By Jane Smith
Delray Beach City Commissioners evaluating City Manager Terrence Moore gave him mixed reviews Aug. 9, then postponed any raise for six months to give Moore the opportunity to improve.
Moore received high marks all around from Vice Mayor Adam Frankel, while Commissioner Shirley Johnson’s review was very critical. The commission did not discuss what they would do if three of them do not see improvement.
The commission’s cumulative score for Moore was 2.94, on a scale from 1 to 5, which put it just under the “meets expectations” rating of 3. The score would have translated to a 2.94% raise had the commission approved it.
Instead, despite a proposal by Deputy Vice Mayor Juli Casale to round up the raise to 3% retroactive to Aug. 9, commissioners decided to put any raise on hold.
“I strongly take the constructive feedback and … support moving forward accordingly,” Moore said.
In her evaluation that gave Moore a 3 rating, Casale said the city manager should prioritize his tasks, instead of just checking items off a list. “He tries to do too many things for too many people,” she said.
Commissioners’ evaluations were not included in the commission’s agenda materials, but had to be requested separately from the city’s Human Resources Department.
Casale said she wanted to bring up Moore’s performance during the city goal-setting session on May 13, but that session was shortened from two days to one day and the topic did not come up.
Mayor Shelly Petrolia was more pointed in her review. She rated Moore’s performance 2.75. When the city’s internal auditor found that there were problems with the paper payroll system, Moore did not move quickly enough to fix the payroll system, her review said.
Petrolia also faulted him for not consulting with the city attorney when Waste Management asked for an increase in its monthly rates.
“Had that taken place, the city attorney could have immediately advised that the renewal letter was not properly served and saved the ratepayers potentially millions of dollars from a premature rate increase,” Petrolia’s review said.
(At their second budget workshop on Aug. 22, commissioners discussed using money from the Sanitation Fund to offset the increases for residential and commercial trash customers. Staff will return on Sept. 6 with options for the commission to consider.)
“It’s been a tough year with lots of issues,” said Frankel, who gave Moore’s performance a 4.3 rating, one that means Moore “exceeds expectations.” That was the highest overall rating given by a commissioner. He pointed out the selection of a new police chief. “Moore acts in good faith,” Frankel said.
Even so, Frankel faulted Moore for making decisions after talking to only one or two of the commissioners, when the city charter says he should be seeking consensus.
Johnson rated Moore’s performance slightly above 1, a rating of “unsatisfactory.” When asked on the evaluation form what two things Moore should continue to do, she wrote, “I can’t think of any except that the residents really love him.”
She found fault with him for trying to direct the Community Redevelopment Agency and the city attorney, who do not report to the city manager.
She directed him to pay attention to the city charter for his job responsibilities.
Commissioner Ryan Boylston rated Moore’s performance as 3.44. He liked Moore’s responsiveness to his questions via text, phone or email. Boylston also appreciated Moore’s calm demeanor during tense situations.
Areas for improvement include Moore’s being more assertive in his decisions and rising above the politics of an issue, Boylston said.