City Manager Performance Evaluation: a way to move forward

At the last Council meeting, our City Council split 3-3 on a vote on whether or not to evaluate the City Manager. Everyone agreed that an evaluation is long overdue, but even that consensus did not translate into action.

The evaluation needs to move forward.

City Council has not established a form for performance review. For the last three years, our Councilmembers have not reached consensus on what criteria the City Manager should even be judged against. On Monday night, they split over whether it was fair to use the form from three years ago to evaluate him. Council did agreed to hold a study session to establish a new form, but only further pushed off the actual process of review.

We need to get this done. Council could have reached a compromise. In the short-term, rather than further push off the conversation, they could have agreed to use a third-party template for City Manager evaluation. Relying on a neutral standard, our City Council could have made progress on fulfilling one of its most important responsibilities: giving feedback to its main employee.

The University of Tennessee’s Institute for Public Service provides a tool for City Manager Performance Evaluation that is “intentionally generic,” designed to apply to as broad a range of cases as possible: http://icma.org/en/icma/knowledge_network/documents/kn/document/301268/city_manager_performance_evaluation

Here is another provided by the League of California Cities: https://www.cacities.org/Resources-Documents/Member-Engagement/Professional-Departments/City-Attorneys/Sample-Evaluation-Forms/General-Examples/City-Manager-Evaluation