April 7, 2011 |

Earnest gets passing grade on evaluation

Haines Borough Manager Mark Earnest received an average score of 3.6 of 5 possible points on his recent evaluation, indicating he met or exceeded job standards.

Mayor Jan Hill and the borough assembly discussed the evaluation in a March 22 executive session.

Their goals for Earnest include improving his organizational, scheduling and time-management skills and staff training. They also advised him to “take care of yourself.”

“We just want him to stay healthy and take care of himself, and we enjoy working with him,” Hill said.

Earnest said asthma and the flu hindered him this winter. He said the stress of the job comes with any “high-demand position.”

“It’s always a balance between trying to deal with the workload and taking time to take care of your health, physical and otherwise,” Earnest said. “It’s something we’ll be working on.”

The Mayor and each assembly member were asked to rate Earnest’s performance on 36 criteria, using a five-point scale. He received no “1s” and nine “2s.”

Earnest has been borough manager since January 2010 and is about one year into a two-year contract.

Criteria included administrative relationships, personnel management and labor relations, fiscal management, public relations, quantity and quality of work, personal traits, communication and intergovernmental affairs.

Assembly comments included with the evaluation said Earnest “could use improvement in follow-through” and “has a tendency to forget things.”

He earned praise for his sense of humor and long-range borough goals, such as an update to the comprehensive plan, and was called “completely up front and honest.” Integrity ranked as his top personal trait.

“I take the comments and I take them to heart, and I wouldn’t want to really get into the specifics, but they’re all helpful,” Earnest said.

Some of Earnest’s other strengths in the evaluation were that he accepts direction and instructions positively, has a respectful relationship with employees, and keeps the assembly informed about revenues and expenditures.

A few of his lower scores addressed whether Earnest’s “reporting and follow-through is timely, clear, concise and accurate,” and preparation of a “realistic” annual budget that “addresses the assembly’s goals and objectives.”

Additional assembly comments requested that Earnest more strongly enforce permit infractions and said he “sometimes puts a lot of his duties on other employees” and “seems to be persuaded by certain interest groups.”

Earnest was complimented for his “awareness and action towards deferred maintenance” and “fairly good public image.”