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Here’s The Scoop…A Town Manager’s Performance Review…How NOT To Mc-Do It /AND HOW IT’S DONE RIGHT….


Here’s a few ways of providing a “Performance Review…Quite Different than the McIntee New Business Item .g- ‘Discussion and/or action regarding a Vote of Confidence on Town Manager’s work performance’…Regular Commission meeting March 10, 2009…

1st example-


Town Manager Performance Evaluation Process

Town of Chapel Hill

Adopted By Town Council __________


The Town Council is responsible for conducting an ongoing performance evaluation process for the position of Town Manager.  The purpose of this process is as follows:

  1. To establish Performance Objectives for the Town Manager that are aligned with, and intended to execute, the vision and strategy of the Town Council;
  2. To assure that action plans to implement those objectives are developed and that the required resources are available;
  3. To provide feedback to the Town Manager on his/her performance against those objectives;
  4. To provide an opportunity for feedback from Manager to Council
  5. To consider the Town Manager for an annual salary increase and determine the amount of that potential increase.


This process will follow an annual cycle beginning with the Town Manager’s employment anniversary date. The Town Council will meet, in closed session, with the Town Manager three times a year to execute this process.  (As an example, if the anniversary date is in September, meetings would be held in February, June and October)

First Session (February, for example):

Focus: Developing a shared, written agreement of the Manager’s Performance Objectives for the next year.  All relevant Town Council documents and actions should be considered as input to these Performance Objectives. (e.g, the Comprehensive Plan, Budget and Strategic Plan.) Performance Objectives should include specific, measurable action items (the “what”) as well as the values, knowledge and skills needed to deliver them (the “how”).  Based on these documents and other input from the Council, the Manager will propose a set of objectives to be reviewed and modified by the Council in discussion with the Manager.

Second Session (June, for example):

Focus: Evaluating performance against agreed upon Objectives and modifying Objectives as appropriate based on current conditions (e.g., Budget approval and allocation of resources).

At the end of each quarter, the Manager will provide a written update of progress against each Objective.  This document should be the basis of discussion to assure that there is strategic alignment between the Town Manager and the Town Council.  Town Council should assure that all Objectives remain relevant, add any new ones as appropriate and re-prioritize, if necessary.  The Town Council must assure that any committed resources are still available.  Any resetting of Objectives should also be closely tied into the Strategic Planning process.

Third Meeting (October, for example):

Focus: Annual Performance Evaluation and Salary Consideration.

Feedback should be gathered formally from Council.  Council should evaluate both the “what” and the “how” aspects of the Objectives.  Feedback from Senior Management Team should also be gathered at this time for developmental purposes.  Community feedback can also be considered.  The Town Council should conduct its salary consideration in this meeting.  Finally, the annual review should include some discussion of the Town Manager’s development plan for the next year, with Council giving guidance to Manager based on experience from the previous year.

Other considerations

The Town Manager evaluation process should align with the process that the Town Manager uses to evaluate town staff. This process should be owned and executed by the Town’s Human Resource Development department, who must ensure that it is designed and implemented in an efficient, fair and consistent manner.

In each annual cycle, it is imperative that the Town Manager be evaluated against the agreed-to Performance Objectives.

The Council may consider using an outside, neutral, facilitator to facilitate the three review meetings.  Human Resources should assure that the process is well documented.

Time guideline for the first two meetings is ninety minutes each.

The annual performance evaluation meeting should be at least three hours.

It should be noted that this formal, annual review process, is not intended to displace the informal, ongoing discussions between the Town Manager and any individual Council member.  Any Council member should feel free to provide feedback on a one-to-one basis, or to request more information on any specific action item, on an ongoing basis.’

2nd Example….

