UPDATED: Ard to get review, again

Read commission's 'consensus' performance evaluation and Ard's response here; special meeting set for 5 p.m. today
Oct 17, 2013


City commission is poised to approve a performance review for city manager Nicole Ard today, two days after Ard refused to discuss it with them in a closed-door session Tuesday.

This final performance review, pregnant with controversy, comes 10 months after its original due date.

Click the photo to read her review. Get Thursday's Register for reaction from commissioners Keith Grohe, Diedre Cole and ex-officio mayor John Hamilton. Click here for the ePaper, for home delivery or buy the Register daily at a newsstand near you.

Reporter Andy Ouriel called Ard on Wednesday evening, and she responded with an email received after the print deadline. Her email is copied below: 
From: "N.Ard" <nard@ci.sandusky.oh.us>
Date: October 16, 2013 9:21:58 PM EDT
Subject: Phone message
Mr. Ouriel,
Regarding the voice mail that you left tonight seeking discussion regarding my performance evaluation, I'm just getting home from church but want to respond by noting as I have previously communicated to both you and Mr. Westerhold, I fully respect the evaluation process detailed in my employment agreement. The City and I agreed that I will have adequate opportunity to discuss my evaluation with the Commission and respond to any final evaluation. I also agreed to conduct these evaluation proceedings in closed/Executive Sessions. The City Manager evaluation process is ongoing, and I want to respect the process to which we agreed.
As always, I look forward to continuing my work with the Commissioners to keep Sandusky a great community in which to live and work.
Thank you, 




WHAT: Special commission meeting to approve Ard performance review
WHEN: 5 p.m. today
WHERE: City Hall, 222 Meigs Street



funny, why would the part about needing a helper be scribbled out???? Seems to me she has plenty of time to do things, she just chooses not too


An evaluation of the CEO of the city on a piece of paper the size of a single sheet of toilet paper. What a joke. Further, it's in poor English: "...the Sandusky City Commission does highly express...." What exactly does it mean to "highly" express something? Jeez. I really don't feel like we're in competent hands! D+ Commissioners!


Employees at McDonalds get more in-depth job reviews than this one. I sure hope there's more than just this half sheet!?!?


Kinda looks like some of the hand scribbled documents Ard has supplied Commission. Did she write her own review.


Four months of behind closed doors on Ard's evaluation and that is all we get? I have to ask, why does she have to have a lawyer for what was just presented? Ard refuses to discuss her evaluation? Who exactly is the boss? We have an employee telling her employer how she is going to handle things and dictating them? She needs to be put on probation.


That's a review , that's a joke !!

I will not vote for anyone who doesn't pledge to work for a way to replace her.


That's not a review. That, as Larry so aptly puts it, is a JOKE.

There have been myriad problems with Ard's performance, including her failure to meet NUMEROUS goals. And yet this snippet suggests she's done her job and done it (mostly) well? I take it back. This isn't a joke, because it ISN'T FUNNY.

The only accurate thing I see here is that Ard needs to work on her communication. You think??? And as an added note, her refusal to discuss her review with Commissioners is APPALLING. In my opinion, that ALONE warrants some serious repercussions!

Again, I find myself with Larry: If you're running for Commission and you think Ard is adequate or better at managing the City, then you've just lost my vote.

G George I du kno

And we wonder why this town is the way it is! Matt, why don't you write an article on how many goals she was tasked with and how many she actually completed! I cant believe the only 3 goals she was tasked with were to hire people! How about an article informing the community how much money she has cost tax payers in attorney fees, arbitrations, and back salaries for the decisions she made to fire people. How about articles on her plans and goals to fix the budget next year? Whats her goals to improve the city? This woman needs to be put on the hot seat and be forced to answer some tough questions because we pay her a lot of money to accomplish 3 goals! And i agree, no vote for anyone who supports this pathetic review! Maybe this is a case if you don't have anything nice to say just don't say anything at all! 10 months over due and this is what we get! Incompetent leaders create incompetent employees which explains a lot.

Dwight K.

I think some of the commenters on here should run run office...could really help the city


Just read the hard copy. Is commission living on their own planet or in a box?

By consensus, the commission recommends Ard hire an assistant--to do the job she was hired to do?

If a appointed government official, from the very beginning, needs to have his/her evaluation held in confidentiality and sent to his/her attorney should speak volumes to what the City will be dealing with.

Who wrote Ard's contract--who approved the contract on evaluation confidentiality?

The City has been in turmoil since the first day Ard was hired. Time for commission to take off the horse blinders and look for a replacement.

Julie R.

I still say why don't they ever review the COUNTY public officials? From what I got to see, THOSE are the ones that are a real threat to society. At least the new Sandusky city manager isn't using her power to assist in fraud like your COUNTY public officials are known for.


They are reviewed, on the first Tuesday of November. You and every registered voter in the county gets to give each of them an up or down review, and if they don't get a majority of up reviews, they are let go.

Julie R.

This is starting to remind me of all the crap that was wrote about the 70-year-old Clerk of Court Barb Johnson, including that cruel flat-out slanderous removejohnson blog that some low-life started when she was battling a serious illness ---- a nasty low-life that you can bet was from the Erie County courthouse.


Does the Commission really think Ms. Ard has been successful in having "completed most if not all goals set forth by the Novak Consulting Group"? And btw, who is the "Novak Consulting Group" (NCG)? Can't remember having seen their name in any previous SR articles. And why does the City have to hire an external consultant to create the Success Metrics/Goals for Ms. Ard? And how much did the City pay NCG for their work.

More questions, by far, than answers. And Nero continues to fiddle away . . .

Julie R.

The city of Sandusky fired two cops and the courts gave them their jobs back. The first because the city's hired out-of-town attorney supposedly (yeah, right) failed to follow proper procedures with paperwork and it was even reported how Binette chastised the attorney. (I can't believe you sheep actually fell for that) And then there was Ross Glovinsky that gets his part-time Sandusky police officer job back and Tone chastises the city i.e. Nicole Ard ---- another joke. Ard isn't an attorney and even if she fired Glovinsky from a part-time position without first consulting with the city's attorney, Don Iscman, common sense alone would have said if it was a "wrongful termination" like Tone claimed, then Iscman would have told her right away. So why didn't he? Same reason he hid behind closed doors in the Nuesse fiasco, maybe, when Baxter & Co. wanted Nuesse gone?


Once again where is Don Icsman, the approx. $135,000 per year City Law Director? Is this "Draft" an example of his work? If it is not..why did he allow this document to be released?

Why does the Sandusky Register continue to protect Don Icsman and not hold him accountable for the dismal job performance over the past decade advising City Commission?

Julie R.

Why would Ard get the blame because some out-of-town attorney hired by the city (according to Roger Binette) "failed to follow proper procedure with his filings?" You can also bet if the "proper procedure" wasn't followed, it was no mistake. I know how they work up at that Erie County courthouse.

As for Tone reinstating Ross Glovinsky as a part-time Sandusky police officer --- did anybody really think the son of Baxter & Co.'s buddy Randy Glovinsky wouldn't be? Ard shouldn't get the blame for that one, either.


Agree with pavedparadise. This has been a travesty since day one. Time to clean house. How do you know she done anything? She needs an assistant!! Been at trough to long already.