Our eyebrows went up, up, up when we read about Tuesday’s Durango City Council meeting (“Job descriptions, goals and evaluations appear nonexistent for top city of Durango employees,” May 8).
The headline tells you much of what you need to know. Councilor Kim Baxter, elected in April, and participating in her first full session, had an off-agenda item.
Everyone has to answer to someone. Council runs Durango. The manager runs the city and answers to Council – in theory, anyway.
So Baxter wanted to know what had become of job descriptions and performance reviews for City Manager Ron LeBlanc, as well as the city attorney and the municipal judge, who also answer to Council.
Baxter had asked city staff for those things and got nothing. Did they even exist?
“I’m new and I’m responsible for managing and directing three employees, and I need to know what their jobs are and what the agreements are with them,” Baxter said at the meeting.
This seems like good advice for all five members of Council. We hope the three incumbents have not been falling down on their part-time jobs.
Baxter is correct about identifying this core oversight function, even though Council must deal with many other items.
It seems to us this can be addressed and should be by the time Council meets again. We hope to see a unanimous vote to conduct a performance review of the city manager immediately if this has really fallen by the wayside, and then again and again at regular intervals.
And Council should share the results with the public. Voters, taxpayers and other residents of the Durango area have just as much right to know this as Council does. Council needs to know it.