Consensus Doesn't Count

Oct 29, 2013


It is a concern to read Ms. Cole’s version of what happened with Ms. Ard’s evaluation.  There seemed to have been a consensus of whether or not Ms. Ard had to punch in or out when keeping track of her time.  According to Ms. Cole, most commissioners didn’t think Ms. Ard had to keep her time because of her position with the city.  It may be true in private industry, but the city is not a private company where the practice is observed; and therefore, the city is accountable for the tax dollars expended.  If and when Ms. Ard should leave the city’s employment, there will be no documentation of the time that is owed to her if proper records are not being maintained.

Consensus has no place in executive session. Maybe the practice has been going on for some time because seldom do I see the commission come out of executive session and vote.  In fact, there have been times that I wondered how things were decided upon when commissioners did not vote or have any public discussions. To come out of executive session to vote means that the information becomes public. Is the taxpayer being properly represented when a consensus is allowed to happen without an official vote of all seven elected representatives taking part in any decision making?

It is not clear as to whether or not Ms. Ard is presently punching in or out.  In order for the commissioners to stop the practice of keeping a time card on Ms. Ard, all seven commissioners should have officially voted to discontinue the practice, a consensus does not count.   Since there is no official record of the commissioners coming out of executive session to vote to discontinue Ms. Ard’s time sheet, then the time sheet should exist. It should be verified that Ms. Ard is still handing in her time as required.  

Until next week, I have a lot of concerns over how the evaluation unfolded and whether or not all seven commissioners were allowed to submit their concerns over the evaluation outcome.  None of us are allowed into executive session, so it turns into a he said, she said situation.  I just hope that the city doesn’t get itself entangled in a legal mess before this is all over with because of the unprofessional way the evaluation was handled.  Maybe, the commissioners should have sought out professional guidance as to how to conduct an evaluation. 


The Bizness

Isn't Ms. Ard's position salary? If it is then does she even have to punch in or out. Most salaried positions I know dont require time tracking.


Salary people don't usually have time tracking because Salary is usually defined as 40hrs a week (or whatever the standard hours are for the business). I am curious about this as well.


When we are dealing with public money and government, it is important to keep tabs on the top salary person on staff to show the public (our money) accountability matters.

Big difference when comparing to the private sector.


I understand the focus of Ms. Johnson's post to be in regards to the topic of consensus. However, as simply input with regards to whether or not the City Manager should be punching in and out because, as stated above..."If and when Ms. Ard should leave the city’s employment, there will be no documentation of the time that is owed to her if proper records are not being maintained,"...there is no doubt that the position of City Manager, regardless of who is holding that title, is an exempt position under the Fair Labor Standards clearly falls under an executive exemption ( Whether or not the Commission wishes their top paid executive to set a positive example to the rest of the City staff with regards to punching in / out....or perhaps to track her paid time off benefits (i.e., sick, vacation leave), that would be another rational reason to have an employee punch in / out. But based upon potential liability for OT...there is none...the City Manager is exempt.


I also thought Salaried employees were considered Exempt both from overtime and from having to keep track of their hours. My assumption has been proven incorrect.

Upon graduation from college 2 years previous, my eldest son was hired into Sherwin Williams management training program. His Hiring offer included a salary figure based on a 40 hour work week. He could be paid overtime, but he was required to work at least 40 hours. I've also now learned there are private sector employers who do extend offers that set a salary amount contingent upon a certain minimum hour weekly work requirement. Some companies like Sherwin Williams will pay overtime but other companies simply require a minimum number of hours worked for the defined salary but will "Exempt" their salaried employees from receiving overtime pay.