Half of Sandusky city workers lack recent evaluations

It's hard to tell how well some city of Sandusky employees are doing — administrators haven't evaluated many of them for years.
Andy Ouriel
Jan 31, 2013


More than half of the city's 200-person workforce hasn't received a recent job evaluation, according to an inter-office memo the Register obtained.

While the seven city commissioners haven't said if city manager Nicole Ard will undergo a review anytime soon, they have collectively agreed to assess the city's other charter officers: clerk Kelly Kresser; law director Don Icsman; and finance director Hank Solowiej.

As for the commission's failure to conduct evaluations, commissioner Julie Farrar pointed out she and her colleagues have been busy this past year or so. In an email to the Register, Farrar stated: "I believe with the death of Officer (Andrew) Dunn in 2011 and 5 murders in 2012; the commission as a whole (prior commission and present) were just taken a back. 'Our mistake'"

There were actually seven murders in 2012.

A list of employees and their most recent evaluations is below.

For information on how the county handles employee evaluations, pick up a copy of Thursday's Register.



This is becoming more and more of a problem with companies as well as city jobs. Employers feel that if they ignore you, they don't have to hand out raises.


The City Commission doesn't solve murders. Next excuse?


I'm going to try that excuse when it comes time to pay my city income taxes...


...and if being distracted by murders doesn't help, you can always try, "Really, what, at this point, does it matter?" Hey, worked for at least ONE person I can think of!


Let's just say the city commission is not doing their job. They like to be voted in and everything else, but forget the other people. Maybe we should elect Sharon Johnson to run for a city commissioner seat.


Why don't you tell everyone what else Julie Farrar said about the "newspaper".

Matt Westerhold

Thanks for the question Cityslicker. Perhaps you attended one of the meetings that attracted city workers and a few residents. At a city commission meeting on Jan. 14, commissioner Julie Farrar stated she did not believe everything she read in the Register, referring to a sentence in an editorial Viewpoint published that same day.

Here is the sentence:  "(Farrar and commissioners Jeff Smith, Pervis Brown, Keith Grohe and ex officio mayor John Hamilton) voted for a deficit budget in 2012 presented by (city manager Nicole) Ard after just 10 minutes of discussion, a direct violation of the intent of one of city manager's 12 goals."

Farrar spoke for about 20 minutes, suggesting the sentence was inaccurate because it did not also state that commissioners Wes Poole and Diedre Cole also voted in favor of the 2012 budget.

Since the sentence was not inaccurate we did not publish a correction. We reviewed and considered posting a video clip of Farrar's comments with a story or blog. We opted against that because the comments had little news value and for various other reasons, although we continue to consider the options.  

I hope that helps. If you want a copy of the video of that commission meeting, or other past meetings, you can get that by going to City Hall at 222 Meigs St. and requesting DVD copies of the meetings you might want to review.  

Thanks again, Cityslicker, for the question. 


@city slicker....thanks. Good for Farrar for bringing up that Cole and Poole also voted for the deficit budget. It's interesting that the SR doesn't find it "newsworthy" to print a piece amending their story showing that. Many will ASSUME that the SR is probably going to endorce both of them in the November election so the two of them can keep their council seats. Heaven knows it would not look good for the two of them to have voted for a deficit budget, except the entire city knows they did. Ms Cole has already had difficulty in the City of Sandusky. Mr. Poole has a pretty good reputation, although after both have been found not to be doing their jobs of late, heaven only knows how any of this will play out in November. Most of Sandusky is pretty sick of business as usual.

The SR by November might be wise to remember that one. So as for reporting what Ms Farrar has said, they might be wise to print exactly what she has said now and be done with it. Honesty is always the best policy. Wouldn't you agree?


I can't believe Julie Farrar used the death of Andrew Dunn as an excuse why she isn't doing her job. That is beyond pathetic.


I know...I don't live in Sandusky or Erie Co. I do however have business over there quite frequently. I live close enough to care.

A $126,000 job gets to produce a black and white, second grade coloring book with what?, a number 1 big bold kindergarten pencil to fill in the oval? Why aren't you people climbing the walls and tearing down those idiots running your city?


You don't have to live here to see what is going on here. The city commission is using a pathetic excuse for not doing their jobs. What a crock of sauerkraut for not doing what they should have been doing all along. They never seem to get anything done. People scream and yell at ONE person, and yet there are many sitting on that board that do absolutely nothing but SIT and FLAP GUMS. They want their names in the paper for doing a great job and yet WHAT great job is that?

They don't do the simplist of things including what is expected of them. They start things and never complete them. I have counted, thus far, seven NEW projects without completion over the last two years....none of which has reached completion as yet. Why is that? And yet these people do nothing but sit in judgement of one another, throw accusation at one another, scream at the sitting City Manager....of which some of them APPROVED and now want out (OPENLY I MIGHT ADD and are assisting in many ways to help get out) and are not doing their own jobs in the process.

Talk about hypocritical. If some of these people did half as much work with their minds as they did with their mouths, this city would be on top of it. What a shame. I have to agree with many people in this city....most of them should GO. It isn't the paper's fault that they have been exposed. It is their own fault that they did not do their jobs.

