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Consensus Doesn't Count

Register • Oct 29, 2013 at 12:35 PM

It is a concern to read Ms. Cole’s version of what happened with Ms. Ard’s evaluation.  There seemed to have been a consensus of whether or not Ms. Ard had to punch in or out when keeping track of her time.  According to Ms. Cole, most commissioners didn’t think Ms. Ard had to keep her time because of her position with the city.  It may be true in private industry, but the city is not a private company where the practice is observed; and therefore, the city is accountable for the tax dollars expended.  If and when Ms. Ard should leave the city’s employment, there will be no documentation of the time that is owed to her if proper records are not being maintained.

Consensus has no place in executive session. Maybe the practice has been going on for some time because seldom do I see the commission come out of executive session and vote.  In fact, there have been times that I wondered how things were decided upon when commissioners did not vote or have any public discussions. To come out of executive session to vote means that the information becomes public. Is the taxpayer being properly represented when a consensus is allowed to happen without an official vote of all seven elected representatives taking part in any decision making?

It is not clear as to whether or not Ms. Ard is presently punching in or out.  In order for the commissioners to stop the practice of keeping a time card on Ms. Ard, all seven commissioners should have officially voted to discontinue the practice, a consensus does not count.   Since there is no official record of the commissioners coming out of executive session to vote to discontinue Ms. Ard’s time sheet, then the time sheet should exist. It should be verified that Ms. Ard is still handing in her time as required.  

Until next week, I have a lot of concerns over how the evaluation unfolded and whether or not all seven commissioners were allowed to submit their concerns over the evaluation outcome.  None of us are allowed into executive session, so it turns into a he said, she said situation.  I just hope that the city doesn’t get itself entangled in a legal mess before this is all over with because of the unprofessional way the evaluation was handled.  Maybe, the commissioners should have sought out professional guidance as to how to conduct an evaluation. 

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