OGDENSBURG The city Planning and Development Boards ongoing self-evaluation survey was defended Monday as good policy by both interim Planning and Development Director Andrea L. Smith and interim City Manager Philip A. Cosmo. Several board members said last week the evaluation was unnecessary.
Its an attempt to improve the (planning) process, Ms. Smith said. That is our only intent.
Last week, Ms. Smith gave the board members copies of a single-page Performance Evaluation in which they were asked to rate themselves from unacceptable to excellent in areas of communication with the public, teamwork, training and attendance.
In conjunction with that, her office has also sent out a survey to those seeking site plan approval and zoning variances. The Zoning Board of Appeals also has been asked to evaluate itself.
Ms. Smith said several members of both boards have completed the self-evaluation with advance knowledge of it and without objection.
But some do question the need for the self-evaluation. Planning and Development Board Chairman and 24-year member Timothy J. Redmond said last week that no volunteer board should ever be asked to evaluate itself.
Mayor William D. Nelson has said he feels the same way, calling it unfair last week. A former Planning and Development Board member, as mayor he makes appointments to the citys numerous volunteer committees, commissions and boards.
Mr. Cosmo supports the self-evaluations. He is a member of two private-sector boards of directors and they both use the practice as an instrument to improve and learn.
I dont see the concern here, Mr. Cosmo said. I think its an educational tool.
Ms. Smith said she appreciated the board members volunteer efforts. The two surveys, she stressed, are not a response to negative public sentiment toward her office or the boards.
This is a proactive approach, she said.