‘Town of Holden
Evaluation of Town Manager Brian J. Bullock
February, 2007
The Holden Board of Selectmen evaluates Town Manager Brian J. Bullock annually.
For the calendar year 2006, this was conducted utilizing a previously developed written
feedback form (rating system 0-10) and discussions with both the Selectboard and the
Manager. The evaluation’s were then discussed with the Manager by the Chairman and
Selectman O’Brien. In general, the Manager was able to share the accomplishments of he
and his staff during calendar year 2006 (see attached) and the Selectboard was able to
evaluate the Manager’s performance in eleven areas. The breakdown of the rating
procedure used by the Selectmen is as follows:
0- No Opinion/ no opportunity to observe. Will not be included in average.
1- Performance is substantially below expectations in significant areas.
3- Performance fails to meet at least some significant expectations
and standards and improvement is needed.
5- Performance meets expectations and standards in all significant
7- Performance at least meets expectations and standards in all areas
and exceeds expectations and standards in some significant areas.
10- Exceptional performance.
In summary, The Manager received an average score above 5 in each of the eleven areas,
indicating that the Board felt that his performance met the outlined expectations and
standards. Further, a total average score of 7.09 by the Selectboard indicates that the
Manager’s performance at least meets expectations and standards in all areas and
exceeds expectations and standards in some areas. A breakdown of the individual scores
is attached at the end of this report. The Manager’s highest average scores were obtained
in the following areas: Professional Development and Financial Management. The
lowest areas were Community Planning and Board Relations. It should be noted that
each board member did write a detailed evaluation of the manager in each category.
Those individual evaluations are on file in the Manager’s office for anyone interested in
viewing them.
The following is a brief summary of each area evaluated by the five member Board:
Personal Development: The Manager received an average score of 7.1 in the
area of Personal Development with a low score of 5 and a high score of 8.5. In general,
members felt that the Manager is a dedicated, driven professional who has worked hard
to maintain his enthusiasm and energy. Some members believe that the Manager needs
to work harder to make changes as they become apparent and not rely on status-quo.
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Professional Development: An average score of 8 was received by the
Manager in this area with a high score of 9 and a low score of 7. One Selectman found it
very difficult to rate the Manager in this area, as he felt that he had inadequate
information to do so. One indication of Brian’s professionalism was his participation in
Governor Patrick’s Local Government Transition Working Group. The board also
recognizes that Brian, as well as his leadership team, attend workshops and seminars
that benefit the Town of Holden.
Leadership: An overall score of 7.3 was received in this area with a low score of
6 and a high score of 9. This past year we have had several important positions filled
within town. One such position was the successful recruitment of a new fire chief. Some
members of the board feel that board participation in these high level positions should
be looked at. One member feels that rating the manager in this area is difficult without
employee feedback. In general the comments made in this area indicate that the
majority of the board finds the manager to be an effective leader for Holden.
Board Relations: The Manager received an average score of 6 in the area of
Board Relations with a high score of 7 and a low score of 5. The bi-monthly packet sent
to each selectman’s home for the upcoming meeting is well done and informative. In
general the comments indicate that the manager forwards off important information as
he receives it. There are some that feel the manager needs to be more sensitive and
accepting of minority members of the board. Others feel that relations took a turn for the
worse last summer when the public safety building project failed to gain community
support. There were also comments that the manager should be more open with the
board when it comes to major management decisions by allowing for limited board
Community Relations: An overall average score of 7.14 was received in this
area with a high score of 8.5 and a low score of 5.7. A majority of members felt that
Brian is a very visible, approachable, respected person in this town. He prepares hand
outs for meetings which are easy to understand and produces informative power point
presentations to update the public on important topics. The recent regular use of the
HMLD monthly billing mailer has greatly improved communications throughout town.
One member has noticed the manager has done a good job of tempering his emotions
this year. Another member would like the leadership team to be sensitive in dealing with
citizens inquires.
Financial Management: The Manager received an average score of 8.4 in the
area of Financial Management with a high score of 9 and a low score of 7. This area is
where Brian received the highest marks. Over the past year the town’s residents have
seen a real tax reduction due to the retirement of some old debt and restructuring of
some current debt. The majority opinion of the board is that the manager prepares a
thorough budget and presents it in a clear, easy to understand format. A minority
opinion is that there is not enough outside input into the town’s budget. The manager, at
the urging of the board, has begun looking at how we can get some costs under better
control, such as legal expesnes.
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Public Safety: An overall score of 6.8 was obtained in the area of Public Safety
with a high score of 8.5 and a low score of 5. There is some concern on the board
regarding relationships with our police and the youth in Holden. Most board members
believe that our public safety departments serve the public very well, given the poor
facilities they work out of. There are some members that felt after the failed public safety
vote there was an attitude prevalent in the leadership team that was unprofessional. It is
generally recognized that the rank and file employees do a very good job. There was also
concern expressed by some about the overall management of the health department and
the effectiveness of that department.
Municipal Services: An average score of 7.4 was obtained in the area of
Municipal Services with a high score of 8.5 and a low score of 6.5 It was universally
agreed among the board that the employees of the DPW, HMLD and Water Department
do an excellent job. The manager is recognized as doing a very good job of overseeing all
of these very important services One member is concerned about the long term
management of the HMLD while others feel that it runs well. There is also concern about
sewer capacity as well as a disposal contract. Solid waste was also highlighted as an area
that will be increasing in cost in the future. Additionally, one member is concerned
about deferred maintenance of our town owned properties..
Cultural Services: The Manager received an average score of 7.6 in this area
with a high score of 9 and a low score of 7. Generally, members indicated that Holden
has a range of valuable services provided at the Senior Center, Gale Free Library and
Recreation Department and that each of these departments do an excellent job with
limited resources. There was concern expressed about overcrowding and general upkeep
at the pool, as indicated by the recent survey. However it is also recognized that we run
excellent programs. The Library continues to exceed expectations with limited resources
and that somehow soliciting community input would be valuable. (not clear on this
statement – valuable for what?) Some members felt that a look at the Senior Center
budget may be in order to make sure we are adequately funding that service.
Community Planning and Development: The Manager’s average score
was 5.76 in this area with a high score of 7.5 and a low of 3. It was noted that the town
has undertaken a master plan study this year which is very positive. In addition the
Manager recruited Woodmeister to move to the Holden Industrial Park into a vacant
building. We have also found a permanent solution to Rice School which is a significant
accomplishment for the town. There continues to be concern over the EDC, Trash and
Recycling and Affordable Housing Committees. They rarely meet and produce little in
the respective areas of focus. There is also a general concern over bylaw enforcement
with regard to temporary signs, parked vehicles and political signs in neighborhoods.
Local/State/Federal Relations: An overall average score of 6.46 was
achieved in this area with a high score of 8.5 and a low score 4.0. Twenty years of
professional experience leave Brian well equipped; he represents the town very well on
state and federal issues. He is a very well known, respected town official. Local, state,
and federal officials know Brian and his work, and respect him. One member would like
to see continued improvement in the town’s relationship with the Wachusett Regional.’

