Council to alter city manager evaluation

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  • Luther

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    Dunkin

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    Preuschl

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    Jacobsen

  • Luther

  • 1

    Dunkin

  • 2

    Preuschl

  • 3

    Jacobsen

BELOIT - The Beloit City Council is changing the way it evaluates City Manager Lori Curtis Luther, with the council to meet in closed session Monday to discuss changes to the evaluation process.

Councilors who spoke with the Beloit Daily News all spoke positively of Luther's efforts in 2017.

Council President Kevin Leavy could not be reached for comment regarding the new assessment plan, and Council Vice President Regina Dunkin said the council and Luther had made marked accomplishments, but declined to comment further ahead of the completion of the evaluation.

The final evaluation is expected to be complete by the council's first April meeting, but Monday's discussions mark the second closed meeting councilors have had to change the process.

The new evaluation has been in the works since last year, when councilors mentioned the need for a more in-depth form than is currently available.

"Last year the form was a generic personnel form and it wasn't specific to her role as city manager," Councilor Mark Preuschl said. "We're looking forward to a more accurate assessment this year."

Preuschl said one of last year's concerns about a lack of public communication has been filled with the December hiring of Director of Strategic Communications Sarah Millard, who acts as an intermediary between all city department leaders and administrative staff.

"Communication has definitely improved overall," Preuschl said. "I think this council really gets along well together and we all bring different dynamics to the table."

Council member Beth Jacobsen said Luther had been responsive to all councilors' requests, questions and suggestions.

Preuschl said tough issues faced by the council in 2017 included a contentious city logo selection process and administrative changes implemented at the Krueger-Haskell Golf Course following a sweeping investigation into its operations.

Luther was hired in 2015 after longtime City Manager Larry Arft retired.

She worked previously as the city administrator for Waukesha and Reedsburg in Wisconsin and Peoria County in Illinois.

Last year's evaluation included a one percent cost of living raise, boosting her pay to $161,000, according to city finance data.

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