At least two Sandusky city commissioners and some residents want a full-blown evaluation of the city's top official's job performance.
"It can't be done at a cocktail party or standing on the corner," Sandusky city commissioner Diedre Cole responded Monday after a resident asked about the contract with the Novak Consulting Group, the firm hired in 2011 to spearhead the search for a city manager. Novak was paid more than $20,000 for its work.
Cole asked commission clerk Kelly Kresser to verify the suggestion the contact review was waived at some point before or after Ard was hired in October 2011. Ard suggested previously the provision had been waived during an initial meet and greet with community members. Cole contends the provision could not be waived without an action of commission.
Ard has been on the job about 15 months, and appears to not have met any of the 12 goals established for the city manager when she was hired, according to a Register analysis of city data. Commissioners are in the process of conducting their own performance reviews of the city's other top employees, such as the law and finance directors.
"I don't see why anyone would have a problem with a review by the Novak group," Cole said. "I don't understand why there would be any opposition to following through on that."
Ard's contract includes performance raises. There's been no timetable established by commission, however, for when its reviews of Ard, and the other charter officers, will be complete.
Members of the city commission's finance committee have asked Ard to present a balanced budget to city commission. Providing commissioners a zero-deficit budget and finishing union contract negotiations are two of the 12 city manager goals established by commission for 2012. Commission scheduled another budget hearing for later this month.
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