Communications that are open key in city evaluations

Evaluation time is here for the city of Marquette.

The city charter requires an annual review for City Manager Bill Vajda and City Attorney Ronald Keefe. However, it’s not just one person performing the reviews.

A newly formed committee consisting of Mayor Pro Tem Fred Stonehouse and city commissioners Sarah Reynolds and Mike Coyne will review the evaluations completed by all the commissioners.

The committee then will make recommendations regarding any adjustment to the city manager’s compensation and terms of employment.

The committee will still evaluate Keefe’s job performance, but they won’t adjust his salary since he is on retainer and his annual compensation is set through the city budget process.

Reviews of top municipal employees are essential to continuing good government, and it seems the city has a good process for this. For example, the committee will review the evaluations with the city manager and city attorney so they know how the process is evolving.

Also, Stonehouse served on the committee last year, and the other two commissioners will continue to serve after he, Stonehouse and Commissioner Don Ryan are off the commission so there will be continuity. Mayor Robert Niemi, Stonehouse and Ryan, after all, cannot run for seats in the November election due to term limits.

Commissioner Sara Cambensy expressed agreement with the evaluation process, saying it’s good Vajda and Keefe will be involved.

Proper communication between those performing the evaluations and the recipients of those evaluations is important, and it shows good judgment on the city’s part this is taking place.

We hope it continues.