Assessment: City manager adept at obtaining grants for capital projects; must better supervise the departments | New
CADILLAC — Overall, Cadillac City Manager Marcus Peccia is “meets/exceeds” in his role, according to a recent City Council assessment.
This is the overall rating; but from the perspective of each board member, there are substantial differences of opinion regarding Peccia’s performance over the past fiscal year.
In the assessment, which was provided to Cadillac News after the board meeting earlier this month, each board member rated Peccia on several categories using a scale of 0 to 4, with 0 being “unsatisfactory,” 1 being ‘improvement needed’, 2 being ‘satisfied’ and 4 being ‘exceptional’. Peccia also rated himself using the same scale.
The Board’s average score for Peccia in budgeting/tax management was 2.8, or “met/exceeds; » in supervision and leadership, and community relations, the board’s average rating was 2.6, or “met/exceeds”; in relations with the municipal council, the council’s average score was 3, or “exceeds”; in professional development, the board’s average score was 3.20, or “exceeds/outstanding”; and in intergovernmental relations, the board’s average score was 2.80, or “met/exceeds”.
The average score for all categories was 2.83, which is slightly lower than last year, when the board gave Peccia a score of 3.
Peccia gave itself a rating of “exceeds” in all categories except budgeting/tax management and professional development – categories in which it rated itself as “compliant.” He gave himself exactly the same score last year.
As for individual council members, Tiyi Schippers, Robert Engels, and Mayor Carla Filkins gave Peccia highly favorable scores firmly in the “exceeds/outstanding” range: Schippers gave it a 3.5, Engels gave it a gave it a 3.83 and Filkins gave it a 3.67.
Council members Bryan Elenbaas and Stephen King were much more critical of Peccia’s performance, giving it 1.83 and 1.33 respectively.
Peccia’s assessment also included board comments, although these were presented in the document without attribution to individual board members.
In the comments section, Peccia’s ability to secure grants and attract new development to Cadillac was repeatedly praised. Here are some of those comments:
• Leaving no stone unturned, he made sure we had access to all the grants available to us during the COVID-19 pandemic.
• He continues to pave the way for new investment in our city by meeting tirelessly with developers, staff, MEDC, MML, community stakeholders, and more. regarding real estate, retail, housing and other new initiatives that will have an incredible impact on the local economy.
• The City Manager is exceptional at targeting additional funds, through grant and partnership opportunities, for our capital improvement projects and for City programs.
• Sale of land to Industrial Fund for redevelopment, announcement of redevelopment plans for the former Northwood Hotel and Speeds Automotive buildings, dedication of the White Pine Trailhead and introduction of the Residential Frontage Program.
These same skills in obtaining grants and facilitating development were also subject to some criticism in the evaluation. Here are some of those comments:
• Knows the inside of grant funding. He comes from a background of that, but we don’t need monuments, we need jobs!
• Budgeting — The $500,000 starting point is a great example, followed by the $1 million+ market (at Cadillac Commons).
Peccia’s knowledge of city operations and understanding of city council’s goals were also highlighted in the comments section. Here are some of those comments:
• Marcus has a deep understanding of what it takes to run a city well. It makes important connections locally, statewide, and even nationally. He keeps the board informed and always responds to inquiries in a timely manner.
• Marcus has a clear vision for the future of Cadillac and makes decisions based on the goals set by the Board and this vision.
• Again this year, his leadership and guidance to staff and operations managers resulted in not only a strong financial position, but also one of the best the city has ever seen.
• Works well with the CFO regarding the budgeting process and helps explain the process to the board.
As for the areas of improvement noted in the assessment, the one that was frequently mentioned was its supervision of departments and communication with department heads. Here are some of those comments:
• He must hold his immediate subordinates to a high level of responsibility. If errors are made, they must be admitted and appropriate action taken. I know something is missing.
• The manager is the CEO and should be the direct contact with officials, although there is additional follow-up with department heads. Again, this also allows the manager to be aware of issues as they arise and to be able to deal with them rather than just delegating to department heads and communicating effectively with the board .
• Increase in the management level of department heads. Policies and objectives should be developed for each department and should provide staff with direct oversight and management regarding communication and public input.
• I believe there are still times when the manager makes recommendations, simply relying on information from his department heads and staff without knowing the details himself.
• I believe that the manager can be successful and would benefit from set goals and tools to be measured and, in turn, to measure their managers and staff.
Earlier this month, following the closed-door valuation, the board approved a 4% cost-of-living salary increase for Peccia, bringing his annual salary to $115,624.26, in addition to a one-time payment of 2% based on the cost of living that council previously approved for all other municipal workers.
The board also increased Peccia’s vehicle allowance by $200 a month to $600 as they research the costs associated with buying a new vehicle and covering gas costs. and related insurance.
This motion was approved by Engels, Filkins and Schippers while King and council member Bryan Elenbaas voted against. Earlier in the meeting, King said he was not comfortable accepting the new car, gas compensation and insurance for Peccia until he had a better idea of the cost of all this.
Last Thursday, the board held a special meeting to discuss those costs, but ultimately no vote was taken on the matter when it was mooted that raising Peccia’s salary by that amount might require a vote to be taken. at least four out of five board members, not just a majority.