Updated Tuesday, June 5, to include survey scoring by City Councilor David Allen.
City Manager Jim Voetberg got another mixed annual report card Monday from his city council and from city workers in general. Attitudes toward Voetberg ran from warm to cool depending on the subject matter.
City Councilor Jeff Bertuleit gave Voetberg C’s for respecting employee opinions, teamwork and sharing ideas with workers. Bertuleit gave Voetberg B’s for communicating with management and staff as well as ensuring a well trained workforce. He gave Voetberg C’s for understanding city laws and their enforcement and ensuring they are in conformity with state laws. A C for interacting with community leaders.
Bertuleit gave Voetberg a D on being a good listener, C’s for executing city goals and strategies, personal ethics and for being in command of critical issues. Bertuleit gave Voetberg a B for taking a positive approach to solving problems, for promoting efficiency in city operations and making and defending tough decisions.
In terms of working with citizens and properly handling their complaints, Bertuleit gave Voetberg a C. Also a C in the way he responds to citizen concerns and complaints in a respectful and cordial manner. He gave Bertuleit a D in the way he engages citizens and citizen groups in discussions of critical and sensitive issues. Also a D in the way he communicates with community partners like the port, Hatfield Marine Science Center, Oregon Coast Community College and County Commissioners. Bertuleit also gave Voetberg a D in the way he deals with the news media.
Bertuleit gave Voetberg C’s for properly handling his administrative duties, understanding his job, enforcing city rules and laws, setting performance timelines, good written skills (but not so much verbal) and for the way he shares information.
Bertuleit gave Voetberg C’s for working with developers while protecting city interests, working to increase the city’s tax base and seeking funding for major projects. He gave Voetberg a D on the issue of having a vision for short and long term vision for city beautification and othe initiatives to encourage new development.
Bertuleit gave Voetberg a D in the way he goes about planning and reviewing better ways to handle development.
In dealing with the city council verbally and in writing, Bertuleit gave Voetberg a C. Also a C for being open and transparent with business at the city, a B for timely reponses to problems. Then all C’s for keeping the council properly informed, identifying potential problems, offering more than one way to solve a problem or meet a challenge, provides timely answers to council questions and maintaining open, transparent and honest dialog with the council.
Bertuleit gave Voetberg nearly all B’s for his financial handling of the city but gave him a C in how responsible he is at making sound business decisions. He gave Voetberg a C in the way he give the news media information in a timely fashion.
Councilor Sandra Roumagoux was far more complimentary of Voetberg’s performance as city manager over the past year. A total of six B’s for his supervision skills. Two B+’s for executing council policy, twelve B’s for leadership. Three C’s in the way he works with he community, being cordialn and respectful with citizens and the way he engages citizens on important issues. Roumagoux gave Voetberg B’s for the way he communicates with community partners, a B+ for the way he carries out his administrative duties, four B’s in the way he works to promote economic development, a B for the way he deals with worker union members and handles labor negotiations. She gave Voetberg an A for his verbal and written skills at communicating with the city council, and another A for his timely follow up on issues important to councilors. She gave Voetberg B’s for being open and honest, targets concerns and critical issues with the city council, and offering more than one option to solve city problems. In terms of city financial management all A’s. She gave Voetberg C’s in his relations with the news media.
City Councilor Dick Beemer was not as complimentary of Voetberg as Roumagoux. He gave Voetberg 35 C’s, 11 B’s, and 9 A’s…all 9 A’s for city finance management. Beemer qualified the high grades attributing much of the city’s much improved financial health due to the expert assistance and insight from City Finance Director David Marshall.
City Councilor Lon Brusselback gave Voetberg solid B’s across all categories. Brusselback wrote under comments, “What is clear is that the critical departments have been headed by real professionals doing an excellent job and their boss, the city manager, gets credit not just for their hiring, but for maintaining and growing those relationships. It should be clear by my answers (all B’s) that I believe the city manager to be an effective leader who has taken an unruly bull by the horns and taken control. It’s been a pleasure to witness this evolution.”
Mayor Mark McConnell ran hot and cool on his opinion of Voetberg’s performance giving Voetberg D’s in terms of respecting employee opinions on work matters and in encouraging teamwork between staff and management. McConnell gave Voetberg C’s for communicating with staff and management, maintaining a well trained staff and showing respect for department heads and encouraging managers to take the initiative.
Mayor McConnell gave Voetberg B’s for understanding city laws and ordinances and ensuring they’re enforced, as well as making sure city ordinances comply with state law. He have Voetberg C’s for working well with the wider Newport community at how well he listens to others. However McConnell gave Voetberg a D in how he executes strategies to achieve city missions, values and goals.
McConnell gave Voetberg an A for personal ethics., a B for being in command of critical issues, C’s for identifying problems and coming up with solutions, being proactive in problem solving and in promoting efficiency in city operations. He gave Voetberg a C for making and defending tough decisions.
McConnell gave Voetberg C’s for how well he works with the community, responds to citizen complaints, engages community partners and in his relationship to the press. McConnell said he needs to be more proactive to get coverage of city issues.
McConnell gave Voetberg an A for the way he handles his administrative duties, understanding his job, and how he executes city ordinances. He Gave Voetberg a B in the way he enforces timeliness for executing projects and grants. A D for for his writing and speaking skills as the city’s top administrator (McConnell wants memos and comments to be more frequent and more clear) and a C in the way he shares information in a timely manner.
As for economic development, McConnell have Voetberg 4 B’s. He gave Voetberg C’s for his involvement in the town’s land use issues, for his methods of communications with union members and in labor relations relating to developing budgets.
McConnell gave Voetberg a C in the way he writes and talks with the city council. A B for transparency with the town’s business community. B’s for response to pending problems, keeping the city council up to date on major issues, and shares problems with the city council in a timely manner.
However, McConnell gave Voetberg a D in the that Voetberg needs to be a wider number of options to pursue solutions to critical problems. However, he gave Voetberg B’s for the way he follows up on council’s questions and for being honest and open with the city council. He gave Voetberg a wide range of grades in the area of finance. He gave Voetberg a D in the way he deals with the news media. However he gave Voetberg a B for the way he gets city information out to the news media in a timely way.
City Councilor Dean Sawyer also gave mixed grades to Voetberg, giving Voetberg a D in the way he respects city workers and their opinions about the work place. Sawyer gave Voetberg a C on teamwork and collaboration between staff and management. He have Voetberg a D in the way he communicates with workers and the way he communicates work priorities with management and staff. Sawyer gave Voetberg an A for encouraging a highly skilled and well trained workforce. A B for the way Voetberg maintains a standard of respect for department head’s ability and encourages their initiative. Sawyer gave Voetberg a B for having good relations with community partners and that he communicates effectively with them. Sawyer gave Voetberg 33 more B’s for administrative duties, economic development, planning, union and labor relations, council relations, financial management and news media outreach and financial management. In his ending comments Sawyer said, “We still have a communications gap with front line workers. The workers don’t completely understand your vision and mission for the city. We still have Human Resource issues that need professional assistance. We also need to value our part-time workers who sometimes feel left out.”
And finally, Councilor weighed in on Voetberg with probably the lowest scoring among his colleagues. Lots of C’s and D’s. Under supervision: two D’s and five C’s. Execution of policy: Two C’s. Government relations: two C’s. Leadership: Six C’s, four D’s. Community relations: four C’s, one D. Performing Administrative duties: four C’s, 1 D. Economic development: two C’s, two D’s. Planning: D. Working with labor unions: One C. Council relations: two C’s, five D’s. Financial management: Nine C’s.
In more detail, the D’s were for “respecting and encouraging employee opinions about work matters. Encouraging teamwork and collaboration between management and staff. More D’s under ethics, taking command of critical issues, finding and executing solutions to problem and being proactive at solving problems.
More D’s: The way Voetberg shares information in a timely and accurate manner. Whether he’s successful at working toward expanding the city’s tax base through economic development. More D’s on how he is open and transparent with business in the city. Keeping the city council informed on issues that require council oversight. How he responds to council questions and requests for information and the way he talks with the council. Allen totalled up his points and gave Voetberg a score of D+/C-. Allen said he also saw troubling issues with the way the survey given to city employees turned out.
The survey of city workers revealed that fully 53% believes that City Hall management doesn’t value their work.