The commissioners can’t seem to accomplish a simple task such as evaluating the city manager. How can we blame the city manager for not accomplishing her goals when the city commissioners cannot accomplish their goals?
What city manager schedules a government conference the same time a city commission meeting is scheduled and at the same time the commissioners are trying to wrap up her evaluation? Exactly what are Ms. Ard’s priorities? Is it more important to attend a conference than it is to do the job she is being paid to do?
As part of the city manager’s duties, Section 32 of the Charter states that the city manager is to attend all city commission meetings. Evidently, she didn’t take care to check with the commission meeting schedule when scheduling her absence. How can the commission conduct a proper meeting without the city manager being present? Granted, the city is not going to fall apart if she is not in attendance at the commission meeting, but it is using poor judgment to accept an outside engagement over her duties as city manager. The city commissioners, Charter members, and the city manager should understand that other than sickness or an emergency, they are to be in attendance at the city commission meetings. Also, vacation time and personal days should be planned around the city commission meetings.
If Ms. Ard is serious about her job, I would think she would try to listen to what all the commissioners have to say and strive to make the necessary corrections so she can improve upon her job. Lawyering-up over an evaluation process doesn’t present a favorable impression just because she may not like how the evaluation may turn out.
Until next week, waiting for months for an overdue evaluation to be completed is unacceptable leadership. The taxpayers have the right to know if the city manager is performing to acceptable standards for the money that has been paid out for the service.