s work was much more varied than Chulakes-Leetz’s, with King scoring as high as a 4 in some categories and a zero in others.
McGrail wrote that King’s strength lies in Fiscal Management, where he gave the city manager the highest rank.
But McGrail also wrote “I believe the level of fear and anxiety among city workers is at an all time high” when it came to Human Relations, giving King a zero.
McGrail toasted King’s monthly Financial Reports with a ranking of 3, saying they were much improved. But he again took the city manager to task in the Communication department, writing “I believe consultant reports have been text book lessons in how not to release information” giving King a 1 in the category.
Councilmember Derrick Donnell said he had not yet filled out the review of King’s performance, but planned to do so this weekend.
Donnell said he put this particular ranking system together in past years as a better way to help determine the performance of the city manager.
Donnell only offered a general comment about King’s performance thus far, saying, “I believe everybody can get better.”
Council member Marty McClain, too, had yet to evaluate King’s performance Friday. He said while it was going to be difficult, he planned to separate himself from his stance on not only the hiring of King, but his contract that promises $20,000 in incentives.
“I didn’t like how he got there. A majority of council accepted those terms and conditions and I wasn’t in agreement with those terms,” McClain said. “I have to separate myself from my personal beliefs and embrace the fact he’s there and judge him based on the job he’s done in the past year.”