December 6, 2012 | Volume 42, No. 49

Earnest evaluation to start in January

The borough assembly will begin the process of reviewing manager Mark Earnest’s contract and conducting his performance evaluation in early January.

The assembly approved an extension of Earnest’s contract through July 2014 pending a review of contract conditions and a satisfactory evaluation at a meeting last month.

Assembly member Joanne Waterman reminded the assembly during its Nov. 27 meeting that borough personnel evaluations have historically been conducted in executive session.

“It’s a personnel matter and we discuss his personnel issues. We can’t take action in executive session so we come out of executive session with a summary of what was discussed and what action we’re going to take,” Waterman said.

Waterman said Earnest’s evaluation last January also occurred in executive session.

Earnest said he wouldn’t be opposed to conducting the evaluation in the open, but that executive sessions help facilitate a more honest and frank discussion of strengths and weaknesses.

“I want to know how they really feel: the good, the bad and the ugly... When I evaluate my employees I want to have my door closed and I want to have that conversation so that there’s an honest exchange both ways,” Earnest said.

The assembly agreed on a schedule, proposed by Mayor Stephanie Scott, which begins Jan. 8 with the distribution of evaluation forms and the current manager contract to assembly members. Completed forms and written suggestions regarding the contract are due Jan. 15. Scott will then distribute a copy of the composite evaluation and edited contract to Earnest and the assembly members.

The assembly is scheduled to take action on whether to renew Earnest’s contract for another year on Jan. 22.