By Tim O’Meilia
Rex Taylor’s seventh anniversary as South Palm Beach town manager is this month and to mark the occasion his employers will review his performance for the first time.
But not before he does it first. Then next year, the council will come up with a permanent evaluation form and process.
“The charter requires an evaluation,” said Councilwoman Stella Jordan, who first brought up the topic in May. “I’m more interested in getting it done than the actual form.”
Taylor and Jordan have discussed an evaluation format but nothing had been determined.
This year, Taylor will fill out a self-evaluation by the middle of August and each council member will do a similar critique.
The reviews could be discussed at the July 24 council meeting. No one has expressed any displeasure with Taylor’s performance.
“We really need to get this done. Then, if we need to, we can revise it for next year,” Jordan said, referring to the evaluation format.
Aside from the town attorney, the manager is the only employee who reports directly to the council.
This isn’t the first time the council has revamped its procedures because it wasn’t following the town charter. Last year, the council revamped how advisory board appointments were made to meet charter requirements.
Resident Isabella Ralston-Charnley repeated her opinion that recommendations made by previous advisory boards should be discarded because the boards were improperly constituted.
In other business at the June 26 meeting, the council voted unanimously to spend about $10,000 to refurbish the council chambers. The room will be repainted, the carpet cleaned, accent wallpaper will be added behind the council dais, the peeling popcorn ceiling will be replaced with a textured finish, the shredded carpet near the entrance will be replaced with entry tile and the speakers improved.
The council appointed Councilman Robert Gottlieb in May to make recommendations on refreshing the chambers.
“The carpet is worn out; painting has not been done in years and years. We just need some rejuvenation,” Mayor Donald Clayman said then.
The council will consider during budget hearings this summer whether to install a video screen and a new audio system.
The chamber also is used for lectures, other meetings and art shows.
Council members also postponed indefinitely a discussion on letting Manalapan take over police and dispatch services. Councilwoman Stella Jordan, who proposed considering the year-old offer from Manalapan Mayor Basil Diamond, said she needed more time to investigate the legal ramifications.
Diamond had suggested that South Palm Beach could save $500,000 or more, depending on how the merger was structured. Ú