Vandalia Council critical of City Manager in annual review

By Darrell Wacker -



File photo

VANDALIA — Vandalia City Manager Jon Crusey has received a less than stellar performance evaluation from the City Council.

Crusey, who was in the final year of a three-year contract, received a two-year contract extension during Monday’s council meeting.

The council gave Crusey’s performance an overall 2.5 on a scale of 1-5. That falls halfway between “below expectations” and “meets expectations.”

Council’s concerns were so great that Crusey’s new contract is not expected to include any salary increase.

Crusey earned high marks in the financial management section of the review. Council rated that area of performance a 4, or “exceeds expectations.”

“Budget planning and review are excellent,” the review states. “Quarterly financial reports and review are good.”

However, council wrote that “there is still concern we have not been getting all the funding that is available to us.”

Council gave a rating of “meets expectations in two categories: personal characteristics as well as leadership and policy execution.

“Jon represents the city in a professional manner when attending local and regional events,” the review says. “There is certainly room for improvement. Council would like to see more leadership and not embrace the status quo. New ideas through leadership – new programs are lacking.”

Council referred to the “status quo” several times in the review.

“He (Crusey) does not articulate any true vision for our city. Maybe council’s lack of providing a specific vision of what we would like to see for Vandalia has been a limitation.”

Council reserved its harshest criticism in the areas of communication and following through on direction from the council in some areas.

“Jon has done nothing to address organizational issues identified by council,” the review says.

Council cited lack of performance reviews for employees, inconsistent communication with council, and how he deals with citizen requests.

“He must embrace Vandalia as ‘his’ community and show more leadership in this area.”

The review does note that during the review process, which lasted nearly three months, Crusey “has realized that his ‘status quo’ management style was not acceptable and he has begun to embrace his responsibilities.”

As a way of providing more specific direction, council developed a project list for Crusey. That list includes devising plans to combat reduction of all efforts of Local Control; construct a plan and vision for the future of Vandalia; presenting a plan to make an Assistant City Manager position ale to fulfill the customary responsibilities of an Assistant City Manager; reporting on all employees who directly report to the city manager regarding performance appraisals, rating, goals, etc.; research funding opportunities for the maintenance of Airport Access Road; and produce a quarterly report on debt reduction and all purchases above $10,000.

Under the terms of Crusey’s contract renewal, Council will perform another review in six months.

Crusey File photo

By Darrell Wacker

Reach Darrell Wacker at 937-684-8983 or on Twitter @VandaliaDrummer.

Reach Darrell Wacker at 937-684-8983 or on Twitter @VandaliaDrummer.