VANDALIA — City Manager Jon Crusey received a stellar performance evaluation by the Vandalia City Council. Crusey scored an overall 3.5 out of a possible five to fall midway between “meets expectations” and “exceeds expectations.”
The evaluation was signed by all seven members of the council and by Crusey.
During Monday’s meeting, council voted to pay Crusey a 2.5 percent bonus, or $3,000 based on the evaluation. Crusey is entering the third and final year of his initial contract of employment. That contract does not provide for any automatic annual salary increases.
Crusey exceeded expectations in four areas of the evaluation: Communications, Management and Administration, Financial Management, and Personal Characteristics.
Council particularly noted Crusey’s achievement in financial matters.
“This is the biggest area of improvement – good job!” the review reads. “This year’s budget process was an improvement over the last.” Council noted that long-term planning for capital projects “needs to continue” and also noted on staff’s “improved format for presentation of financial reviews and the ability to answer questions during workshop sessions.”
Council also noted the improvement in communication and called the new Council Member orientation “excellent.”
“Jon’s presentations at the Senior Center, Rotary, and Chamber of Commerce Annual Meeting revealed an improved communications with the community and a more comfortable level with the city and his position.”
They also said council retreats that visited various facilities and included staff presentations were “excellent.”
In Crusey’s 2015 goals, he received particular praise for the assessment of the city’s tax collection contracts with Union, Clayton, West Milton, and Brookville. The fees collected on those contracts were not enough to cover the city’s actual cost and, as a result, Vandalia was subsidizing the collection of other city’s taxes.
After presenting each city the new rate, all but Brookville decided to terminate their contracts.
“Although this was not pleasant, the results were notable,” the evaluation states. “It showed your leadership with guiding the Finance Department through this process.”
The only area that council rated Crusey as “below expectations” was in community development.
“Several areas of the Comprehensive Plan’s Future Land Use Map were recently updated,” Crusey wrote. “However, an overall review of the Comp plan and Thoroughfare Plan have not been completed.”
“There is a need for a strategic long range plan for the city,” council wrote.
The goal included in Crusey’s goals for 2016-17.
“Council wants to see a plan to include community development as a staff responsibility,” says the goal. “The concepts of stabilizing, enhancing, improving, and creating a unique ‘sense of place’ needs to be included as part of our vision for the future.”
Another goal was to develop a transition plan for the City Manager and other staff positions.
A new goal was related to truck traffic driving through the city.
“Council wants to hire a consultant” to make suggestions to “curb/solve/slow the truck traffic through town. Council also wants staff to start exploring possible grant opportunities for any work that might be needed.”
Council was effusive with praise of Crusey’s Personal Characteristics.
“Jon has advanced in his position as manager becoming more comfortable in representing the city at local and regional events,” they wrote. “He always presents a professional attitude while demonstrating good judgment and decisiveness.”
Reach Darrell Wacker at 937-684-8983 or on Twitter @VandaliaDrummer.