Ard's firing not done lightly

Apr 8, 2014


The Sandusky City commission struggled in 2013 debating whether Nicole Ard was up to the challenges of being city manager, before finally coming to a "consensus" without an agreement, or a vote.

The views of Commissioner Wes Poole and former Commissioner Diedre Cole were ignored by the majority coalition on commission, which provided Ard with a positive performance review that was short on substance and didn't address the concerns raised by Poole and Cole.

The election in November brought back two people with previous experience on commission and one new face, however, all of whom were determined to re-examine Ard's performance.

They provided Ard a performance improvement plan as the new commission reviewed the city's annual budget and forecast before making difficult decisions to cut some services and staff. Commission voted unanimously for that budget. But they were unable to come to a unanimous decision on whether Ard was the person who should lead the city. In a 4-3 vote on March 28, commission terminated Ard's employment.

Personnel decisions are rarely easy. Anyone who has followed city government knows that, with the departures and terminations of past city managers and the difficulties of those past decisions.

This time, however, it appears the majority coalition that voted to fire Ard did their due diligence and carefully reviewed the concerns they had with her performance.

Commission met in executive session numerous times and reviewed the issues before providing Ard what appears to us to be a detailed performance improvement plan that gave her the opportunity to address those concerns directly.

In the end, however, the majority on commission determined Ard didn't or couldn't meet the expectations they had for the city manager, and she was not the person they believed could lead the city. Terminating anyone's employment in any circumstance is never easy.

In this instance, the majority appears to have accomplished by way of a vote -- without ignoring the dissension on commission -- what it felt was necessary, and they did it in a professional and thorough way.



Helping out the City's legal defense team? Your editorial reads like it was written by lawyers.

Julie R.

You got that right!

Ned Mandingo

I thought she was a black history month hero.


I think the city should expect a law suit any day now especially if no settlement was given to the city manager when she left the job. If no settlement was given, then there is more to the story that the public is not understanding and will probably never know, all done behind closed doors.


There was a settlement! They decided to hold the door open for her so it did not hit her in the @$$!


It was obvious that she wasn't doing her job !!!

google me

What exactly was her job?

dorothy gale

rottnrog, I agree. She should have been fired last year!


Fully agree!!


Why should the commission be expected to listen to a former commissioner's opinion?


I hope this new commission can effectively communicate its vision so the new city manger can formulate an action plan for long term tenure, consistently, and growth. MT


What's the status of Ms. Ard's severance package? Mayor Murray previously indicated that he believed that the city was not bound by contract provisions agreed to by prior city commissions. While that statement appears nonsensical on its face, does the city plan to stand by Mayor Murray's statement, or is it going to pay Ms. Ard the severance to which she is contractually entitled? Also, is the commission going to continue to offer these lavish severance packages to future city managers? Do any of the commissioners contractually guarantee six-month severance packages for their private sector employees?


Be careful what you ask for. What Sandusky ends up with in the end may be worse than what we had.

Typically, politicians do not take action without first knowing the eventual outcome in advance.


Just a reminder of the budget that Ms. Ard submitted some time back.

Nam Vet

I see her running for city commissioner and getting elected. Ya think!!!

Nam Vet

I see her running for city commissioner and getting elected. Ya think!!!