PPNA Happenings

Happenings, history and news of the Prospect Park Neighborhood and Ypsilanti

The City Manager and Me

Posted by ppna on January 29, 2008

Here’s another article for you to read from the Ann Arbor News it’s about our City Manager Ed Koryzno.

I’m probably going to need a little help on this subject so chime in if you can correct me.

I was going to rewrite this with current information but decided to leave what I wrote and comment back.  What you see in bold are corrections.

The City Manager of Ypsilanti is reponsible for the running of the city, he takes direction and gives direction to the City Council. The city uses a 5 point rating system (or so it seems) with 3 being meets job requirements and 4 being exceeds requirements (so what is 5?). It is a 5 point system with 5 being far exceeds job requirements.  Ed Koryzno makes recommendations to city council, but city council can accept or reject them. City council has the ultimate responsibility for policy decisions like Water Street.

The Council seems to have broken down along ‘old lines’ and ‘new lines.’ Robb and Richardson giving lower scores Filipiak, Nickels, Gawlas and Schreiber giving high scores.

Mayor Paul Schreiber and council members Brian Filipiak, Bill Nickels and John Gawlas gave Koryzno his highest scores, ranging between 4 and 5. They praised Koryzno’s knowledge, leadership and ability to communicate with the council and make spending cuts over the years without dramatic reduction to core services.

If Koryzno is so great what is the problem? If you can give him a 5 we must give the mayor and council a -1 to average the cities below average performance since 1996. There are two glaring examples of bad decisions being made while Koryzno has been in office. The first of course is Water Street and the second is that city employees don’t stick around and they have been leaving the city in droves lately. According to Steve Pierce …..Bohlen is the 13th Department manager to leave the city of Ypsilanti in the last three and half years and the second to quit in the last two weeks ,” and this quote was before the recent departure of the city planner. It is true that the city has gone through a lot of department managers but both Councilman Robb and Mayor Schreiber commented that nobody left out of ill will — they just moved on.

Is there an exit interview of these employees conducted by the Mayor and/or City Council?  If there isn’t an exit interview we should start one, perhaps Ed doesn’t communicate as well as you think.  Once again correction noted that Mr. Koryzno does communicate very well.

Come on Mayor and Council you and the city manager are two separate units of government.  You are the the checks and balances we have in the city government and by not giving a fair review you aren’t helping anyone.   

Are the reviews open for pubic viewing?   I would love to see them. Reviews aren’t open for public viewing you have to to apply under the FOIA.

Advertisements

4 Responses to “The City Manager and Me”

  1. BrianR said

    I think the assessment that department heads are leaving in droves is a bit of a fabrication. I’ve typed this so many times on various blogs, I have it memorized.

    Harry Hutchinson, DPW Director, retired
    Jim Roberts, Fire Chief, retired
    George Basar, Police Chief, retired
    Carole Clare, Assessor, retired
    Megan Gibb, Planning & Development Director, moved to Portland, OR (the urban planning mecca of the United States)
    Cherry Lawson, City Clerk, moved to become Clerk of Sedona, AZ
    Rebecca Bintz, City Clerk, resigned
    Jennifer Goulet, DDA Director, left to head up Chelsea Center for the Arts
    Bill Johnstone, Director of Human Resources, didn’t make it past his six month probation period
    Bob Bruner, Assistant City Manager, became City Manager of Ferndale
    Charles Boulard, Building Director, left to become Director in Novi
    Bill Bohlen, DPW Director, left to start his own company

    No doubt these are interesting times here in Ypsilanti, but that goes for all of Michigan. At Ford, I have seen a lot of co-workers leave in the past six months as well. People have to do what’s in their best interests.

    Realistically, the only Director of that bunch that bailed in my opinion would be Mr. Boulard. In Novi he’ll have a much larger staff and Novi is not quite strapped for cash.

  2. Paul Schreiber said

    Ed Koryzno makes recommendations to city council, but city council can accept or reject them. City council has the ultimate responsibility for policy decisions like Water Street.

    Public sector employees change jobs for many of the same reasons that private sector employees change jobs. The daily commute, career enhancement, and pay can be among the many personal reasons. For example:

    Former Ypsilanti assistant city manager Bob Bruner is now Ferndale city manager. He gained valuable experience in human resources and contract negotiations that enabled him to land the Ferndale city manager job at higher pay than Ed Koryzno.

    Ypsilanti planner Nathan Voght will be the Howell DDA director. He and his wife own a business and live in Howell.

    Bill Bohlen will be cutting his commuting time by 2/3 at his new job on the Detroit riverfront.

    To my knowledge, all of these city employees had an excellent working relationship with Ed Koryzno.

    The city manager and city clerk evaluations are not public information. A Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) application is required to obtain them.

    Paul Schreiber

  3. Paul Schreiber wrote:
    “The city manager and city clerk evaluations are not public information. A Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) application is required to obtain them.”

    Perhaps I am mistaken, but the city manager and city clerk evaluations are public information. If information is subject to a FOIA, then by definition it is public information. In some cases, the employee can request their evaluation be discussed in a closed session. However, I believe the evaluations written by the City Council members are not protected.

    If that is the case, the City can decide to release any public information they want. The City doesn’t have to wait for a citizen to request and pay the incredible fees to make a FOIA request.

    The Mayor can simply direct the City Clerk to make the information available at no cost to the citizen, including the manager and clerk evaluations.

    The cheapest way is to post that information on the web. Citizens without computers can get free access at local schools and libraries.

    Just a thought!

    – Steve

  4. Mayor Schreiber wrote:
    “To my knowledge, all of these city employees had an excellent working relationship with Ed Koryzno.”

    Paul,

    Does the city conduct exit interviews with employees and managers when the leave?

    HR firms tell you that exit interviews are critical to continuous improvement.

    Has the Mayor or Council or City staff done follow-ups with past managers and employees to try and learn from valued employees and managers what is going right and going wrong inside city hall?

    Cheers!

    – Steve

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

 
%d bloggers like this: