Why a “discussion concerning the City Manager’s Performance Evaluation” now?


By Pepper Parr

February 22, 2014


They weren’t able to bring it home on Thursday,  so they will get back at the budget March 4th and hopefully have it done then.  There is still a lot to get through.

Council steps back from the budget deliberations to turn their focus on the day-to-day business of the city.  Monday is Development and Infrastructure; Tuesday is Community and Corporate Services.

City administration leadership team: city manager Jeff Fielding on the left with general manager community and corporate services, centre and general manager, development and infrastructure Scott Stewart on the right.  Is it a cohesive team pulling together to achieve a goal shared by all.  Some doubt that.

Immediately following the Community and Corporate Affairs committee meeting council will meet in the Mayor’s Board room to hold a “Discussion concerning the City Manager’s Performance Evaluation.” 

City manager Jeff Fielding has been holding their feet to the flames the past couple of months.  Is there a genuine concern on the part of this council on the performance of the city manager?  That would be a major ‘cock up’. 

The city came to an “understanding” with the former city manager that he should not complete his five-year contract which led to the hiring of Jeff Fielding who is in the process of completely changing the way the city handles its finances and the way it serves the citizens.  While it is difficult at this point to fully understand what Fielding has in mind (some staff members still don’t comprehend the new approach) the centre piece is Results Based Accountability by which Fielding means citizens will know who owns a service being delivered with that person being personally responsible and accountable – certainly something new for this city.

What is a little surprising and a bit disconcerting, is that council would stick a meeting to discuss the city manager’s performance in the middle of a very busy week that will handle the most important piece of business this city has to face.

And so, at a time when council is only part way through its budget for 2014 it pauses to gather in the Mayor’s Board room for a: Discussion concerning the City Manager’s Performance Evaluation.

This is either sloppy agenda management – or there is something up.

We have been advised that this meeting was scheduled at a time when council expected the budget meeting to last just the one day.  We are also advised that the city managers performance is reviewed on the aniversary of his taking on the job and is “ pretty standard stuff”. The process is to review performance annually on  anniversary date.  It is a standard annual performance review and a discussion on future objectives.


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