City manager receives high marks in yearly evaluation

Sean C. Morgan

The City Council gave City Manager Craig Martin high marks on his annual evaluation.

The council approved a memorandum for the record about the evaluation during its regular meeting on Aug. 24.

The evaluation included performance ratings in eight areas, including communication with the council, implementation of council policy, staff support for council, staff relations, financial planning and administration, personal and professional development, delivery of city services and community relations and intergovernmental relationships.

“Council members generally rated the manager’s performance from good to excellent for all categories with some council members withholding ratings for individual areas because they didn’t feel they had enough information to express an opinion,” Mayor Tim McQueary said in the memo. “The overall ratings for all categories ranged from 64 percent to 89 percent with an overall rating of 82 percent.

The council specifically identified accomplishments and strengths, including Martin’s organizational skills, community involvement, sensitivity to and businesslike approach to the local financing situation and keeping the council focused on achieving its goal package.

“Suggestions for improvements were more suggestions of advice,” Mayor McQueary said. “The council all voiced their concern about Craig keeping the issues in perspective to avoid burnout. It was a very positive evaluation.”

Present and voting to approve the memo were Jessica Coward, Craig Fentiman, Dick Hill, Bob McIntire and Mayor McQueary. Jim Gourley and Jim Bean were absent.

In other business, the council:

— Approved a six-month extension for Resurrection, Inc., on meeting the terms of a lease agreement for the flexible manufacturing building.

Resurrection, Inc., has leased the building since March 2004. A provision of the lease requires the company to create and document one additional job to maintain the initial start-up rental rate of $500 per month after the first six months.

“Due to limited funds at this time, because of extensive set-up costs, our funds have been depleted for this first hire,” Tim Theodoroff, vice president of the company, said in his request to the council. “Advertising without effect has also been a drain on our funds. We did not anticipate the time necessary to set everything into motion or the cost.

“We feel all of these obstacles can be overcome with the six-month extension.”

“I don’t think it’s an unreasonable request,” Martin told the council. This is a typical position for a start-up business.

Administration and finance committee Chairman Fentiman agreed and recommended approval of the extension.

From a practical perspective, continuing the lease will mean the city won’t have to pay utilities and continuing receiving rent on the building by extending the lease, Hill, a member of the committee, said. He supported the idea of giving the business more time to make it, but he’s not sure he would vote yes on an extension six months from now.

The flexible manufacturing building was constructed with federal grant dollars in the mid-1990s to incubate new industrial businesses. It housed Cirtek manufacturing for a couple of years until Cirtek needed to expand. Unable to expand or purchase the flexible manufacturing building, it relocated to Lebanon, and the building had been vacant for several years.

— Approved a stop sign on 35th Avenue on the northwest corner of the intersection of 35th and Juniper.

— Established a no-parking zone along the west curb of 18th Avenue around entrances to the high school. Buses will begin using the 18th Avenue access this year. School District 55 officials had expressed concerns about congestion and visibility.

— Established times for the school zone speed limit in front of Hawthorne School on Long Street. The 20-mph speed limit will be in effect from 7 a.m. to 8 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. on school days only. All other school zones on Sweet Home streets will be designated 20 mph all the time under a new state law.

Highway 20 and Highway 228 school zones are not adjacent to schools and apparently will remain marked as they have been, Martin told the council. They are under the authority of the Oregon Department of Transportation.