We count on City Hall to supply us with an inexhaustible source of entertainment. This week was no exception as City Council made public their evaluations of Portsmouth City Manager Derek Allen Allen did well on two instruments measuring his performance.
One evaluation is titled “City Manager Performance Evaluation,” which totaled each of 10 categories using a scale of 250 being excellent and 50 being poor. Allen received an average score among all six members of council of 189 of a possible 250 (75 percent).
Council members also utilized an additional form titled “Goals for Portsmouth City Manager” known as the Novak Document. This instrument has a scale of 1 to 5 (low to high). The highest possible total score is 105.
Allen's average Novak score among the five council members who submitted the report was 82 of possible 105 (78 percent).
The evaluations also drew some narrative comments about Allen that reflect past fusses and squabbles at City Hall including the following:
Councilman Meadows' statement of "At times the city manager wants to be adversarial with members of Council”
Councilman Kevin E. Johnson's remark of among major areas for improvement are Allen's "conduct and attitude directed toward city council during council meetings" as he calls for better communication with various departments and “less negative communication with Council and media/press.”
Councilman Kevin W. Johnson's statement that "Allen should make time to meet regularly with members of council, suggesting such meetings be conducted quarterly. Johnson also again called for Allen to “utilize executive sessions and meeting with members of council to resolve issues instead of going over council’s head to voters via the press.”
The Times reports one of the more "interesting official narrative responses" is from Acting Mayor Jim Kalb, responding to the question - “What constructive suggestions or assistance can you offer the manager to enhance performance?”
And, hold onto your hat ...
Kalb responded - “Lose a couple of pounds, practice stress management and find a doctor to prescribe Viagra.”
(Frank Lewis."Council evaluates city manager." Portsmouth Daily Times. January 13, 2015)
Does the Mayor of Portsmouth Jim Kalb know something about City Manager Derek Allen that he believes the public should understand? What do these rather pointed references to fat, stress, and the
little blue pill that enhances the natural physical process that causes erections all mean?
And, is Kalb implying in his rather stiff comment that Allen's doctor is not addressing the true medical concerns of the City Manager when he states "find a doctor"? I guess no hard evidence exists for the intent of the Mayor's hardened concern.
Holy Mackerel ...
The Mayor believes a plump City Manager needs some sexual healing before he implodes!
I guess one council member believes a couple more performance categories are pertinent to the job of managing city affairs. I wonder how many more points Kalb would have added to his 85 Novak evaluation of Allen if Allen had been trim and extremely potent, two conditions the Mayor evidently feels are critical to the administration of the job.
Is this another simple example of Good Old Boys just having fun? It seems these kind of raucous things happen frequently in city government. I mean, Kalb's comment could have been worse, couldn't it? He could have written: "Get off your fat ass and start taking care of business on the home front before you blow a gasket."
And, I understand Viagra is now marketed under the name Revatio as a treatment for pulmonary hypertension. Maybe that is what Mayor Kalb meant with his remarkable evaluation. Yeah, that's probably the truth of the matter: Kalb is just very concerned about Allen's circulatory system.
Sure, that's it ... well ... uh ... nope ... on second thought, I bet this mayoral homo erectus had another unbending intention in mind.
In a final note on the latest council meeting, the group spent several minutes discussing whether they should or should not give Allen a copy of the evaluation, which is available to anyone through a Public Records Request. I would assume the City Manager should be the first to get a copy of the evaluation as his attorneys deserve a good laugh while making his case for defamation of character.
At any rate , Kalb's classic comments about Allen's performance will now forever remain a record of major note for those who continue to follow the antics of City Council. Stay tuned for more fun, follies, and updates from Second Street.
In the meantime, for some reason the immortal words of Marvin Gaye are streaming through my head. Let me share:
Whenever blue teardrops are fallin'
And my emotional stability is leaving me
There is something I can do ...
Baby, I got sick this mornin'
A sea was stormin' inside of me
Baby, I think I'm capsizin'
The waves are risin' and risin'
And when I get that feeling
I want sexual healing
Sexual healing is good for me
Makes me feel so fine, it's such a rush
Helps to relieve the mind, and it's good for us