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Canfield employee review done in public was wrong

DEAR EDITOR:

The Aug. 19 meeting of the Canfield City Council was an unbelievable spectacle. For over an hour, the performance rating of the city manager was reviewed in the public arena.

Yes, an annual appraisal is commonplace, but to review it publicly in a city council meeting is well outside the norm. Performance appraisals are usually done in private. Why was it necessary to publicly fry the man they hired? Once the inquisition began, he had no choice but to endure it. In my opinion, it was inappropriate and got out of hand.

Has this ever been done previously? I think not. Should we now publicly review the performance of city council and all staff members in a council meeting?

Some of the performance issues were related, in my opinion, to the high school incident last fall involving threats among students. Certain city officials were very upset about the city manager’s approval of the issue as presented by the chief of police at the school board meeting. I believe these feelings spilled over into the appraisal of the city manager. The police chief also was criticized for his part in the meeting.

The city manager is hired by city council and may be relieved for just cause. Council members govern the city in finance, zoning, police and public works, but council has no administrative oversight of operations.

After such a public humiliation, the city manager now ends up looking over his shoulder when making an operational decision. Any individual may disagree with his decisions, but these can be presented privately.

Council should get out of his way! This school issue vendetta has got to stop.

FRANK A. MICCHIA

Canfield

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