Senator Rand Paul’s 12-hour filibuster March 7, in the U.S. Senate Chambers was a special reminder to all citizens of what comprises executive power in a place called “Democracy.” His thesis emerged clearly as a special admonition concerning the critically objective roles of evaluation, assessment and appraisal of the behaviors of leaders serving in a democracy.
By coincidence, Senator Paul’s filibuster proved to be an enlightened, practical follow-up to our City Council’s disjointed, futile hour at last Monday’s, March 4, public meeting, in which our city manager’s job performance was haphazardly reviewed with excessive hype, informality, inconsistency and sheer opinion based on very specious evidence bordering on mere conjecture, subjectivity and personal values. Absent in the council discussions were common sense criteria which define leadership qualities, skills, behaviors and outcomes applicable to leadership in municipal governance as determined by citizens, employees and their informed, duly elected representatives serving a public institution and its multi-diverse populations.
Mention was made of a suggested City Council public workshop to create a definitive evaluation of City Manager James Riviere in the coming weeks. Hopefully, for the sake of “We the People” and our city’s leadership, the public workshop will be scheduled prior to any future public evaluations of our city manager. Our City Council, furthermore, should begin to formalize a standard assessment instrument that decisively and clearly measures annually: (1) The importance, definition and quality of leadership actions and strengths; (2) The attainment of institutional and personal goals as mutually determined by the City Council and the City Manager; (3) Goals that are established via citizen and employee inputs; (4) Comprehensive effectiveness and discipline of the City Manager as a leader; (5) Effectiveness of human relations and communications; and (6) The use of institutional leadership power fairly and responsibly.
“We the People” of Marco Island and our City Manager deserve such a public workshop now with its agenda as suggested here. To do less is classic City Council malfeasance.