City manager gets thumbs-up review

Sean C. Morgan

Of The New Era

The Sweet Home City Council gave an all-thumbs-up to City Manager Craig Martin during his annual evaluation in a closed executive session on July 24.

“The council was very pleased with Craig’s performance,” Mayor Craig Fentiman said. “All the comments were positive. There was not a negative comment at all. Nearly all of the marks were between good and excellent.”

The city manager is evaluated on a scale of poor through excellent or one to five.

There were no marks below satisfactory, or a three, Fentiman said.

“I was on the council when we hired Craig, and I’ve been with him for 10 years,” Fentiman said. “I’ve watched him grow, and I can’t speak highly enough about the job he’s done for us.”

Martin, who grew up in Sweet Home, came back to the city with no experience as a city manager, though he had run a parks and recreation department, the mayor said.

“It’s been an opportunity to watch someone grow and develop into someone I think is a quality city manager,” Fentiman said. “There really were not any areas which the council saw a need for improvement.”

“Craig is a person who works on self-improvement on his own,” Fentiman said, and he is good at keeping up on with legal changes in city government, which can be hard for managers to follow.

“It was a good opportunity to hear from the council in regard to areas they want me to focus my energy in,” Martin said. As far as improvement, “I think the one thing they said is to try and balance work time with family time.”

The council will not take action on Martin’s salary. His salary schedule was included last month in a resolution that increased non-represented employee wages. The new wage took effect on July 1.

Martin has been city manager since 1997.

In other business, the council:

– Recommended Oregon Liquor Control Commission approval of liquor licenses for Sam City restaurant and Speedee Mart. Speedee Mart is now owned by Sooyoung Koh and Youngmee Koh doing business as Y&K Investments of Portland. Soon Chang, doing business as Sky of Nevada, Inc., is taking over Sam City.

The council can give a recommendation for or against approval of a liquor license. It can also choose to give no recommendation to the OLCC.

– Declared surplus a 1997 Oldsmobile Cutlass, with 119,000 miles, and a 1999 Crown Victoria, with 136,000 miles. The two vehicles were used by Sweet Home Police Department and will be auctioned on

– Approved the rezone of property near Nandina Street, northwest of Safeway, as medium-density residential. The property had been single-family residential. The zone change brings the zoning into compliance with the city’s Comprehensive Plan.