Originally created 04/03/02

Kolb starts review process, drawing protest



City Administrator George Kolb, in cooperation with the mayor, has initiated his own performance evaluation process, and at least one Augusta Commission member said that simply isn't sitting right with him.

Mr. Kolb already has started collecting information from an international government managers association about how other governments review their city managers and administrators. He told commissioners he would submit the research to Mayor Bob Young later this week.

Commissioner Marion Williams, one of Mr. Kolb's most vocal critics, protested that process during the board's meeting Tuesday, however.

"I just (think) that somebody else should do it," he said, adding that the clerk of commission should be in charge of collecting evaluation information and providing it to the commission.

Former City Administrator Randy Oliver served four years in the position without receiving a performance evaluation, but Mr. Kolb's review is written into his work contract. He must receive an annual evaluation, to be conducted by the mayor and commission, on his anniversary, which is May 1.

Mr. Kolb told commissioners that, under city ordinance, the mayor is charged with overseeing the day-to-day activities of the city administrator.

Mr. Young said that because commissioners have not taken any initiative to date, Mr. Williams shouldn't be complaining about the process.

Commissioners voted to receive information about the upcoming management evaluation from Mr. Kolb and from the clerk of commission.

When Mr. Kolb was hired, he signed a three-year contract, which provides for the annual review process. The same contract provides Mr. Kolb with a six-month severance package, with full salary and benefits, in the event he is fired. It's unclear whether the review process would include a revote on the administrator's employment, but a commission majority could oust him at any time.

Commissioner Andy Cheek, who said "professional assessments are essential for all of us," supported initiating an additional review process for the commission. That suggestion was not endorsed by any other commissioner.

"We are dealing right now with the evaluation of the administrator, and I think that's where we need to stay," Commissioner Willie Mays said.

Reach Heidi Coryell Williams at (706) 823-3215 or heidi.williams@augustachronicle.com.