City commissioners suggest internal review of processes and procedures

Two Mount Pleasant city commissioners suggested the governing body look into its processes and procedures at the group’s regular meeting on Monday.

Commissioner Matthew Sous said he was moved to do so after examining the group throughout its city manager hiring process. Sous argued that with a new city manager – Nancy Ridley was hired on as full-time city manger in June – now would be a perfect time to do an internal review.

Sous added the same type of review was done when Kathie Grinzinger was hired as city manager in 2006.

“When Kathie came in, we reevaluated how we set up our agendas and our communications with city staff and the public,” he said. “As I mentioned, the hiring process gave me a moment to look inside our processes and see how they work, how we go about giving staff directives and how we build our agenda.”

Mayor Sharon Tilmann told Sous the commission and the city can review its processes at any time if needed and inquired what specifically Sous had in mind.

Sous said he had a lot of ideas but didn’t have specifics on-hand, rather, he just wanted to start the conversation.

Commissioner Kathy Ling agreed with Sous about the city’s need for an internal processes review.

“I looked up (the procedures that govern) how we function and I looked at the date, and (Sous) was correct,” she said. “The last (review) was done probably in 2007. (Commissioner Jon) Goslin may have even been the mayor at the time.”

Ling added it was appropriate to have this review as the group begins meeting with Ridley about the issues facing Mount Pleasant.

She suggested looking at how they structure agenda items and how the group schedules its work sessions.

Even the city’s residents voiced concern about the structure of the meetings. During a special June session scheduled to interview and appoint one of three city manager finalists, resident Peter Reale mentioned he was irked by the placement of public comments on the agenda.

Reale said it disturbed him that residents had to wait until the end of the meeting to address the board about non-agenda items, especially considering the length of some city commission meetings. Some meetings, Reale pointed out, last up to a few hours, forcing citizens to stay for the entire meeting.

Tilmann said it would be a good refresher for the entire city commission, especially for her.

“In 2009, I believe, I felt clumsy reviewing the agenda at that point because it was not the agenda structure I was familiar with from my prior terms on the commission,” she said. “There were a couple of things at that point that bothered me. So this is fine with me.”

Unrelated to the suggestion, Tilmann said commissioners will soon review the city manager’s evaluation form. The current commission received feedback from various commissioners past and present saying they were not happy with the mechanism used to evaluate its city manager.

Check back with for more stories on Monday’s city commission meeting.


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