City Manager's Evaluation

Sep 24, 2013


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.  


Stop It

The laws do not obviously apply to your City Manager, Sandusky. Why?

Julie R.

The laws don't apply to your clowns in the county, either, more than including the ones at your more than corrupt Erie County courthouse. Why?


What most people don't understand is that these conferences are a valuable resource and an asset to professional growth, or in this case, an asset for a City employee. But wait, this is Sandusky... we wouldn't want anyone with new ideas striving to learn from colleagues outside of the City limits. So she's scheduled to miss a meeting. It doesn't look like the commissioners are in any hurry to evaluate either.


Exactly. Conferences give good opportunities for professional growth, community out reach and various other good things and they can not exactly be "rescheduled".

Licorice Schtick

Ms. Johnson has chosen not to be evaluated in November of 2013. How about November of 2015?

Stop It

And your City Manager has missed how many meetings for one excuse after another? Hey, look...even the laziest boss in the world has to show up for work once in awhile. I worked in mgmnt. I could find and "schedule" another meeting to miss another as easily as the next person. You can't BS me...

Where is that hidden secret part of her contract?


Registration Information

Registration rates and deadlines for the ICMA 99th Annual Conference at the John B. Hynes Veterans Memorial Convention Center Boston MA.

Online registration deadlines and rates: $635 to $780 for ICMA Members
$1,085 to $1,195 non members

Who's footing the bill???????

Did she get approval from Commission to attend????

Stop It

Does she need it?


I thought a while back that because the budget was tight that everyone had to get permission from the commission to do traveling. Lots of questions to be answered and none of the commissioners are talking. Maybe, they don't know the details either. How are the bills being paid for this trip, was there approval budget wise and was there approval of the absence or does she just tell the commissioners she is taking off? All depends on the circumstances whether or not there will be a write up on her absence. I wonder if she will be networking while she is there? It does state in her contract that she can take part in the ICMA conventions and civic organizations. She certainly didn't miss a thing in her contract and it is pretty air tight.


Darkhorse, with all due respect, I disagree with your assertion Ms. Ard's contract is "pretty air tight". One of the classes I regularly teach is how to write good Requirements. When I read through Ms. Ard's contract, I found so much ambiguity it was appalling. Perfect examples of the ambiguity are in Section 12, which is supposed to detail Ms. Ard's performance evaluation: In the first sentence, "...shall refer in a timely manner"..."timely manner" is subjective, not definitive. And the rest of the sentence instructs the Employee in what they are required to do with the criticism, complaints and suggestions but does not give any timeline. And the first sentence in the second paragraph of Section 12 is just as bad in terms of ambiguity, "The Employer will endeavor to annually review...". Ms. Ard could easily argue the contract language as written does not require her to be reviewed. "Shall endeavor" is NOT the same as "The Employer will complete an annual review process...".

Give me a few days and I could rewrite Ms. Ard's contract to make it truly air tight because right now it's about as air tight as a sieve.

Julie R.

Why not ask the city law director, Don Iscman, all these questions?

Julie R.

So if Nicole Ard were to get fired, where would she ever get an attorney? Now that the Clerk of Court's records are online, it's appalling how many people that file lawsuits/complaints against city and county public officials that end up acting pro se on their own behalf. Why is that? On the other hand, the city and county public officials have a ton of attorneys at their disposal, not to mention special prosecutors and rent-a-judges, all at the taxpayers expense. It's also appalling how many attorneys "withdraw" from their clients cases, but then that information is more than likely false. The snakes are probably fired after their clients find out they are working against them in illegal collusion with the courts and the other side.


Q: If you see a lawyer on bicycle, why should you swerve to avoid hitting him?
A: That might be your bicycle.


Did anyone remember that Ms Ard was to be evaluated back in 2012 before getting any raise by the commissioners after her FIRST year with this city and that didn't happen?????? Where were these city commissioners with their evals then????? Now two years have passed and at the SR's constant stories and now this commentary which hasn't been the ONLY ONE, we have another "where is the evaluation on Ms Ard push. I say it is the COMMISSIONERS who should be asking themselves "did we screw up again?" How did we miss our duty? Which they did. The every present in the news Cole and Poole included.

Ard, upon her return, should sit in front of the comissioners, at a special executive session where this is done, should finalize their review. It should be done and if she recives a low score she should be told IMMEDIATELY where she needs to fix things IN WRITING and given a TIME LIMIT (say 90 days). This does NOT have to go to the public. It is part of executive session discipline of a public figure. It need not be told to anyone. If Ms. Ard does not improve her written responses within that time limit she gets fired. If she does improve them, fine. But someone must watch her that isn't up for re-election as they may be replaced soon. That is simple enough. That criteria is NOW how she will be judged hereafter . Case closed.