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Commission candidates weigh in on Ard

Andy Ouriel • Oct 21, 2013 at 12:30 PM

Several candidates have doubted city manager Nicole Ard’s ability to successfully spearhead government operations.

Five of the seven city commission candidates vying for three contested seats have questioned Ard’s management style.

Incumbents Diedre Cole and John Hamilton, both seeking re-election, share polarizing views. Cole’s starkly opposed to Ard while Hamiltion is one of her ardent supporters.

The Register, meanwhile, asked the other five candidates running this fall about their opinions of Ard, including sharing opinions on the recent “consensus” evaluation and her desire to hire a private attorney to decipher the 127-word review before she comments on it.

Here’s what they said:

• “The moment an employee of mine retained an attorney and instructed me to communicate my evaluation of that employee to their attorney through my attorney, I would draw the conclusion that we may have a problem. This approach lacks any faith at all.” — Dick Brady

• “Regardless of what people think, I think Nicole does a very thorough job. I think she is thorough, she is very organized, she does correspondence well and she’s very aware of what is going on in the community.” — Patricia Ferguson

• “To suggest that the city has been moving in the right direction over the last two years is contrary to almost every opinion of every city observer I have spoken with recently.” — Dennis Murray

• “I’m not sure why she should feel the need to involve an attorney on this process. I’m looking for more transparency, morecommunication, more interactions and more discussions about what the city manager is doing. It’s important for a city manager to engage the public, speak openly and freely about the goals and ideas that the person has for the community.” — Naomi Twine

• “There are a whole lot of issues that need to be addressed sooner than later, and I’m hopeful I can be part of that process.” — Scott Schell

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