3rd Example….

The following rating and evaluation form is divided into three parts, each representing a
major aspect of the role of Southington’s Town Manager:
The role of chief executive, charged with serving and protecting the
health, safety, welfare and comfort of Southington citizens.
The staff support to the Town Council, charged with providing the policy­
making body with technical information, policy recommendations, and
legislative advice.
The operating representative of the town government, charged with
representing the Town in its relations with the public, governmental
agencies within the town not directly within the manager’s jurisdiction,
governmental units outside of the town, and professional societies
devoted to supporting municipal government.
This evaluation form is to be used by the Town Council which evaluates the Town
Manager on his performance in fulfilling each of the three roles which he plays in
Southington’s government. Under Heading I, “Chief Executive,” the Council evaluates
Budget, Supervision, Personnel, Leadership, Execution of Policy and Departmental
Performance. Under Heading II, “Staff support,” Reporting, Council Relation, Agenda,
and Policy Administration are to be evaluated. Under Heading III, the Council will rate
the aspects of Operating Representative,” which are Community Reputation, Citizen
Relations, Professional Reputation, and Intergovernmental Relations.
The Town Manager is graded 1-5 with the following scale: 1 is poor: 2 is fair: 3 is good: 4 is
very good: 5 is excellent. Each Council member should provide comments supporting
the rating in each section. The Chairman will then convene an executive session
meeting of the Town Council to discuss the overall ratings. This meeting will be held
without the Town Manager. From this meeting, a consensus of the evaluation will be
prepared and discussed with the Town Manager by the Manager Evaluation Committee.
Is the Manager’s budget realistic? Is it prepared in an intelligible
fashion? Is it balanced? Does he administer it so that he annually operates the town
administration within its limits?
SUPERVISION: Does the Manager properly supervise his department heads?
Does he maintain a standard of respect for their ability and encourage their initiative?
Does he know what is going on the departments? Does he evaluate his personnel from
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time to time, pointing out how they can improve their performance? Is he reasonably
available to town employees for guidance and counseling?
_ Comments: .
PERSONNEL: Has the Manager recruited good personnel for Southington
considering salary and other inducements available? Has he been successful in the
training and development of his staff? Has he been successful in collective bargaining
with employee unions? Does he handle disputes and grievances fairly and firmly? Is he
accurately informed and deeply concerned about employee salary administration,
insurance, employee benefits, promotions and pensions:
Is the Manager the type of man who inspires others? Does he
bring out the best in his personnel? Is he able to get enthusiastic responses to new ideas
and needed reorganizations?
_ Comments:
EXECUTION OF POLICY: Does the Manager understand the Town laws and
ordinances? Does he cause them to be vigorously and uniformly enforced? Does he
review enforcement from time to time to improve its effectiveness? Does he promptly
make recommendations to the Council for changes in the law, when an ordinance or
policy proves impractical in actual administration? Does his attitude reflect a devotion
and respect to town and state laws?
_ Comments:
DEPARTMENT PERFORMANCE: How well are the Manager’s departments
operating? Are some stronger than others? Has he taken positive action in dealing with
weaker units? Do some units require his attention more so than others? Has he obtained
the greatest possible effort from his department heads and employees?
_ Comments:
Using the 1 to 5 scale, please indicate a rating for each of the following departments
that reflect your perception of how well that department operates.
Town Manager’s Office (including personnel administration)
Finance Department
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Building Department
Parks and Recreation Department
Engineering Department
Highway Department
Water Pollution Control
Assessor’s Department
Planning Department
Are the Manager’s reports readable? Are they comprehensive
and understandable? Does he tell you on a timely and voluntary basis what you need to
know to make sound policy? Does he ever ask the Council from time to time what they
need to know? Does he ever withhold information?
COUNCIL RELATIONS: Is the Manager helpful to Council members with their
problems in such a way as to solve them at the administrative level thus avoiding
unnecessary Council action? Does he try to deal with the Council as a whole? Is he
receptive to constructive criticism and advice? Generally, does he appreciate the fact
that the Council collectively is his employer?
_ Comments:
AGENDA: Does he prepare an appropriate and informative agenda? Does he
bring trivial administration matters for the Council, or does he focus on policy-making?
Does he prepare proper back-up materials to help the Council and the public in
understanding agenda items, allowing ample time for Councilor the public to give due
consideration to the matters to be discussed?
POLICY AND ADMINISTRATION. Does the Manager have a proper sense of
understanding of the difference between policy and administration? Does he help
make policy, without unduly forcing himself? Does he respond to suggestions to improve
the administration? Does he offer sound advice to the Council on formulation of policy
and law?
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COMMUNITY REPUTATION: What is the general attitude of the community toward
the Manager? Is he usually regarded as a man of high integrity, ability and dedication
to the Town of Southington?
Does he properly handle complaints from citizens? Are you
proud to have him speak for Southington before groups? Does he answer his mail and
telephone calls properly and promptly? Does he seem to respect the individual citizen?
Does he defend his Council and its reputation? When complaints of citizens are not
valid, does he explain to them why they are not valid? Does he get out of the office
frequently enough to look at things personally and to communicate openly and freely
with the citizens of the community? Does he properly avoid politics and partnership?
PROFESSIONAL REPUTATION: How does he stand among fellow managers? Is he
respected by his colleagues? Do other managers come to him for advice? Are you
proud to have him represent you to municipal associations?
INTERGOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS: Does he cooperate cordially with our
neighboring communities and citizens? With the regional, state and federal
governments, with governmental agencies within Southington, such as the Board of
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What do you feel are his strongest points and his finest accomplishments this year?