How dare they blame the death of a police officer or the deaths of a young woman and her children for that matter for their lack of work. That is just as tacky as it comes IMHO. Sorry, but that is a poor excuse for lack of work. It rates up their with "my dog ate my homework." It didn't work in grade school and I doubt the good people of Sandusky will accept it now as an adequate excuse for lack of work. Get a better excuse or just do the work. That is what you promised to do when you where sworn in.


How many actually live in the City that pays them?


I do, and I am getting sick of paying them. Actually I can do better than this by sitting at home just thinking. I am thinking of doing something about it myself. This just SUCKS.


Guess this could be looked at 2 different ways: How many City workers actually live here?...I guess this could apply to any department. I've always wondered. I work and live in the City for example. (Not sure if you do a better job if you live in the City which pays you or are you a better/worse employee if you can drive home in your City financed golden chariot to a City of make believe?).

There you go again

The more I read about Sandusky the less I like Sandusky.

Licorice Schtick

Understandable. I've lived out here for going on 20 years and I, too, thought Sandusky was a pretty good place until the local newspaper corrected me.


I'm glad our new city manager has taken the initiative to do a good job in her first year. She truly took command and made sure her charges were minding their Ps and Qs. What a joke, where did this woman come from? She withholds information from the community and the media; hasn't managed a darn thing, disappeared for a "family emergency" that was never specified and held out after she was offered the job, and that reason was never specified. We need to get out from underneath this bad deal immediately.

Licorice Schtick

Hmm. Is someone confusing two different city officials who happen to share certain, er, attributes?




Excuse me. I just want to let you know something the paper has NOT told you but that I know to be a FACT. Ms Ard probably has not spoken up for a reason. This woman has been under attack from this so called "system" in which she has worked from day one. The system in which she has taken over has been one of open hostility, backstabbing and total unfriendly atmosphere where she cannot trust anyone with whom she works. They have been trying to get rid of her since the day she arrived.

Could YOU work in an atmosphere such as this? Could you speak up, feel secure about talking to ANYONE about what you are doing and feel as if you could tell anyone anything and do so without being hammered about anything you say knowing that what you say will be twisted, turned and burned?

I sure couldn't.


Looks like Ard is going the direction of so many other City Managers. AND they spent so much time picking this gal and seems like they are getting so little back in job performance. Don't know what it is about Sandusky but they have the darnest time selectiing folks for key high level jobs. Not sure why but time after time they get substandard employees that seemed so good in the interviews and on resume's


Who are the clowns that interview and hire these city managers?


Our elite City Commissioners. Aren't they wonderful at doing this? They hire them and then do their level best to see that they don't stay long. The blame stops with the City Manager....keeping the city council from having to do so much work as you have read in the SR of late. They didn't do their work like the good little boys and girls they should have been and they finally got exposed. Boy that made one of them mad!


The responsibility of evaluating the Charter Members and the City Manager belongs to the City Commission. They are too busy trying to come up with money to move City Hall to pay attention to their duties.


Bologna. That is going to be still another project that won't go anywhere like so many others. They haven't the money necessary to do it. The judge might just as well start digging. The commissioners might just as well start thinking about running....quickly....those who have seats up for election. And of course, Ms Ard will be asked to leave soon.

You knew that one was coming. So you know what that means...here comes the infamous "elected mayor or elected city manager" thing again. The hand writing is on the wall for that one.

So be not afraid. The city hall is staying put. The only thing left is the police chief...if that ever happens.....in May.


There are problems hiring City Managers for two reasons:

1. The qualifications of the candidates have repeatedly been mitigated by politics, and instead of the most qualified, the Commissioners invariably choose the most qualified who's also politically correct and expedient; and

2. No matter who is hired or why, the Commission almost universally is unhappy when the manager actually tries to do the job. Too many of the commissioners are micromanagers (most of whom are unqualified to manage ANYthing, let alone somebody who's supposedly trained to do difficult job), and when they suddenly aren't in charge any more, they try to run the manager down and then out.

In my opinion, the problems at City Hall have a heck of a lot less to do with the City Manager — ANY City Manager! — than they do with a largely inept (and typically hostile) City Commission.


@Sam Adams....and that, in a nutshell, is exactly what happened with this one. Thank you for putting it so absolutely perfectly. Good Job.

I would like to add one thing about the City Commission. If it were situated where each city commissioner were assigned a portion of the government to acutally HANDLE, this would not be a problem. IE: Police and fire, Roads, Parks and recreation. But now, they just do as they please. That is why nothing gets done.


Guess this could be looked at 2 different ways: How many City workers actually live here?...I guess this could apply to any department. I've always wondered. I work and live in the City for example. (Not sure if you do a better job if you live in the City which pays you or are you a better/worse employee if you can drive home in your City financed golden chariot to a City of make believe?).


I think I see what you are trying to say. If you live in the city you take better care of it than if you don't. right? So living in the city in which you work, makes you a better worker for that city because you will do a better job than if you can leave it and go home to another place at the end of the day. Do I understand you correctly?

So by your theory, all workers of this city should be required to live in this city to do a better job? That would be fine except I believe they found that to unconstitutional if not mistaken. You cannot force a person, as part of their hiring, to live in a place as part of their requirement of hiring or working conditions. Correct me someone if I am wrong, but I believe I read that somewhere not too long ago.