What areas do you feel most need improvement? Why? Do you have any constructive,
positive ideas as how the Town Manager can improve these areas?
General Comments:’

BC-Can anyone even imagine what would have happened if Parker…Yanni or Clark put on this “Vote of Confidence” item when Baldwin was the Manager?…

This is Definitely not the time to “cut to the chase” ….

Calling on the LBTS Commission to do a Performance Review as is required in the Manager’s contract (previous post….scoops category)…should be done just as it is being called for in Deerfield Beach and Pompano Beach….

BC- A “majority” vote for confidence with no plans to do a Performance Review for the Town Manager before the next Budget is decided…as called for in the contract…will not suffice…

Doesn’t the Town Manager herself do performance Reviews on her staff?….If not…why not?…

An example to use…….for doing such……

Employee Name:
Hire Date:
Position Title:
Supervisor’s Name:
Employees shall be assigned a rating for each performance category and an overall
rating using the following descriptions.
Above Standard
Performance consistently above the standards for
the position.
Meets Standard
Performance meets standards for the position.
Below Standard
Performance below acceptable standards for the
position. Specific areas requiring improvement
must be documented and an improvement plan
Accuracy. degree of
compliance with established
policies/procedures, quantity,
completion within prescribed
Punctuality, attendance,
Effective use of time and
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Resourcefulness, ability
To carry out new assignments,
Ability to work effectively
With other employees,
Acceptance of supervision,
tact and courtesy in dealing
with the public
Meets__ Below__
Breadth and depth of
knowledge of field.
ability to apply knowledge
to particular problems and
Adheres to departmental/town
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STATEMENT OF FUTURE GOALS (to be developed in conjunction with employee):
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I have discussed job performance with this
Employee and he/she fully understands
the basis for it.
I certify that this report has been
discussed with me. I understand that
My signature does not necessary
indicate agreement.
Supervisor’s Signature
Employee’s Signature
Date of Discussion’

more to come………..

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